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You are here: Home Page > Environment and Planning > Sustainability > Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

Most of the energy we use in our homes is produced using processes that release CO2 emissions into the air. Energy used in homes is responsible for over a quarter of all UK emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas causing climate change, so making your home as energy efficient as possible and reducing the amount of energy you use is one of the most effective ways of reducing your fuel bills and helping to mitigate climate change.

 

Find out how Energy Efficient you are:

Home Energy Check

Use the EST's Home Energy Check to find out the overall energy efficiency of your home, and the carbon emissions you produce. You can then see what improvements you can make to use less energy, save on carbon emissions, improve your Energy Performance Certificate rating, and save money. The Home Energy Check produces a full report with all the details of your home's energy use and the savings you could make.

 

What can I do to make my home more energy efficient?

Heat Your Home Well:

  • Turn the thermostat down by 1°C. It could cut your heating bills by up to 10%.
  • If your boiler is 15 years old or more, replacing it with a new high efficiency boiler can save you around a third on your heating bills.
  • Electric Storage Heaters work best with an Economy 7 electricity tariff as these work by storing heat during off-peak periods when electricity is cheaper, and releasing it into the room the following day and evening. You might have to adjust the input control to anticipate the following day’s weather, although some storage heaters have their own thermostats which do the job for you. Storage Heater Guide.

 

Keep Your Heat In:

  • Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and fit draught-proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors to stop heat escaping.
  • If your home has cavity walls, they can be insulated to reduce heat loss. Also, make sure you have at least 10 inches (270mm) of loft insulation. More information on Home Insulation.

 

Be Wise with Energy:

  • Always turn off the lights when you leave a room, and adjust your curtains or blinds to let in as much light as possible during the day.
  • Choose electrical appliances that are energy efficient and therefore will be cheaper to run.  Find out about the new EU Energy Label and how it can help you to choose the most energy and water efficient fridges, washing machines and dishwashers.
  • Do not leave the fridge door open for longer than necessary, as this will let cold air out.  Avoid putting hot or warm food straight into the fridge; allow it to cool down first.  Defrost your fridge regularly to keep it running efficiently and cheaply. 
  • Choose the right size pan for the food and cooker (the base should just cover an electric cooking ring), and keep lids on when cooking.  With gas the flames only need heat the bottom of the pan. If they lick up the side then you’re wasting heat.
  • Heat the amount of water you need in the kettle, and make sure you cover the element. Jug type kettles need less water as they have smaller elements.
  • To cut down on wasted energy, avoid leaving appliances such as TVs on standby and remember not to leave appliances on charge unnecessarily, such as mobile phones.
  • Always wash a full load in your washing machine, at 30°C, or use a half-load or economy setting.
  • Hang your washing on a line or dryer, instead of using a tumble dryer, which uses energy.
  • Set the cylinder thermostat at 60°C (140°F) which is fine for bathing and washing. 
  • Borrow an energy monitor from the library.
  • Find out about how smart meters will help you use less energy.

                  

Further sources of advice:

Energy Saving Advice Service

Call the Energy Saving Advice Service helpline, run by the Energy Saving Trust (EST): 0300 123 1234 (calls are charged at the standard national rates), or visit the Energy Saving Trust website for impartial advice on how to save energy in your home. The advice service also signposts callers to schemes that can help install energy-saving measures in their homes and reduce their fuel bills such as the Energy Companies Obligation

 

Home Heat Helpline

The Home Heat Helpline advises people worried about paying their energy bills and keeping warm during the winter. It also gives advice to low-income households in urgent need of heating help and advice. It is free to call and is open 9am-6pm Monday to Fridays. Call the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 336699 for free and practical advice to help you save money on your energy bills.

 

Which? Creating an Energy Saving Home

Cut your heating and bills by making your home more energy efficient - advice on finding the right boiler and heating system to generating your own energy at home using solar panels is available on the Which? Creating an Energy Saving Home website.

 

Ofgem

This guide will help you reduce your gas and electricity bills. It shows you ways to cut your energy use, and ways to pay less for the energy you do use: Ofgem leaflet: How to save money and use less energy.

 

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