No-cost energy saving tips

Here are some tips for things you can do right now to cut your energy costs.

  • Leave your curtains open in the day to let the sunlight coming through your windows heat your home. Close your curtains at dusk to stop the heat that has built up escaping. Blinds do not stop heat escaping.
  • Make sure all appliances are switched off when you go to bed or leave your home.
  • If your central heating system is timed to come on only when you are in the house and off when you leave, switch the heating off 30 minutes before you leave the house. The radiators will still stay warm until you leave.
  • Use energy saving lightbulbs – they use 80% less energy, so each one can save you around £10 a year. 
  • Fit radiator panels behind radiators that are on outside facing walls so that warmth is reflected back into the room instead of being absorbed by the walls – they are cheap and you can fit them yourself.
  • Turning down your room thermostat by just one degree, when you’re not too cold inside, can save around £75.
  • Already turned it down? Save even more by closing the doors to unused rooms, and moving any furniture in front of your radiators to let the heat escape.

Saving electricity

  • When replacing your bulbs, buy energy-saving ones; in the long-run, these can save you 20% compared to the cost of traditional bulbs.
  • Put a full load on for your washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher. It uses less energy than 2 half loads.
  • Set your washing machine to 30 °C to wash clothes.

Check out your gadgets

  • Get free water-saving gadgets: water companies across the country are giving away shower heads which help regulate water usage, timers and inserts for your taps – all for free! See Save Water, Save Money to see what your provider offers.
  • Turn off your appliances. If it is on standby, it is still using electricity. Switching off appliances rather than putting them on standby can help cut up to £80 a year on your electricity bill.

Reduce the amount of water you are using – in the kitchen

  • Washing using a bowl rather than under a running tap could save £30 a year.
  • Drippings taps waste energy, so if you have one, report a repair immediately.
  • Only boil as much water in your kettle as you need.
  • Keep a jug of water in the fridge rather than re-using the tap every time you need a drink.

Reduce the amount of water you are using – in the bathroom

  • If possible, take a shower not a bath – it uses roughly half the amount of water!
  • Do not leave the tap running when having a wash or brushing your teeth. A running tap can use up to 9 litres of water a minute.

See if you qualify for government schemes to help save you money

  • Green Doctors - Provided by Homes4Health, Green Doctors provide  free home energy visits and other services for people over 65, on a low income, or where someone living in the home has a long term health condition or disability.
  • WaterSure Scheme – this scheme caps water bills for people who are receiving benefits.
  • Cold Weather payment – you may get this if you are getting certain benefits and the local temperature is forecasted below zero degrees for 7 consecutive days.
  • Warm Home Discount Scheme - this could get you a £140 discount on your electricity bill.
  • Winter Fuel Payment – if you were born on or before 5 July 1952, you could get between £100 and £300 tax-free to help pay your heating bills.

Tweet @octavia_housing and share your best energy tip using the hashtag