Energy-saving tips are a hot topic right now. With household bills seemingly forever on the rise, there’s suddenly a lot of talk about the cost of energy. Whether it’s financial or environmental costs, it seems our energy use is not just burning a hole in our climate, it’s burning a hole in our pockets too.
The picture has been pretty bleak and caused a lot of anxiety, and we’ve all been asking ourselves the same question: Just how many blankets are too many? And how can I save money on my electric and gas bills?
There is good news, though – we’re not completely powerless. By simply rethinking the way we use our gas and electricity, we can reduce our energy use, make our home more energy efficient, and save money in the process. And, considering that the UK can waste up to £4.4 billion a year just by forgetting to turn household lights off, there are some big eco-friendly savings to be had by reducing our energy consumption.
To help us do that, we’ve got our hands on eight helpful energy-saving tips designed to patch up those pockets, like a nice little sewing kit. So, buckle up because we’re about to do some darn good darning.
FOUR WAYS TO SAVE ELECTRICITY AT HOME
Let’s start off by looking for ways to save money on your electricity bill. Here are four super saving tips to kick into action at home:
- – Light up with LEDs
- – Use a Smart Power Strip
- – Batch Cooking Meals
- – Optimise your Fridge Space
Light up with LEDs
If, like us, you’re coming around to the idea of wind-up torches every time you flick a light switch, swapping from bulbs to LEDs could be for you. LEDs have an average light life of over 20,000 hours which is about 833 days’ worth of bright, energy-efficient goodness. And in torch terms, that’s probably 30 years’ worth of winding saved, and more than likely, a nasty case of carpal tunnel syndrome too.
With LED bulbs, it’s possible to save over £150 every year by swapping just one lamp for an LED. That feels like a real lightbulb moment, don’t you think?
Use a Smart Power Strip
Next up on our list of how to save energy at home is the smart power strip. This device lets you choose what you want to keep on or turn off, at any given time. It’s an effortless way of prioritising what you do and don’t want to keep running.
You might be wondering, though, what use a smart power strip is when most of your appliances are either in a blissful sleep mode or on standby. Well, the answer is vampires. Sorry, we mean vampire loads. Not just vampires. We panicked and started reaching for the garlic too soon there.
Vampire loads suck, basically. They cause appliances to guzzle energy even with sleep settings switched on. It means whilst all our appliances enjoy lovely little naps, we end up forking out for the privilege. Some of the worst offenders are:
- – Games Consoles
- – WiFi Routers
- – Microwaves
- – Set Top Boxes
But listen up snoozy electrical items – nap time is over! Smart power strips detect when a device is in standby mode and cuts the power. So, with these simple bits of kit, you don’t even have to remember to turn appliances off standby.
Batch Cooking Meals
Using an electric cooker can potentially whip up a running cost of around £316.54 a year. When using the oven, make a few meals at once to get the most out of the heat you’ve created. These can always be used as an extra Tetris block in your freezer and eaten later in the week.
After you’ve finished cooking up some magic, leave the oven door open to heat your kitchen. You could always dry some tea towels nearby too. That’s a very grandma thing to do, isn’t it? We really are Modern Milkman. We promise.
Optimise your Fridge Space
We all love the fridge, don’t we? Surely, the midnight-snack machine can do no wrong, right? Well, when it comes to energy-saving tips, the fridge is a good place to start. Yes, they keep all our fruit and veggies fresher for longer, but they also eat away at a fair chunk of power. And it’s not like a smart power strip can switch the entire fridge off when we’re not using it.
Thankfully, there are a few things we can do to help our fridge work as efficiently as possible.
- – Stock up – Gaps in the fridge and the freezer mean you’re using energy to keep empty space cool. So, it’s a good idea to pack those shelves and drawers to make use of all available capacity. Fridge or freeze veggies, bread, socks, anything you can lay your hands on. Just think of it as an icy-cold, finger-freezing game of Tetris.
- – Don’t mix hot and cold – You’ve batch-cooked meals, stocked your fridge and freezer to within an inch of their lives, and you’re an energy-saving machine. But the piping hot leftovers from tonight’s tea are ready and waiting to throw a roast potato into the works. To protect all your hard-earned efforts, allow hot food to cool before storing it in the fridge. The excess heat increases the temperature, increasing your energy use and bills, so let them chill for a bit.
- – Regular cleaning – The coils on the back of a fridge help to produce all the cool air inside. Every now and then, wipe them down if they’re exposed to the air. It prevents a build-up of dust and allows them to do their job efficiently. The last thing we need is those coils coughing and spluttering.
FOUR WAYS TO SAVE GAS AT HOME
If you’re wondering how to save energy at home, gas is just as important as electricity. Here are a few ways you can save money on your gas:
- – Block Draughts
- – Look After Radiators
- – Turn Down the Thermostat
- – Take a 3-Minute Shower
A lot of hard-earned cash is spent on heating our homes, so it’s critical to stop any winter winds from getting in and any high-priced hot air from sneaking out.
By using thick curtains, rugs, draught excluders, blankets, cushions, and all things fluffy, you could save about £125 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust. And the best thing about this energy-saving tip is that it makes chilling out in front of the TV and saving money at the same time, a whole lot easier. Cushty!
Look After Radiators
If our previous energy-saving tip was fluffy, this one is not. In fact, it can be firmly filthy. Have you ever heard about bleeding radiators? We should probably rephrase that. Have you ever heard about the process of bleeding radiators? Well, it means removing unwanted air from the system and although it involves getting your hands slightly dirty, it does help your boiler system run more efficiently. It’s bleeding useful!
On a tidier note, be sure to give your radiators some breathing room. When stretched for space, it can be tempting to push furniture right up to the radiator. This not only causes the sofa to absorb the warmth, but it also blocks heat from flowing around the entire room. By moving your furniture away by a couple of inches, you could save more energy than you think.
Turn Down the Thermostat
The phrase ‘small change, big difference’ certainly applies to a thermostat adjustment. By flicking the dial down by just one degree, you could cut down your heating bills by 10%, according to the WWF. It’s just enough to save on costs without breaking out another pair of long johns.
Before we move on, it’s time for some myth-busting. Keeping the heating on low all the time isn’t the best way to save energy. Instead, make radiator thermostats your friend. This way, you can turn down the temperatures in the rooms you’re not using. This is actually better for your bills.
Take a 3-Minute Shower
Also known as the ‘navy shower’, you cut your time under the downpour to just a couple of minutes. Unfortunately for all you wannabe Adeles, Beyoncés, and Bob Dylans out there, that means only belting one hit rather than the full album.
By turning the shower off to do all your shampoo lathering and soap foaming, you can save water, save energy, and save the ears of your neighbour from yet another rendition of ‘Single Ladies.’
WHY STOP AT ENERGY WASTE?
With our easy energy-saving tips, you’re well on your way to being a waste-preventing warrior. But there’s plenty more where that came from. To find tips and tricks to save on your household bills, check out this energy-saving checklist.
And reducing waste doesn’t have to stop at energy consumption, of course. If you’re part of our milkround, you’re already helping our mission to reduce waste, but there are also ways to cut back on food waste too. Because, when it comes to protecting our planet and our freshly darned pockets, little things really can add up over time.
Did you know that at Modern Milkman, we care about sustainable packaging, reducing waste and saving energy? You can pick up plenty more tips on sustainability and find out what we do to help protect the planet on our blog.