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Simple ways to save energy at home

The amount of energy we use can have a big impact on the environment, and also on our household bills. But there are plenty of ways to make little savings that don’t impact day to day life but can help reduce our energy consumption, which is good for the planet and the pocket!

1. Conduct an energy audit

The first thing you need to do is work out what appliances and devices you have in your home, and how much energy they are using. An energy audit is a great way to do this, and we’ve got a how-to guide ready to use. Once you know what devices use the most energy, and what devices might be using energy passively, you can start to take action.

UK 3 pin plug
Unplugging things when they aren’t in use is another great way to save energy

2. Turn off things that are using energy passively

This means devices that are using energy just by sitting there, even when you’re not actually using them. This could mean leaving things like computer monitors on in standby mode, or certain devices plugged in. Switch them off at the plug or unplug them, because even if its just a little bit of energy, it all helps!

3. Turn down the temperature on your washing machine

New washing machines and new washing detergents are more efficient than ever before, so are able to clean dirt from clothes without needing high temperatures. Turn the temperature down to 30 degrees, and you’ll save all the energy that would be needed to heat the water up to a higher temperature.

Image of hand turning washing machine temperature dial to 30 degrees
Turn your washing machine down to 30 degrees and save energy

4. Try passive cooking

Passive cooking is where you use the ambient heat in an oven or hot water to cook something, rather than continuing to add heat. So for example, you could boil a pan of water, then turn the heat off and the temperature of the water would be enough to cook a poached egg. You can also use passive cooking for pasta – there are some top tips on how to do this from the pasta company Barilla.

5. Put a lid on your pans!

Lots of heat escapes while cooking in open-topped saucepans, so add a lid and keep that heat energy inside! It will help your food cook more quickly, and save energy as you go.

6. Turn your lights off

It’s so tempting, especially in the dark winter months, to leave your lights on, but you can save a lot of energy by turning them off when you leave a room.

An energy saving pledge from Year One

7. Don’t fill your kettle every time

Heating water takes a lot of energy, so if you’re only making a cup of tea then you don’t need to fill the full kettle. By only heating the amount you need to use, you’ll use much less energy.

Using your kettle less is also a great tip, and one way you can do this is to boil a full kettle then pop the water in a flask, or make up a flask of your favourite hot drink. Then you can keep topping up your cuppa without having to keep switching the kettle on.

8. Do full loads on your washing machine and dishwasher

If you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher, then make sure you pack it completely full when you run it so it’s working to maximum efficiency. Two half-loads will use twice the energy (and water!) of one full load, so it’s an easy win.

The same is true for washing machines; if you can wait and run the machine on a full load, you’ll get the most washing possible done for the energy and water used.

9. If you’ve got a microwave, switch to that for some cooking

Microwaves are really efficient for heating food up, because they ONLY heat the food up – not, say, the water or air around it, like you do with an oven or a saucepan. So for things like vegetables it’s a much quicker way of getting them pipping hot and cooked.

Or you could use a combination of the two; give them a boost in the microwave before finishing them off in a pan to add flavour. This is particularly useful for hard vegetables that can take a while to cook like potatoes and carrots.

 

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