Did you know that the average household bill can be reduced considerably by taking some fairly simple measures? And, did you know that this will also help the environment?
The Association has taken some or all of the measures from the following list to improve the energy efficiency of your house:
- Wall insulation
- Floor insulation
- Loft insulation
- Cavity wall insulation
- Double glazing
- Draught proofing
- Hot water tank and pipe insulation
- Thermostatic radiator valves
- Heating system
The measures which you can take to reduce your fuel bills even further can be divided into several categories.
- No cost measures
Appliances - The European Energy Label
The European Energy Label has been designed to show the energy efficiency of appliances compared with similar models. ‘A’ energy rated appliances are the most efficient and ‘G’ the least efficient. The label also shows the electricity consumption of the appliance in units (kWh) under standard test conditions.
The labels also contain additional information such as the capacity of the fridge or freezer and the wash and spin performance of washing machines.
The Energy Label must, by Law, be shown on all fridges, freezers, fridge freezers, washing machines, tumble dryers, washer dryers and dishwashers. If you can’t see the label, ask the retailer where it is.
of an appliance the ratings allow the European Union to remove the least efficient models from sale—to reduce the running costs for consumers and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. From September 3rd 1999 manufacturers have to stop manufacturing fridges, freezers and fridge freezers energy rated D or below (or F and below for chest freezers). There may be some cheaper ‘old stocks’ available at special prices but they are unlikely to work out cheaper over their lifetime. If in doubt ask the store staff to work out the different running costs for you.
How much do appliances cost to run?
Over its lifetime, the cost of running an appliance can be more that the initial purchase cost—so it’s worth buying the most efficient you can. To work out the average running cost per year multiply the kWh consumption on the label by 7p (the average cost of a unit of electricity). Laundry appliances and dishwashers give the consumption per wash, so you need to multiply that figure by 7p and then by the number of washes per year to get an annual cost. The average UK household does around 300 washes per year.
How do new appliances compare to current models?
The cost of an appliance can vary according to the brand and the product features. However the technology used in appliances has greatly improved in recent years. So much so that if your current appliances are over 10 years old upgrading to an energy efficient model could save you, for example, £45-40 per year on a fridge freezer or £15 per year on a washing machine.
Buy new if you can. A cheap second hand appliance could be false economy - it will probably cost you more in the long run!
Energy saving lightbulbs.
What is an energy saving lightbulb?
You have probably seen them in the supermarket or DIY store next to the ordinary lightbulbs. Energy saving lightbulbs use advanced ‘electronic’ technology. This enables them to produce light using a fraction of the electricity that ordinary lightbulbs use. It also means that they last longer than ordinary bulbs—up to 10 times longer. So they go on saving you money year after year.
Are there different types?
Like ordinary lightbulbs, energy saving bulbs come in standard bayonet and screw fittings so they should fit in any socket around your home. They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes so you can choose one that works well with your lampshade. Generally speaking, it doesn’t matter what size or shape bulb you use. You might find, however, that the latest energy saving bulbs, shaped the same as ordinary bulbs, are best where the bulb can be seen.. ‘Stick’ type ones work best in central positions because they radiate light in a more uniform manner. But if you have wall lights, you might prefer the effect a ‘flat’ type gives you, with more light top and bottom.
Do they come in different brightnesses?
Yes. Just like ordinary bulbs, energy efficient bulbs are available in a choice of Wattages. But because they use only a quarter of the amount of energy, their equivalents are correspondingly lower. Here are some examples of the ratings for ordinary bulbs, together with their energy saving equivalents.
Because the light is radiated in a different way compared to ordinary bulbs, you may want to consider the next higher Wattage to achieve the same illumination.
||Energy saving bulb equivalent|
Where is it best to fit energy saving lightbulbs?
Take a look around your home. Where do you have your lights on most often and for the longest period? There are the best one to replace because they will save you the most money. Also, if you have outside security lighting which is left on for several hours each night, an energy saving bulb will work out a lot more cost effective.
Is there anywhere not suitable for an energy saving lightbulb?
Yes. Although energy saving bulbs can be used in most places, they don’t work with electronic sensors, dimmers and timers, so always check your manufacturers instructions first.
What does it cost and how much can you save?
Because they use sophisticated technology, energy saving bulbs cost more than their ordinary counterparts. Generally bulbs cost up to £10 depending on the type chosen. When buying an energy saving bulb, check the packaging to see how long it will last. Compare it to an ordinary bulb which will last, on average, 1,000 hours. There are also cheaper ’economy’ bulbs available, but check the quality before you buy. And remember, because they use much less electricity and last up to 6 times longer, they will not only save you around £10 a year each on your electricity bills, but they will also save you money by not having to buy normal replacement bulbs too.
Savings £10.00 per year in electricity or £56 per bulb over a typical lifetime (inc. the cost of the bulb)
Costs recovered over 6 months.
No Cost Measures - Use Your Cooker Wisely!
- Never use a cooker to heat a room.
- When you need boiling water for cooking, a kettle is quicker and uses less energy than a saucepan on the hob.
- Only fill electric kettles with as much water as you need. But do make sure you cover the element.
- When you cook vegetables, use just enough water to cover the food and put the lid on your saucepan. Turn the heat down to simmer the water rather than keep it boiling. Less steam means less need to ventilate the room, cutting your heating costs.
- Make sure you use the right size pan for your cooking ring.
- Use pans that can divide into sections so you cook several items at once.
- Cook big batches of food at once. It is more energy efficient to use all the oven space available and to freeze food you don’t need that day.
- Take out of the oven any shelves you don’t use.
- Cut food into smaller sections before cooking. It may cook more quickly.
- Don’t keep opening the oven door when you are cooking.
If you have a modern electric cooker or oven, take advantage of their economy features. These features include:
- Use only half the grill, small oven or dual heating rings if you have them.
- A pressure cooker speeds up most cooking times.
- Make toast in the toaster, not under the grill.
- Microwaves mean you don’t always need to use the oven. Use a microwave as much as possible, not just for reheating and frozen food, but for fresh food too.
- Jacket potatoes cook more quickly and cheaply in a microwave oven or combination oven rather than in a traditional cooker.
- Microwaves can be useful when people eat at different times. They are quick, easy and economical to use.
Tips that won’t cost a thing.
- Draw curtains when it starts to go dark. This will help to keep the heat in. On sunny days, keep them open to let the sun in. Make sure they don’t hang over radiators.
- Use low temperature washes in your washing machine whenever possible. New washing machine powders produce equal cleaning potential.
- Lined curtains are best for keeping the heat in.
- Use underlay with your carpets to help keep your home warm.
- Make sure the hot water cylinder thermostat is not set too high. It doesn’t need to be any higher than 60ºC, but it shouldn’t be lower than 55ºC.
- Don’t wash your hands or dishes under running hot water. Put the plug in the sink or use a washing-up bowl.
- When you only need small amounts of water, try to heat just the amount you need where you need it.
- Showers are cheaper than baths because they use less hot water.
- Make sure you turn off taps properly.
- Spotlights can be more expensive to run than other lighting so don't leave them on too long.If you are buying new light fittings, you can save even more.
Tips & Advice
- If you are too warm, turn the thermostat down by 1ºC, this can cut up to 10% off your fuel bills.
- To cut down on wasted energy, avoid leaving appliances on standby and remember not to leave appliances on charge unnecessarily.