Top 30 energy saving tips from the electric heating experts
Many people become concerned at the rising energy costs in the lead up to and during the winter season. As the days become colder and the nights darker, they often wonder…
Can I reduce my costs?
How do I save energy?
There are many different ways to do both. Some are easy wins and others require a little more preparation. Here we round up the 30 most important energy saving tips you´ll need this winter.
Energy saving quick wins:
- Send regular meter readings to your supplier. They´ll use the up to date information to predict bills that are more accurate in the future. Thus avoiding an overestimation and saving you money in the short term.
- Shut your windows in winter. It´s an obvious one but if your heating´s on and the window is open then you´re wasting energy and money to let warm air escape and cold air in. The Rointe OPEN WINDOWS function will detect when the temperature drops 4ºC from the set temperature within a 30 minute time period. This will then activate the ANTI-FROST mode at 7ºC, avoiding energy being spent heating a room with the window open.
- Lower the heating product temperature by 1ºC. You might be used to higher room temperatures in your home but around 21ºC is the norm. For every degree that you turn your heating down, you could save around £75 a year on your heating bill1!
- Learn how to layer – layering your clothes means you trap warm air between the layers, keeping you cosy on a chilly day. Try layering a t-shirt under a sweater or adding a knitted scarf to your outfit and turn down the heating.
- Try washing your clothes at 30-40 º C. You´ll save energy as your system won´t have to work as hard to heat the water. Most bio detergents work better at a lower temperature anyway so a great energy saving tip!
- Set your fridge/freezer to a higher temperature so it doesn´t need to work as hard. If you need to defrost food, always do it in the fridge because then the frozen food will keep the fridge cooler.
- Set the temperature of your hot water tank to the right temperature. There´s no point switching it to maximum only to add cold water in the bath or at the tap to make it comfortable for use. The Rointe Water Heating progress function allows you to see the progress of the heating process towards the user established target temperature. This gives you more control over your energy expenditure and can help with energy saving.
- Only boil as much water as you need for your cup of coffee. A simple energy saving tip to help reduce energy consumption on a daily basis.
- Preparation is key – perhaps cook a few meals at once whilst the oven is on. By batch baking, you will save on energy used to heat up the oven to temperature. You could also leave your oven door open after cooking to help warm your kitchen.
- Fill your freezer up – it uses less energy since the frozen food will not warm up when the door is opened. If your freezer is empty, then all the space will fill up with warm air when the door is open. Your freezer then needs to work harder to cool down when the door closes again.
- Choose the right ring – ensure you select the right size pan for your oven hob and put a lid on. Heating a small pan on a large ring will waste energy and a lid will reduce cooking times.
- Air-dry your laundry rather than use the tumble dryer. A windy day will ensure dry, fresh and non-wrinkled clothes and energy saved from not using the tumble dryer. You might even be able to save on the ironing too!
- Unplug all appliances not in use. You could save up to £30 per year2 by switching off appliances completely rather than using the stand-by mode.
- Turn off the lights – many of us forget to turn lights off but it is definitely worth it to help with energy saving. You could also relax by candlelight* for one evening per week and enjoy a romantic meal.
- Avoid blocking radiators with furniture. Leaving the radiators free of furniture means that warm convection currents can flow around the room freely.
- Did you know that 49% of us overcharge our gadgets? Unplug your device after fully charged to avoid energy waste. Overcharging certain devices can actually lower the battery performance.
- Fix dripping taps. Don´t lose your precious heated water to a leaky tap.
- Close your curtains or blinds when it begins to get dark to trap the heat inside and keep your home warm. Likewise, ensure they are open throughout the day to make use of the light rather than using your lightbulbs.
- Take short showers rather than filling up the bath and try not to turn the shower on for long before you go in to reduce hot water wastage.
- Be kind to each other – winter is a difficult time and some people are more vulnerable than others are to the cold. Check on elderly neighbours or relatives to make sure they are safe, well and warm. If you have any concerns contact a family member, the local council or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 009966. You can also find advice on the Cold Weather Plan for England online here.
