Many of us with use the remote to switch off the TV or stereo, leaving the appliance running on standby. This actually means the appliance is still using up electricity and wastes a considerable amount of energy. By switching off at the main power button, or even the socket, you could be saving both energy and money.
Items left on standby use up to 85% of the energy they would use if fully switched on. An extra million tonnes of carbon will be released into the atmosphere through this power wastage.
Electric tumble dryers are commonly the second biggest energy user in the home, after the fridge. They are obviously used a lot less, but still use a huge amount of electricity when switched on. You can avoid using the dryer so often by line drying clothes whenever possible or using an indoor clothes dryer when the weather is bad.
If you do need to use the dryer, then ensure the clothes are as dry as possible after washing, eg, they have gone through a fast spin so that there is minimum excess water. This will reduce drying time considerably.
In most homes, about 10-15% of the electricity bill is for lighting so energy saving light bulbs can cut your costs considerably. Traditional bulbs waste a lot of energy by turning it into heat but energy saving bulbs work in the same way as fluorescent lights, the tubes coating glows brightly as an electric current passed through gas in the tube.
They may be more expensive to buy than traditional bulbs, but they are worth the investment as last over 10 times longer and use up to 4 times less energy. Where you would use a 100w ordinary bulb, you would only need a 20-25w energy saving bulb. With savings like this, changing bulbs throughout your house could really cut your electricity costs.
No matter what type of lighting you are using, always turn the lights off when you leave a room.
Solar Garden Lights , There are a number of different solar powered lights available at the moment for use in the garden. These lights are highly energy efficient and convenient as do not require external extension leads or special electric fittings. These lights contain solar cells which convert the suns energy into electricity. They charge up during the daylight and light up as it gets dark. They are not usually hugely bright but are less intrusive than electric lights and look nice in the flowerbeds.
Economical Washing and Drying
Your washing machine and tumble dryer are two of the appliances in your home that use the most energy. You may not be able to cut down how often you use them, but you can make some small changes to how you use them that will help you save energy and money.
When using the washing machine, between 85-90% of energy is used just to heat up the water. Therefore, dropping the water temperature of your wash could significantly decrease your energy consumption. Over a year, by using a warm wash rather than a hot wash, you could cut consumption nearly in half.
Other tips for conserving energy when washing are: Only use the machine when you have a full load, and if you have to do a smaller wash, use the half load function. The spin on the machine may mean that more energy is used but by spinning your clothes you are removing more excess water, therefore reducing your drying time in a tumble dryer.
Fix a Dripping Tap
A dripping tap can be not only annoying but if it is a hot tap it can cost you in both water costs and water heating costs.
If left to drip, over time a hot tap can waste enough water to fill half a bath. So don’t pour water and your heating costs down the drain, make sure you fix it.
There are a few easy ways to save energy when cooking which can also speed up the amount of time you spend over a hot stove. Always use the correct size pan, and when heating water only use the amount you need so the electricity is not burning unnecessarily to heat the excess.
If only using a small pan, then use a smaller burner. Boiling water in the kettle first will save the time the burner needs to heat the water, and putting a lid on will help it come to a boil quicker.
When making a cup of tea, only boil the amount of water that you need. Boiling a full kettle unnecessarily is a waste of electricity.
Fridge and Freezer
The location of your fridge can make a difference in how energy efficient it is. Make sure it is out of direct sunlight and not close to the oven. It is best to keep it against an outside wall so that the heat it generates can escape easily, and always make sure that there is a few inches space all around the fridge so that air can circulate.
Make sure you defrost your fridge and freezer on a regular basis or whenever necessary. An iced up freezer will make the freezer work harder, therefore wasting more energy than needed. Only set your fridge to as cold as you need it and avoid keeping the door open for long periods of time as the more cold air that escapes, the harder the fridge has to work. You should check the seal regularly as well, as if it is damaged then cold air will be escaping also.
You should never put warm or hot food into the fridge as this will make the fridge work extra hard to try and keep it cold; always allow food to cool down first.
Another good tip is to defrost frozen food in the fridge as this helps to keep it cool as it thaws.