Energy Saving Tips
There are lots of ways to save energy and cut your fuel bills. Some take a bit more time but there are other actions you can take right now.
Follow these top tips to help you reduce your fuel spend.
While we’re not billed directly for water use in Scotland, we pay to heat it. Around a fifth (21%) of the average household’s energy use is on heating water.
- Whether in the kitchen or bathroom, use water wisely. Filling up the kettle with only the water required (£8 a year); taking one cycle off of your weekly laundry routine (£8); and using a basin instead of a running tap to wash dishes (£25) all adds up to decent savings.
- A minute less in the shower every day could take £20 off your annual bill for every person in your household, as well as saving 4,000 litres of water. You may be able to use a water efficient shower head too, which can help you use (and heat) less water. Showers do, generally, use much less water than baths.
- You can save on laundry day, too. Wash clothes at 30 degrees rather than 40 degrees, and only when you have a full load to get the most from each wash. Switching to a 30-degree wash can save you £10 a year, and 12kg of carbon.
Heating your home efficiently is a big win as far as fuel saving goes, as more than half of a household’s spend goes towards providing heating and hot water.
- You could save around £75 through the effective use of heating controls, such as a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs). And turning down the thermostat by just one degree can cut around £60 off your annual bill.
- Keep your boiler regularly serviced to make sure it’s as efficient as possible.
- Close your curtains and blinds at dusk to keep the heat in.
Ideally, you’ll only heat what you need and when you need it. If you’re struggling to do so, give a local energy advisor a call on freephone 0808 129 0888.
Older homes may suffer from draughts: heating lost through gaps in windows, doors, floors or even the chimney.
- You’ll find plenty of low-cost draught-proofing options at your local DIY store, and having it done professionally will cost around £200. However, it can cut fuel bills by around £25 a year, as well as helping regulate temperatures in your home.
- Whether it’s ceiling lights or lamps – switch them off when they’re not in use. This can be particularly helpful in winter when you’re likely to have more lights on, for longer, while spending more on fuel as it is, through heating. It’s easy to forget to switch lights off but it’s also easy to get in the habit, and it’ll save you around £15 on your bills, annually.
- Energy-efficient lighting sometimes gets a bad rap, accused of slow light up times and lack of sizes. However, LEDs lead the way in efficiency. They are available for nearly every light fitting and reach full brightness as soon as you flick the switch.
- From an upfront cost of £100 for an average household to change all bulbs to LEDs, they would save around £35 a year on bills, and 40kg of carbon. Given the average lifespan of an LED bulb is 50,000 hours, so you can save for years to come.
- Many appliances prefer to stand by rather than switch off. Before you shut down for the night, make a habit of flicking those switches around the home to power down completely. It could save you around £40 a year and 50kg of carbon.
- This includes power supplies to devices that are already charged. If your phone, tablet or laptop is fully charged, switch the charger off. This saves energy, money, and additional wear and tear to your device – the heat caused by unnecessary charging can gradually damage battery life.
- If you’re replacing appliances, buy the most energy-efficient option you can afford.
- Using a dishwasher? Use it only when full, using the eco function.
More quick tips
Some short and simple ideas to save money and energy in the home and when you’re out and about, as well as some advice about how you can reduce waste.
- Line drying your clothes in summer instead of using a tumble dryer can save you £40 per year, and 50kg of carbon.
- Water tanks and pipes lose heat quickly, so insulating them will keep them hotter for longer, saving you money and reducing the energy you use.
- An inexpensive way to direct the heat back into your home is to invest in reflective radiator panels.
- Avoid drying clothes directly on your radiators as it lowers the room temperature, which means the boiler will need to work harder.
- Understand your energy bill. The information on a typical energy bill can be confusing, but understanding it can go a long way to helping you get to grips with your energy use at home. This video from Home Energy Scotland is a helpful guide.
- Improve your health and happiness – walking regularly can reduce the risk of heart disease by 35%, while active travel helps manage stress and weight.
- E-bikes and e-cargo bikes are ideal for anyone who might find cycling physically challenging – e-bikes are 22% less physically demanding than regular bikes, but still allows the rider to be active.
- Cycling builds muscle and is linked to improved heart and lung capacity.
- Inflate your car tyres – this lowers resistance on the road and saves on fuel.
- Check your cupboards for food to avoid over buying.
- Put lids on pots and pans to reduce cooking times.
- Keep a keen eye on your food’s date labels to avoid wasting food.
- Make better use of your freezer – a full freezer is more efficient to run than an empty one.
- Know what you can and cannot freeze.
- Make a meal plan – and stick to it!
- Cut down your plastic waste and use reusable straws, and reusable bottles.
- Learn the rules of recycling.
- Repurpose jars and containers.