Woman's hand turning on a light switch.
Published December 2021

Switch into energy saving mode

According to the Energy Consumption in the UK (ECUK) 2017 report, the average home with four occupants now uses 13 electronic appliances (including TVs and laptops). Compared to 1990 when just four appliances were generally used. That’s a pretty big increase.

With recent hikes in the cost of energy and the worry of higher bills, we all try to do what we can to save as much energy as possible. Sometimes you might have to spend to make a difference such as investing in double glazing or roof insulation, but there are plenty of other ways of keeping down energy consumption that don’t cost the earth. Here’s our top 5 tips:

1. Seal up draughts
A cold draught can cause your home to lose heat, which leads to turning the heating up. A simple draught excluder or draught-proofing kits can really help keep your home toasty warm. So can sealing up any cracks in floors and skirting boards and lining your letterbox. If you have an unused chimney in your home, why not think about blocking it, you could reduce your heating bills by up to £35 a year. If you don’t have double glazing, you can buy plastic lining for your windows to save energy and keep more heat in.

2. Swap to a shower
There’s nothing quite like a long soak in the bath after a hard day but swapping to taking a shower a couple of days a week could make all the difference and save £10 off your annual energy bill.

3. Turn down the heat
Set your heating to only come on in rooms where you need it, by using the controls on your radiators and try turning your thermostat down a little – just a couple of degrees can clock up savings of £80 a year!

4. Switch off when not in use
We’re all guilty of leaving a room and forgetting to turn the lights off. But switching off lights and gadgets like TV’s, at the switch could add up to a £30 saving on your energy bill over the year.

5. Kitchen cuts
We spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, washing, making hot drinks and all these activities use energy. If the weather allows, line dry your clothes rather than turning on the tumble dryer. Make sure you only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need and if you only have a few dishes why not wash them in the sink rather than turning on the dishwasher or using a running tap? If you need to use the dishwasher, make sure it’s fully loaded and use the Eco setting. Similarly switch the washing machine to wash at 30 degrees and always make sure it’s full.

By turning off the tap when you wash the dishes and waiting for a full load of laundry before putting on the washing machine you could save £30 off your annual energy bill.

Keeping an eye on your consumption levels can help you decide if and when you have to change the way you use your energy. Smart Meters help you track your consumption with accurate and real time information. Moneysupermarket.com’s guide to Smart meters tells you all you need to know.

Thinking of switching to renewable energy?
No matter how hard we try to keep our bills down, we all need energy to power our homes and keep warm. Your Co-op Energy’s Community Tariff provides homes with 100% renewable energy produced by community solar, wind and hydro generators. When you swap to a renewable energy supplier like Your Co-op Energy, not only are you supporting local community generators but you’re helping to save the planet too.

The numbers quoted in this blog come from Energy Saving Trust who did the maths in March 2019. They’re experts at what they do and have loads of useful advice on their website.