Energy saving tips

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We know that the cost of energy bills can be high, so we've put together some handy tips and tricks which can help you save money on your energy bills.

Struggling to pay your energy bills?

If you're struggling to keep up with your energy costs, it's very important to contact your supplier, especially if you miss a payment, or are in danger of missing one – they will be able to give you advice, or help you find a way to manage your payments. You may also benefit from one of the government schemes designed to assist people who struggle with their energy bills.

Visit the Citizens Advice website for information on the different schemes available.

Cold Weather Payments: a BBC News guide.

Tips to keep costs down

Here's an overview of how much money you could save by doing some simple things in and around your home.

How much money could you save?

  • Switch off standby: £30
  • Use a bowl for washing up: £25
  • Only fill the kettle with what you need: £6
  • Fit a water-efficient shower head: £18
  • Draught-proof doors and windows: £20
  • Use smart heating controls: £75
  • Turn your thermostat down by one degree: £80
  • Replace all conventional bulbs with LED ones: £30
  • Turn off your lights: £13

If you do all of these things, you could save almost £300 per year on your energy bills. Keep scrolling for more information on how you can achieve these savings.

It's also really important that your home is adequately insulated. This includes loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, internal wall insulation, and external wall insulation.

Switch it off

When your TV and other appliances are in standby mode, they're still using electricity. While it’s not possible to switch your fridge and freezer off, items to consider switching off when not in use include:

  • TVs
  • washing machines
  • microwaves
  • coffee machines
  • food processors
  • fans
  • showers
  • laptops and computers

Adjusting the temperature of your fridge and freezer will help as well. The optimal temperature of your fridge should be between 3ºC and 5ºC, and between -15ºC and -18ºC for your freezer.

Every degree lower requires an additional 5% more energy to process - it all adds up!

  • Energy cost calculator: Find out how much it costs to run common household appliances and compare them against each other.

Heat your home well

You can save up to £80 per year just by turning your thermostat down by one degree. The optimum heat in your home is anywhere between 18-21ºC depending on how well insulated your home is.

Here are two videos from Energy Saving Trust showing how to use your thermostat and boiler heating system efficiently:

Energy saving lightbulbs

Conventional lightbulbs waste energy and are bad for the environment. Knowing which lightbulbs are right for your home will save money  - and the planet.

Low energy lightbulbs have a reputation of not being bright enough, but understanding the difference between watts and lumens will make a big difference for the brightness of your home.

The Energy Saving Trust says: 'Typically we're used to looking at watts to determine how bright a bulb will be - but watts are a measure of power consumption, not brightness. Low energy bulbs use fewer watts than traditional bulbs, so you cannot look at watts to gauge the brightness of a low energy bulb. Instead you have to look for a bulb’s lumen output.'

The table below shows the relationship between wattage of traditional bulbs and lumen values of (more efficient) LEDs/CFLs.

Traditional bulb LED/CFL bulb
15 watt 140 lumen
25 watt 250 lumen
40 watt 470 lumen
60 watt 800 lumen
75 watt 1,050 lumen
100 watt 1,520 lumen


Saving water

The average toilet will use around two gallons (7.5 litres) of water per flush. This is a huge improvement on the older cisterns that used around eight gallons (over 30 litres) of water per flush.

You can save more water per flush by using water displacement devices. These devices sit in your toilet cistern and can save 51 litres of water per person, per day.

To find out more about water-saving devices, which includes freebies, please visit the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle website.