Saving energy: Let’s do some good together.
Get help reducing your energy use.
Many of our customers are facing high bills. This can be a worrying time and, whilst we know that customers are already doing what they can to reduce their energy, we wanted to give a helping hand and remind you on how much you can save with some helpful energy saving tips.
Switching to smart.
The UK Government is aiming for all UK households to be offered a smart meter by 2025, this is an effort to tackle climate change and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) being emitted as a nation.
However, switching to smart not only helps with reducing carbon dioxide, it also allows you to keep track of your gas and electricity use. It gives you the information you need to take the small steps that can have a big impact on the environment and your home.
You'll be able to monitor the impacts of these changes. All of this is done through your in-home display.
Smart Energy GB have calculated that if everyone in Britain changed to a smart meter the savings could be as much as £560 million.Get a smart meter
How you can track your usage.
Your smart meter will use GPRS technology (like your mobile) to send your energy use to your in-home display as well as to let us know how much you’ve been using. It means that we can get your meter readings without you having to go under the stairs to find them.
Smart meters work on all kinds of meters including “Smart Pay As You Go” which combines the flexibility of a pre-pay tariff with the convenience of a smart meter. You’ll get an in-home display which you can use to view, top up and manage your energy usage in the comfort of your own home.Learn more about Smart PAYG
Help with heating.
If you've turned up the heat but your home doesn't feel any hotter (and we know you've checked the windows are shut), here are our top tips for seeing how you could warm things up:
First up – bleeding radiators.
Bleeding a radiator is a common cure for when your heat is on but some rooms aren’t getting warm. If your radiator feels cold at the top but warm at the bottom, it’s a sign that there’s some air trapped inside which can stop it working as well as it should.
It’s easy to fix, you just need a radiator key. They’re not expensive and easily found at DIY shops or on the internet – if your radiator valve has a slot in it, you could even use a flat head screwdriver.
Turn the heating off and let the radiators cool down before you start, and have a cloth ready to catch any drips. Pop the key (or screwdriver) into the valve at the top of your radiator and turn it slowly anti-clockwise and it’ll start to hiss as the air escapes. Turn it clockwise to close the valve when the hissing has stopped and water starts coming out (this is when you’ll remember if you forgot the cloth). You can find more information here.
Do the same to any other radiators which were hot and cold before turning the heat back on. Check them all again and start over if you still have some that don’t feel quite right.
Leave space around your radiator.
We’ve all done it. Pushed the sofa right up to the radiator to make more space in the room or closed the curtains over the radiator. This stops the radiator from doing its best for you, so by leaving as much space as you can around them, the heat can circulate better and instead of a warm sofa back, you’re more likely to have a warm room, which is better all round.
Another thing. Drying your clothes on the radiator isn’t recommended either, as tempting as it might be. Give your radiator space to be ace.
Block your draughts.
We do suggest you look at stopping the chills coming through your house which can soon bring the temperature down.
Draughts from windows, letter boxes, doors and loft-hatches can all let heat escape, meaning your boiler has to work harder for longer to heat your home just the way you like it.
To help with this you can check out draught excluders to stop the gaps and letterbox brushes to help keep the cold out.
Whilst professional draught-proofing of windows, doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can cost around £225, but could save around £45 a year on energy bills. DIY draught proofing can be much cheaper.
Block your chimney to prevent draughts.
If you’ve got an open fireplace or chimney flue and aren’t using it, you could still be losing a lot of heat up the chimney. By blocking it up you stop warm air from escaping and help keep your room the way you want it, instead of heating up the sky.
There are a couple of ways you can do this, like using an inflatable chimney balloon or getting a builder to install a chimney cap.
Leave your thermostat alone.
It can be really tempting when you get home to a cold house to whack the thermostat up to try and heat the place up, pronto. Seriously, don’t do it. It won’t get warmer any quicker and you could be wasting energy.
Your thermostat will work best for you if you set it to a comfortable temperature and leave it. Let it do its job. And on that note, if you can bear to turn your thermostat down by just 1 degree, you could reduce your heating costs by about £65 a year on average for a typical home.
And by only having your heat on when you need it instead of leaving it on all day, you probably won’t even notice any difference in temperature, but you could soon see a difference in your bills.
Let the sunshine in.
It might be cold outside, but when the glorious winter sun is shining, open your curtains and blinds to let the heat it generates into your home. This works best for south-facing windows between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its hottest.
