My husband and I are always at odds when it comes to saving energy around the house. He takes it all very seriously and is quite passionate (he says) about saving the environment, I say he’s more passionate about saving money – but that’s another story. On the other hand, I am guilty of not caring enough and definitely waste a lot of energy. You can imagine the ‘heated’ conversations we have!
In all honesty, I think most of us waste energy (and money) without even realising it, by leaving appliances on standby, a light switch on or simply forgetting to close a door. We all have our bad habits but it’s time to stop and think… Where and how can we save energy and therefore save money?
A new generation of gas and electricity meters, known as ‘smart meters’ could be the answer. They will enable us to see, in real-time, the energy that we’re using in pounds and pence. This means we’ll be able to see how much it costs to boil the kettle or leave the heating on, helping us to identify where we waste money.
These smart meters will also automatically send meter readings to our energy provider, bringing an end to estimated bills and giving us an accurate reading of the energy we’ve used.
British Gas are one of the companies leading the way with this government led initiative, and are committed to offering smart meters (gas and electricity) to all their customers by 2020. This initially sounded way off in the future to me, but then I realised that it’s only two years away! In my mind 2020 is in a galaxy far far away, do you know what I mean? Anyway, it’s not and this is happening in the next year or two.
Thinking about saving energy and using smart meters got me thinking, there must be things we all can do right now to save money. Here’s what I came up with, my top tips for saving energy.
1. When making a cup of tea or coffee, only fill the kettle with as much water as you need.
2. When cooking pasta or vegetables, just use enough water to cover the food.
3. Always use a kettle to boil cooking water, this is so much quicker than heating a pan of water on the hob.
4. Use a steamer, this allows you to cook different vegetables on the same ring.
5. Always double check your taps are properly turned off after using them.
6. Use your microwave instead of the oven, whenever possible.
7. Don’t keep the oven door open for too long when it’s turned on. Be quick!
8. Keep your fridge temperature between 3°C – 5°C.
9. Load and unload your fridge as quickly as possible and don’t leave the fridge door open for too long.
10. Defrost your freezer regularly to stop ice build up.
11. Turn down your heating by a couple of degrees and get under a soft, cosy blanket!
12. Use your central heating timer (not the thermostat) to turn your heating on and off. You don’t need the heating on if you’re not home or fast asleep.
13. Try not to put a sofa in front of a radiator, you’ll lose lots of heat.
14. Use a draught excluder – apparently this can save you up to £35 a year!
15. Buy energy saving bulbs. They last up to ten times longer than the old style bulbs, and they can save you up to £50 over the lifetime of the bulb.
16.Turn the light off when you leave an empty room.
17. Make sure all your electrical appliances are turned off at the plug when you’re not using them. Some appliances (like microwaves, televisions, radios etc.) still use energy when they’re switched off – but still plugged in.
There, I think that’s everything! Ooh hang on, I’ve missed the one thing I’ve been hearing all my life from my dad and now my husband… “If you’re cold, put on a jumper and a pair of woolly socks”.
Disclaimer: This is a contributed post with British Gas.