Long-term energy saving tips:
- Switch to energy saving light bulbs such as LED versions. They can last up to 15 times longer and use up to 90% less energy than traditional halogen lighting. LED light bulbs come in many shapes and sizes but are slightly more expensive. Start by switching one room at a time and you´ll slowly begin to see the energy savings.
- Install smart energy monitors and controls. With smart controls such as programmable thermostats, Wi-Fi apps (such as the free Rointe Connect app) and thermostatic radiator valves, you could turn the radiators on or off at home whilst commuting or switch off the heating to an empty room. Being able to control each heating product in your home puts you in charge and means you could potentially save money in the end by managing your energy consumption more effectively.
- Use solar panels and you could money on your electricity. Using solar energy is not only green but also efficient as they can still generate electricity on a cloudy day. Your home could qualify for free solar panels from energy companies and what´s more the UK government has a feed-in tariff scheme. This means you can apply to get payments from your energy supplier if you generate your own electricity.
- Ask your current provider about the tariffs available and if you qualify. They should do a cost calculation for you and let you know if you´re eligible to move to a different tariff. Be careful, some providers have a length of time clause on any new tariff you sign up for, or early ending fees. Even if you´re happy with your current energy provider, there´s no harm in using one of the many switch comparison sites like uswitch.com or comparethemarket.com to see what else is out there. Many offer cashback deals or freebies if you switch to a different supplier and could provide better energy savings than your current tariff.
- Economy 7 or Economy 10 – These are types of economy rate meters and are an “off-peak” tariff. Economy 7 or Economy 10 will work best for those that use most of their electricity (at least 40%) during the “off-peak” hours, usually at night set by the provider. If you´re savvy with your electricity usage and can manage to use it within the off peak hours only, you will save a considerable amount of money. However, it can become more expensive if you don´t fully understand the criteria, especially the daytime rates that are much more expensive. It´s worth reading this article here to see if Economy 7/10 would be right for you.
- Unless your home is quite new, draughts can increase the cost of your heating. You will lose heat through chimneys, doors, windows and gaps around the floor. Choose to draught proof your home either through a professional, which can be quite expensive, or DIY. You can purchase draught excluders to fit around your door or secondary glazing film for your window from most good DIY shops and many are easy to install. Don´t forget to draught proof your letterbox too, it´s amazing how chilly the hallway can become from a draughty letterbox!
- Don´t position the thermostat by the door or directly above a heat source i.e. radiators. This would give a false reading. When installing any thermostat or controls, ensure they are in a convenient location for you to access but not by a heat source, external door or draughty areas. False readings could increase your energy consumption if they are next to a particularly cold zone such as your front door as the cold draught will mean your heating is continuously on to try heat the room.
- Double or triple glazing – if your home doesn´t have double or triple glazing you might want to consider it. Even though it is expensive to install, it will improve the thermal comfort of your home, increase your energy savings a little bit each year and could act as a sound-proofing effect.
- Insulation – Did you know that a quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home3 and a third is lost from the walls4? Your home should be insulated to the standards set by Building Regulations in England and Wales, and Building Standards in Scotland. Visit the Energy Saving Trust here to find out how you can get grants and help to insulate your home, especially if you have cavity walls or inadequate loft insulation. The UK Government also has household energy schemes available to help with your energy bills. Check here to see if you are eligible for government-backed energy grants to help insulate your home.
- You can check your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your home, which will tell you the assessed energy performance and provides recommendations to help improve your homes overall energy performance. An EPC is required for all properties when constructed, sold or let so keep this in mind if you´re building your own home, buying or even if you´re a landlord.
Don´t feel overwhelmed with the urge to save energy all at once. Start by choosing a few of the energy saving tips above, try them for one week and see how you get on. Keep them up and over the next few weeks choose more energy saving tips to try and gradually you´ll maximize your energy saving and potentially decrease your energy costs**.
*Please be careful and responsible when using candles or open flames to avoid fire hazards. ** Rointe cannot guarantee a decrease in energy cost or increase in energy saving. The information contained within this article is for guidance purposes only and Rointe will not be held responsible for any outcome because of this article. IMPORTANT – Rointe is not responsible for the content on external websites.