Don’t forget to close them when the sun goes down, to keep the heat in and the draughts out.
Hot water tips.
Where would we be without hot water? Well, cold, probably. We've come to rely on having hot water at the turn of a tap so it's important to make sure you're getting the most for your money - and save on your energy bills where you can:
Put a jacket on your hot water cylinder.
You wouldn’t go out in the cold without a coat to keep you warm as otherwise you’d go cold quickly (unless you’re running around to warm up). The same applies to the water in your hot water cylinder – if it’s not insulated, you’ll be using more energy to keep the water warm inside.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can benefit from increasing the insulation to a British Standard Jacket 80mm thick, saving £35 a year in the process.
Energy efficient showerhead.
A nice hot power shower in the morning can be just what you need to start the day. It might only take a few minutes but you can save even more than time by switching to an energy efficient showerhead. It reduces the water flow, cutting your water use by half. And less hot water means less energy to produce it – savings all round.
Just make sure the showerhead is compatible with your shower type.
Turn off your boiler when you go away.
When you’re leaving for a well-earned break, give your boiler a break too by switching it off when you go away.
Your boiler uses the most energy in your home so be energy-saving savvy and don’t leave it on when you don’t need to. If you’re away during winter, instead of turning it off completely we’d recommend setting it to low or frost protection mode if you have one, to stop your pipes freezing up.
Look after your pipework.
Insulating your pipes is a quick and cost-effective way of saving energy and keeping the cost of heating down.
Pick up some foam insulation at your local DIY shop and pop it on all indoor and outdoor pipes you can safely reach. As well as keeping the heat in, it’ll help stop outdoor pipes freezing, which cuts the risk of them bursting when they thaw out.
Turn down your hot water.
Like the room thermostat for controlling your heating, your hot water cylinder temperature can be changed too. Many are set to 65 degrees by default and you’ll find you can turn it down to around 60 degrees and still have enough hot water for your household as well as save some money.
In a typical home, water heating makes up a quarter of the energy use, so it’s well worth trying.
Which way to wash?
Running a bath can use up to 80 litres of water, which is more than twice as much as a 5 minute shower with an efficient showerhead.
Hit snooze and don’t lose - save time and money by enjoying a shower in the morning instead of a laze in the tub.
Reduce the energy your appliances use.
Even if your appliances have the best energy rating, you might not be getting the best out of them. Have a look below at our ways to save and get more from your appliances for less:
Lower the temperature and bring down your bills.
Washing your dirty laundry at a higher temperature than it needs uses more energy. And that costs money.
It has been proven that you could save around £28 a year from your energy bill by trying to wash them at 30C - even 20 degrees, which can use up to 66% less energy than a standard 40 degree wash. Check your detergent to see that it will work at lower temperatures – some will work as low as 15 degrees.
Unplugging all your chargers.
There have been so many times when you overcharge your phone. We’ve all been there, and it’s not just phones, it's MP3 players, and laptops too.
Getting into the habit of unplugging will save you energy, and it also prolongs battery life. It could also save you about £80 a year on your electricity bills.
Switch it off.
If you’ve bought a new fridge or freezer, ask yourself if you really need to keep the old one.
Many people keep it running as a backup but you’re using double the energy – and even on an A-rated appliance, this could cost around £40-80 extra each year.
Hang out your washing.
There are many laundry products based on that freshly washed fragrance but nothing beats that summer fresh feeling line dried clothes.
By hanging them out to dry instead of throwing them in the tumble dryer, you’ll save energy and help your clothes last longer.
Keep your fridge clean.
Your fridge is on 24/7 so it’s no surprise that the fridge is one of the biggest energy users in your kitchen.
If the coils on the back are dirty or dusty, your fridge will be working harder than it needs to.
Give them a clean every few months to help keep your fridge running efficiently – the instruction manual will tell you what to do.
Switch off the standby mode.
It has been found that you could save around £55 a year by turning your appliances off standby mode.
Leave room for the water
It’s more cost-effective to make sure the washing machine or dishwasher has a full load, even if it has a half-load option.
Just don’t be tempted to overfill your appliances as it can make them less effective and mean they don’t get cleaned properly.
Talk to our Energy Specialists if you're having difficulty.
Please note: Any savings shown are given as a guide and will be different for each household.