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How to Make My Home Energy-Efficient on a Budget 

Keeping your home warm and cosy shouldn't force you to break the bank. This detailed guide provides practical tips that are tried and tested to save money on energy bills

How to Reduce Your Gas Bill and lower usage at home 

Adjusting Your Combi Boiler: Most combi boilers have their hot water temperature set too high by default. Reduce the flow temperature to 70°C and the return temperature to 50°C. This allows the boiler to operate efficiently and recover wasted heat. Remember, never set the hot water temperature below 60°C to prevent bacteria growth. 

Non-Combi Boilers: If you have a traditional boiler with a hot water cylinder, consider installing separate temperature controls for heating and hot water. This allows a lower, more efficient heating temperature. 

Utilise Heating Timers: Set your heating to come on 30 minutes before you need it and turn it off 30 minutes early. Residual heat will keep you comfortable for a while longer. 

Optimise Radiator Usage: Sounds simple but is very effective at saving money, only heat rooms you're using. Turn off radiators in unused rooms and shut doors to prevent heat loss. Bleed your radiators regularly to remove trapped air that hinders heating efficiency. Occasionally cleaning your radiators can also allow for optimal heat transfer. Consider placing reflective material behind radiators to direct heat into the room, maximising its heat output. 

How to Reduce Your Water Bills

Install a Water Meter: A water meter ensures you only pay for the water you use. Contact your water supplier for installation, even if you rent (with a tenancy exceeding 6 months). 

Shorter Showers, Fewer Baths: Opt for 4-minute showers or shorter instead of baths to save money on energy used for hot water heating. 

Eliminate Water Waste: Turn off taps when not in use, such as while brushing teeth or washing dishes. A dripping tap wastes litres of water a day so look out for them around the house. 

Smart choices for Your Home's Electricity use

Embrace Electric Blankets: Individual heating with an electric blanket is far cheaper than heating a whole room. It's perfect for those who feel the cold easily or have limited mobility. 

Switch to Energy-Efficient Bulbs: Replace traditional bulbs with LED alternatives. They use less energy and last longer, saving you money in the long run. 

Turn Off Unnecessary Lights: It's a simple yet effective way to save. Only use lights in rooms you're occupying. 

Minimise Oven Peeking: Resist the urge to open the oven door while cooking. The heat loss requires extra energy to reach the desired temperature again. Ensure a good oven door seal to prevent heat from escaping, maintaining cooking efficiency. 

Consider Off-Peak Appliance Usage: Run appliances like dishwashers at night when electricity is often generated from renewable sources and cheaper. Opt for an off-peak electricity tariff if available. 

Run Full Dishwashers: Operate your dishwasher only when it's full to save energy and reduce the number of wash cycles needed. 
person sealing their window to stop a draught

Insulating Your Home for Savings 

DIY Draught-Proofing: Thorough draught-proofing can save you significantly. Seal gaps around doors, windows, loft hatches, floorboards, skirting boards, and other potential entry points for cold air. This can be done with inexpensive materials, saving you money on professional services. 
man checking his smart thermostat

Going Beyond the Basics for Home Energy Efficiency

While the tips above are a great starting point, consider these additional strategies for maximising your home's energy efficiency: 

Invest in Smart Heating Controls: Smart thermostats allow for more precise temperature control and scheduling, reducing energy waste. 

Upgrade Appliances: As your appliances reach the end of their lifespan, consider replacing them with energy-efficient models. Look for the Energy Star label when making purchases. 

Seal Drafty Windows: If DIY draught-proofing isn't enough, consider installing secondary glazing or replacing windows with energy-efficient models. 

Insulate Your Loft: A properly insulated loft can significantly reduce heat loss. Ensure you have the recommended depth of insulation for your loft space. 

Cavity Wall Insulation: For cavity wall properties, injecting them with insulation can be a worthwhile investment, especially in detached homes. 

Adopting a Sustainable Lifestyle can lower Energy Bills

Energy efficiency isn't just about your home's systems; it's also about everyday habits:

Layer Up

Wear warm clothes and slippers indoors to feel comfortable at a slightly lower thermostat setting. 

Utilise Natural Light

Open curtains during the day to maximise natural light and heat gain. 

Air Dry Laundry

Skip the tumble dryer and air-dry clothes whenever possible. This saves energy and reduces wear and tear on your clothes. 

Cook Efficiently

Use the right size pot for your burner and cover cookware while cooking. This helps food cook faster and reduces energy waste. Utilise leftover heat by turning off the hob a few minutes before your food is finished cooking.

Defrost Wisely

Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator overnight instead of using the microwave's defrost setting, which consumes energy.

Embrace Leftovers

Plan meals with leftovers in mind. This reduces food waste and the energy needed to cook multiple meals throughout the week. 

Full Loads when Washing

Wash full loads of laundry and dishes whenever possible to maximise efficiency and minimise the number of cycles needed.

Efficiency goes hand-in-hand with Renewable Energy 

Fossil fuels burn coal, oil, or natural gas to create heat, which turns turbines to generate electricity. This process loses a significant amount of energy as heat escapes into the environment. Renewable sources like solar, wind, and hydro capture energy directly from the sun, wind, or moving water, with minimal energy wasted during conversion. 

At Your Co-op Energy, we believe in this smarter approach to energy. We champion 100% renewable electricity sources like wind, solar, and hydropower so customers can enjoy low-carbon energy.
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