Low cost ways to save energy and reduce your energy bill

Family eating at table

While a number of schemes and incentives exist to help households with the cost of making their homes renewable-friendly, there are a number of ways you can cut down your energy bills without spending anything at all. 

We’ve collected energy saving tips and tricks you can use around the house right now that will save you money without any cost. 

Save power and money in the kitchen

  • Vacuum your refrigerator coils 
  • Only turn on the dishwasher when it is full
  • Defrost food the natural way
  • Use cold water as much as you can

The kitchen houses a number of a household’s energy-heavy appliances. The refrigerator, oven, microwave, toaster and dishwasher are all appliances that usually stay plugged in 24/7, drawing power from the grid and adding up costs on your energy bill. 

Fridge power savers

An easy step you can take to reduce the power consumption of your refrigerator is by vacuuming the coils at the rear of the appliance. Dirt, hair and other muck can gather on the coils and restrict the ability for heat to escape, forcing your refrigerator to work harder and consume more energy. A quick clean can reduce the power consumption of the appliance and prolong the life of your fridge. 

Dishwasher power savers

Next up is the dishwasher. While an energy efficient dishwasher traditionally uses less water than hand washing, that can quickly change should you run the appliance more than necessary. By waiting until the dishwasher is full before running a wash cycle, you’ll cut down on water usage and energy consumption, keeping your device efficient. 

Heater and air con power savers

Setting out your home to ensure a good airflow can make its way through is an easy way to cool down your home during the warmer months of the year. Open your windows or doors to let the cool air work through your house when you can, reducing your reliance on your air con or fans. 

Blankets are a great way to stay warm during the colder months of the year, and you can layer them up if you’re feeling a real chill. For those days that heaters are a must, try to keep your usage as short as you can, warming up the room you’re in for just 15 or 20 minutes, then stay toasty under a good blanket. 

Curtains and blinds are another way to fight the heat in the warmer months of the year. Keeping the sun out during its most intense hours of the day will reduce the heat of your home, reducing the need for cooling devices to be switched on. Keeping the curtains and blinds drawn during midday and the early hours of the afternoon is the easiest way to reduce the warmth building in your house.

Quick checklist: saving on heating and cooling

  • Only heat and cool the rooms you’re using
  • Heat and cool on a timer
  • Lower your heating or increase your cooling by just one degree.

Keep in mind that heating and cooling are big energy expenses accounting for 20-50% of household power usage on average. By ensuring you’re only heating the necessary rooms of your home for the time that it is needed, you’ll be keeping your energy use to the minimum without sacrificing comfort. 

Timers on your appliances can ensure they’re switched off at a reasonable hour, and by decreasing/increasing your temperature a degree closer to outdoors will reduce power consumption with minimum disruption. 

Quick checklist: other general energy saving ideas

  • Clean your washing/dryer filters regularly
  • Use natural lighting where possible, turn off unnecessary lights
  • Unplug unused electronics
  • Fix water leaks
  • Consider defrosting food at room temperature
  • Hang-dry your laundry.

Simply using appliances unnecessarily will cost you money. It’s worth cutting back on microwave use, or even running hot water. For example, defrosting food at room temperature rather than using the microwave cuts down usage of that appliance, which will save energy and money over time. Similarly, keeping your taps running cold when hot water isn’t necessary cuts back the energy usage of your water heater.

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