As energy prices continue to rise, the battle is on for households across the UK to find ways of lowering energy and water consumption to reduce the cost of their bills. Whether you own your home or rent, there are plenty of things you can do every day to become more energy efficient. Here are five good habits to get into…

1. Heating

Keep your thermostat to a steady temperature, say 20degC, and resist the urge to turn up the heat for short periods. Lower the temperature overnight or when you are away from home. Modern central heating systems come with a programmable thermostat which will automatically turn the thermostat down at night. By turning down your thermostat one degree, you could save up to 10 percent on your heating bill.

2. Cooking

Your kitchen consumes a lot of energy, but a few simple steps can make a big difference. Use a microwave, toaster or slow-cooker to cook small meals rather than the main oven. When cooking a larger meal, don’t keep opening the oven door as this loses heat and means the food will take longer to cook.

Your fridge or freezer runs all day, every day, so replace old appliances with new energy efficient models which will be less expensive to run. Keep your freezer stocked up as the food will retain cold temperatures, meaning a full freezer is more efficient than an empty one.

3. Cleaning

Only use the dishwasher when it is full, and load the dishwasher properly to ensure maximum efficiency. Before loading, scrape dishes rather than pre-rinsing with hot water.

Run washing machines with a full load, matching the water level to the size of the load, and only use a minimum amount of detergent. Only use hot water to wash very dirty clothes or whites, everyday wear can be cleaned using warm water.

4. LED lights

Today’s LED lights consume around £80 worth of electricity over a 20-year lifespan, while conventional bulbs use in excess of £120 over the same period, and must be replaced every 5,000 hours. LEDs require much less electricity to power than both traditional incandescent and halogen light bulbs, and even energy efficient light bulbs (CFLs).

For example, a 60W halogen light bulb can be replaced with a 9W LED — that’s an 85% saving in electricity. The LED bulb will also last for more than 20,000 hours, as opposed to 2,000 hours for the halogen – 10 times longer.

5. Bathing

Save water every time you shower, shave or clean your teeth. Have short showers lasting no longer than five minutes, as baths can use up to 15 more gallons of water. Save even more water by installing a low-flow showerhead. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, and only use a small amount of water to rinse your razor while shaving.


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