Big sav­ings from small changes

Rutherglen Reformer - - Info.. Info.. Info.. -

You can save around £30 a year just by re­mem­ber­ing to turn your ap­pli­ances off standby mode.

You can save around £50 a year just by us­ing your kitchen ap­pli­ances more care­fully:

Use a bowl to wash up rather than a run­ning tap and save £30 a year in en­ergy bills

Only fill the ket­tle with the amount of wa­ter that you need and save around £7 a year

Cut back your wash­ing machine use by just one cy­cle per week and save £5 a year on en­ergy, and a fur­ther £8 a year on metered wa­ter bills

Switch to LEDs - You can now get LED spot­lights that are bright enough to re­place halo­gens, as well as reg­u­lar en­ergy sav­ing bulbs (‘com­pact flu­o­res­cent lamps’ or CFLs). \

They come in a va­ri­ety of shapes, sizes and fit­tings. If the av­er­age house­hold re­placed all of their re­main­ing old-fash­ioned bulbs with CFLs, and all of their halo­gens with LEDs, it would cost about £100 and save about £35 a year on bills.

Turn your lights off when you’re not us­ing them. If you switch a light off for just a few sec­onds, you will save more en­ergy than it takes for the light to start up again, re­gard­less of the type of light. This will save you around £15 on your an­nual en­ergy bills. Draught proof­ing - Un­less your home is very new, you will lose some heat through draughts around doors and win­dows, gaps around the floor, or through the chim­ney.

DIY draught-proof­ing of win­dows, doors and block­ing cracks in floors and skirt­ing boards can cost around £200, but can save up to £25 to £35 a year on en­ergy bills.

Draught-free homes are com­fort­able at lower tem­per­a­tures – so you’ll be able to turn down your ther­mo­stat. This could save you an­other 10 per cent off your heat­ing bill.

Take con­trol of your heat­ing - More than half the money spent on fuel bills goes to­wards pro­vid­ing heat­ing and hot wa­ter.

Hav­ing a room ther­mo­stat, pro­gram­mer and ther­mo­static ra­di­a­tor valves in­stalled could save you be­tween £80 and £165 a year.

Even turn­ing down your room ther­mo­stat by just one de­gree can save be­tween £85 and £90 a year. Don’t block the heat – Hang­ing wash­ing over ra­di­a­tors to dry means you’ll block the heat that should be warm­ing up your home.

In­stead, hang your clothes on a clothes horse and po­si­tion it near the ra­di­a­tor. Also, take care not to put bulky fur­ni­ture like so­fas and chairs too close to a ra­di­a­tor or they will ab­sorb the heat and re­duce ef­fi­ciency.

You could also hang re­flec­tive foil be­hind ra­di­a­tors to stop heat es­cap­ing through the wall. Each house­hold in the UK uses on av­er­age around 360 litres of wa­ter ev­ery day.

But about 21 per cent of a typ­i­cal gas heated house­hold’s heat­ing bill is from heat­ing the wa­ter for show­ers, baths and hot wa­ter from the tap. This is on av­er­age about £140 a year. If ev­ery­body in a fam­ily of four re­places one bath a week with a five-minute shower, you can save up to £20 a year on gas bills and up to £25 on wa­ter bills (if you have a wa­ter me­ter).

If a fam­ily of four re­place their in­ef­fi­cient shower head with a wa­ter­ef­fi­cient one they could save around £65 off their gas bills and around £100 off their wa­ter bills (if they have a wa­ter me­ter) each year. That’s a to­tal sav­ing of around £165.

A run­ning tap wastes more than six litres of wa­ter a minute, so turn off the tap while brush­ing your teeth, shav­ing, or wash­ing your face. Use cold wa­ter if you don’t need hot.

A drip­ping tap can waste more than 5,500 litres of wa­ter a year, so make sure your taps are prop­erly turned off and change wash­ers promptly when taps start to drip.

Make sure that dish­wash­ers and wash­ing ma­chines are full be­fore you use them, and al­ways use the most ef­fi­cient wa­ter and en­ergy set­tings.

Us­ing a sink of wa­ter to wash up twice a day rather than hav­ing the hot tap run­ning could save money on your gas bill and about £30 on your wa­ter bill (if you have a wa­ter me­ter).

If you need to rinse uten­sils or wash veg­eta­bles, use cold wa­ter if pos­si­ble and don’t leave the tap run­ning.

In­su­late your hot wa­ter cylin­der – a well fit­ted tank jacket could save you around £25 to £35 a year, more if you heat your wa­ter elec­tri­cally. In­su­lat­ing the hot wa­ter pipes will save you and can help taps to run hot more quickly.

Spend­ing one minute less in the shower each day will save around £10 off your en­ergy bills each year, per per­son. With a wa­ter me­ter this could save a fur­ther £10 off an­nual wa­ter and sew­er­age bills. If ev­ery­one in a four per­son fam­ily did this it would lead to a to­tal sav­ing of £80 a year. Ofgem (the reg­u­la­tor) has pub­lished new in­for­ma­tion which shows how much cus­tomers could save by switch­ing. Sav­ings are based on us­ing av­er­age amounts of elec­tric­ity and gas and are given for both chang­ing tar­iff with the same sup­plier, or switch­ing to the best tar­iff in the mar­ket, where sav­ings quoted range from £134 to £252 (https://www. ofgem.gov.uk/con­sumers/house­holdgas-and-elec­tric­ity-guide/un­der­standy­our-gas-and-elec­tric­ity-bills/ en­ergy-plans-what-stan­dard-vari­abler­ate-tar­iff-and-how-does-it-com­pare). A large num­ber of homes are on stan­dard vari­able tar­iffs, which are typ­i­cally more ex­pen­sive than fixed deals. Speak to your sup­plier to see if there is a cheaper tar­iff.

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