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How to save on electricity: 10 simple tips

Other than mortgages and rent payments, one of the biggest annual costs to homeowners and renters is energy.

Indeed, the average UK family spends £1,249 every year on heating and power, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

That's a fair figure for anyone and when you feel the pinch, it can pay to know how and where you can make savings on your energy bills.


1. Turn off devices on standby

OK, so getting up to turn off the TV when you can simply press the standby button on the remote is a big ask in this technologically-reliant world we live in.

But if we revealed it's possible to save up to £50 a year simply by switching electronics off at the mains, would that help?

Indeed, if your household is really gadget-heavy then that saving could get closer to £80, according to the Energy Saving trust.


2. Purchase new appliances

While buying new electrical equipment is an initial outlay, the savings in energy costs (and benefit to the environment) are huge.

For instance, a new A+ efficiency oven can use around 40% less energy than an older B-rated model.

Modern dishwashers, meanwhile, can save around £8 per year compared with older models and A+++ fridge freezers £190 over 10 years compared with an older A+ version.


3. Wash your clothes at a lower temperature

A 10-degree change in temperature on each washing load won't make a massive difference to the cleanliness of your clothes, but it can to the weight of your wallet.

It's estimated that washing at 30 degrees rather than 40 can save an average household £52 per year.


4. Turn your fridge up a degree...

When it comes to saving energy, a degree or two really does make a huge difference - but won't affect you or, in the case of a fridge, your food at all.

If your fridge is like the Antarctic in winter then it's using far more energy than it needs to keep your food cool.

Turn it up a degree or two and when you defrost frozen food, do so in the fridge-– that way the frozen food keeps the fridge cooler, meaning your electricity doesn't need to.


5. ...and keep it full

That will be music to the ears for members of the family who love their food!

But having a full fridge can also save you money on your electric bills.

That's because the cold items inside help to moderate the temperature - an empty fridge is staying cool simply from power alone.


6. Use LED lighting

There's plenty of benefits from LED lighting, including their money-saving credentials.

They also last longer than traditional light bulbs, look better and provide cleaner, more natural looking light.


7. Cooking? Open a window

'But I have an extractor fan'...

Yes, but that uses a huge amount of power over the course of a year.

Opening a window does exactly the same thing as an extractor, but uses no electricity.


8. Service your appliances

Keeping your main appliances, like ovens and fridge freezers, running in tip-top condition can mean a big saving over the long-term.

Even cleaning the coils at the back of your fridge freezer can vastly improve its efficiency and costs nothing to do beyond a little elbow grease.


9. Consider green energy

While installing solar panels on your property can be a big initial outlay and take a few years to break even on, over the long term you could be looking at a major saving, not to mention doing your bit for the environment.


10. Don't boil the kettle full!

If your kettle has a water limit of eight cups, there's no need to boil that amount unless you are making tea for eight people.

Fill the kettle so there's just enough to cover the number of cups you're making. A full kettle takes much longer to boil and so uses more energy.

It's a simple tip, but if you drink a lot of tea or coffee, it could mean a big saving over the long term.


Other ways to save energy

As well as electricity, heating from gas can cost a huge amount of money for the average household over a year.

But, again, there are ways to make big savings. Consider the following:

* Turn your thermostat down by a degree or two
* Install a Smart Thermostat
* Install a new A-rated boiler
* Use less water for washing up, showers and baths
* Fit double glazing
* Improve your property's roof insulation
* Monitor your energy usage


How to save energy in summer

Even on an at best 'mild' summer day (most summer days in the UK!), don't be tempted to give the heating a blast.

Open the curtains and blinds and let the sun do the work. You'll be amazed how quickly your room warms up even if it's far from blistering outside.

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