What you can do to save energy at home and spend less on energy bills?
There are a number of solutions available for you to manage the energy efficiency of your home, save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon emissions.
Below are a few examples of low and medium-cost measures for saving energy at home and reducing your bill and carbon emissions. If you are planning to replace your boiler, renovate or insulate your home, more information can be found online or by consulting your builder.
Heating and hot water: According to Energy Saving Trust, in a typical UK household, more than half the money spent on fuel bills goes towards providing heating and hot water. To understand your heating system better, there is a wide array of information available online. Below are just a few quick tips and suggestions for you to consider:
- If you have an old boiler, perhaps you need to consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. You could save approximately £340 per year and 1,500kg of carbon monoxide if you replace with an A-rated boiler.
- Fit better controls to make sure that the heat and hot water is provided only when you want it. We also recommend installing a Smart Meter. You can find more information and full guidance regarding Smart Meters on the Gov.uk website.
- Switch to cheaper or lower carbon fuel technology. Find out more about renewable technologies for generating electricity and heat available to homeowners on Energysavingtrust.org.uk.
- If your home improvement work requires scaffolding, such as a loft conversion, this would be an ideal time to install solar panels. By installing solar panels, you can generate your own renewable electricity. As a general guide, a roof area of 10m2 to 20m2 would be enough to delivery between 20% and 45% of the typical household's electricity needs. Most solar panel installations last between 20-25 years and with the right maintenance and initial costs can typically be off-set within the first 12-18 years.
- Make any insulation and draught-proofing improvements that you can. External insulation will make cold rooms warmer and, so long as sufficient ventilation is maintained, it can help alleviate many causes of damp and mould. Solid wall insulation could save around £225 a year from the heating bills of a typical gas-fueled semi-detached home. Savings could be increased in detached properties, about £375 per year in an average gas-fueled detached house.
- Installing A++ rated double glazing in an entirely single-glazed house could save around £105 per year off heating bills.
- Turning your heating down by just 1°C can save £85-90 a year - the recommended temperature for living rooms is 21°C
Home appliances: Selecting the right home appliances could also help you to save your energy use. When purchasing a new appliance, look out for the energy rating label and consider the size of the appliance. For instance, an A-rated 180-litre fridge freezer could cost only £43 a year to run, whereas a larger 525-litre fridge freezer with a better A+ rating could cost £57 a year to run.
- Avoid leaving appliances on standby. The average UK household spends £80 a year powering appliances left on standby.
- Turn off the switch and unplug electrical goods when not in use or you are leaving home for a more extended period such as a family weekend away or a holiday. Electrical products such as broadband modems, broadband routers, smart speakers, Digi-boxes, and telephones left on for 24 hours a day gradually consume a great deal of electricity.
- Invest in a standby saver which will turn all your appliances off standby in one go.
- Lighting accounts for 15 per cent of a typical household's electricity bill. LEDs are the most efficient light bulb on the market. They are available with varying degrees of brightness, colours, and 'colour temperatures'.
- Each time you boil the kettle only put in the amount of water you need, this will save approximately £20 over a year.
Water: Saving water can reduce your water bill (if you have a water meter), reduce the impact on your local environment, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by using less energy. Water is intrinsically linked to energy, but most of us underestimate the energy water companies need to heat, treat and pump water into homes.
The advice below is low cost and can be put into practice immediately:
- Saving water can reduce your energy use and bills. Have showers (not power showers) instead of baths, and you could save about £40 throughout the year.
- A water-efficient showerhead could save a four-person household (e.g. a family of four or even a shared student flat) around £40 a year on gas for water heating, as well as a further £55 a year on water bills if using a water meter.
- Use cold water rather than hot when it makes sense
- Make sure washing machines and dishwashers are full before using them.
- Clothes can be washed just as effectively at 30°C, and you will save up to £15 a year. This will also reduce wear on your machine.
- Turn off taps while brushing your teeth or when not in use.
- Invest in rain harvesting technology if possible.
- Remember to look at water consumption – as well as energy performance – when investing in new wet appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers
For advice on how to switch to London Power energy or if you are having difficulties paying your fuel bills, please visit the Our Newham Money website or the Ofgem website.
If you are a Newham resident (private rented tenant or owner occupier) and on a low income, you may be eligible to take advantage of one of the following government heating benefit schemes:
If you are the owner of the building and looking to renovate your house and make it more energy-efficient, please make sure that you meet the minimum standards for design, construction and alterations to buildings. If you are employing a builder, please make sure that they understand and will comply with Building Regulations. You can find out more about Building Regulations on the planning portal.
You can read more about how to reduce your carbon footprint, energy bills and to calculate your carbon emission on the Carbon Footprint website.