Small changes in the way you use energy can make a big difference to your CO2 emissions and the size of your energy bills. The simplest and most effective way is to switch to SSE Airtricity. Once you've done this, follow our simple energy efficiency tips.
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- Use pans that can divide into sections so you can cook several items at once.
- Cut food into smaller pieces as they will cook faster.
- Cook big batches of food at a time, refrigerate any leftovers and use the microwave for reheating food.
- Take any shelves you don't use out of the oven as they absorb the heat that could otherwise be used for cooking.
- Always use the right size of pot or pan for your cooking ring and have a lid on the vessel.
- Simmer instead of boiling.
- Run your washing machine full load whenever possible.
- If you can, use cold water washing powder and the cold water setting on your washing machines.
- Weather permitting, dry your clothes on the line or use a clothes drying rack. If you have to use the dryer fast spin your clothes first.
- When purchasing a new washing machine, purchase the most energy efficient type. This will save you money over the life of the appliance.
- Plan your ironing so you do the low temperature clothes first and finish with the high temperature clothes.
- Defrost your fridge or freezer regularly. Ice should never be more than a quarter of an inch (6mm) thick around the ice box. Check for gaps in door seals that could let warm air in. Upright freezers are less efficient than chest freezers.
- When buying a new fridge or freezer, check the energy label and buy the most energy efficient appliance possible. It will cost much less to run.
- Always turn the lights off when you leave the room even if it's only for a few minutes.
- Use low wattage bulbs in hallway areas
- Keep your lamps and lamp shades dust free.
- Replace incandescent lamps with energy efficient compact fluorescents and LED lighting.
- Use timers or motion sensors on outdoor security lighting so they run only when required.
- In general, for the same size screen and from the same manufacturer the most energy efficient HDTV's are LED type followed by LCD and then Plasma.
- Use a home energy monitoring device to help you monitor and manage your energy consumption. These devices can save you up to 20% on your electricity bill.
- The Energy Star rating system gives you an idea of the most energy efficient home office equipment when buying computers and laptops.
- Use Standby Reduction devices on all non essential appliances which automatically turn the appliance off at the wall when not in use. These are low cost devices that pay for themselves in nine months or less and will keep saving you money for years.
- When replacing a home appliance always check the energy efficiency rating of the appliance you're considering buying and chose an appliance with the highest rating.
Heating System Tips
- Turning your heating thermostat down by 1o C can save you 10% on your heating energy use. Room thermostats should be set between 18o and 21o C.
- Use time clocks and automated controls to ensure the heating systems are only on when needed.
- With central heating systems use zone controls where necessary and fit thermostatic radiator valves to all radiators.
- Ensure your house is well insulated with double or triple glazing, loft and external wall insulation and reduce air loss by fitting draft stripping to doors, windows and radiator pipe work entry and exit areas.
- Block unused chimneys permanently or if you enjoy the occasional fire, fit a removable chimney balloon
Energy Efficiency Tips
- Energy efficiency labels give each appliance an energy efficient rating on a scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). Before you buy a new appliance, check its rating.
- For example, if you replaced the fridge-freezer you bought in 1995 with an Energy Saving Recommended one, you could save £45 a year on the amount of electricity used.
- Showers generally use less hot water than baths.
- Use a low flow shower head. This saves both water and the energy used to heat it.
- Use radiant heat lamps to heat the bathroom area rather than fan heaters.
- Use time clocks on electric heated towel rails to reduce unnecessary running time.
- Lag your hot water pipes where you can and if your hot water cylinder is poorly insulated fit an insulating jacket.