#TuesdayTips – take control of your home’s energy usage

Posted 27 October 2015 by Keith Osborne

While new homes are very energy-efficient, old ones aren't. How can you save money by tweaking your energy habits?

This week is Big Energy Saving Week, a national campaign to get homeowners to look at the way they use their homes and consider how they can bring down their energy usage and therefore save money on their utility bills.

Energy bills are one of the biggest considerations for homeowners and escalating costs of gas, electricity and water can drain your finances. Older homes are especially prone to leaking energy through old appliances, badly insulated lofts and ill-fitting windows. The efficiency of new build homes in retaining heat and using minimal resources to run their appliances are a major plus for those looking for a new property.

Here, the Redrow Homes team looks at six ways that you can start to control the energy usage in your home this winter...

Understand your bill

For many of us, the information on a typical energy bill can be baffling. Not only is it difficult to understand how you are currently using energy, it’s also hard to compare those figures to those of alternative providers. Understanding the numbers can go a long way to helping you get to grips with your energy use. A brilliant, helpful guide on the Citizens Advice website might help you.

Switch off ‘standby’

Energy efficient homesYou could save around £30 a year just by turning your appliances off, rather than leaving them in standby mode. Almost all electrical and electronic appliances can be turned off at the socket switch without upsetting their settings and programming. You can even buy a ‘standby saver’ which allows you to turn all your appliances off standby in one go.

Kitchen confidential

You could save around £50 annually by using your kitchen appliances more carefully. For example, using a bowl to wash up rather than a constantly running tap might save as much as £30 a year; filling the kettle with the amount of water that you need (rather than automatically to the max) can save around £7 a year; one less washing machine cycle per week could save £5 on energy and £8 on metered water bills every year.

Spend less time in the shower

Spending just 60 fewer seconds in the shower every day will save £10 off your energy bills each year, per person. Furthermore, that’s another £15 off metered water bills too.

Some like it warm

More than half your total fuel bills goes towards providing heating and hot water. Using a room thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator valves could provide a massive saving of between £80 and £165 a year. Turning down your room thermostat by just one degree can save you up to £90 a year.

Turn off the lights

It can’t get any simpler - 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 you use. This small change in behaviour will save you around £15 on your annual energy bills.

Look out for our tips for this winter’s interiors trends next Tuesday on Whathouse.com


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