Energy saving tips
It’s important to feel comfortable at home. But, let’s face it, we still need to keep tabs on how much we’re spending. Little changes can make a big difference. Here are some tips to help you save money and energy without giving up your home comforts.
Let there be light
Lighting makes up around 10-20% of a typical electricity bill. You should be looking for ways to reduce this bill and save yourself money. Thankfully, there are some really easy ways to do so.
- We’re not trying to be funny, but the best form of lighting is daylight. It’s energy efficient and, best of all, it’s free. Crack open those curtains when you wake up and let the sunlight in.
- You don’t have to resort to stumbling around in the dark, but you should only turn on lights when you need them. Make the most of natural light before resorting to turning on lights.
- There’s no point in leaving on your lights for your furniture to enjoy. If you’re not going to be back in a room for a while, switch off the lights when you’re leaving.
- Invest in energy saving bulbs. People are sometimes put off by the initial cost of them, but they use 80% less electricity and last about 10 times longer than regular bulbs. You’ll make your money back in a matter of months.
- We all like coming back to a warm and well-lit house. Plus, you don’t want your home looking unoccupied for any length of time. But leaving lights on at all hours is not the answer. Invest in timers, so your lights will come on at appropriate hours, but make sure they work with your energy saving bulbs.
A shrewd investment
While advising you to spend money may seem off topic, you will save money in the long run. Investing in solar panels, insulation, or a regularly serviced boiler will save you money over time and instantly reduce your bills. Also, there is an opportunity to actually earn money through your investment.
- Gaps in your doors and windows are responsible for some of your precious heat escaping your home. A simple draught excluder can reduce the amount of heat that manages to escape.
- Your walls are responsible for a third of your heat escaping every year. That has quite the impact on heating bills and the temperature of your home. Cavity Wall and Loft Insulation can help you save up to £265 off your energy bill with discounts available to save even more money with Power NI.
- We may not experience blazing sunshine all that often, but solar panels are a great investment as they work perfectly on slightly cloudy days. You could save up to £850 per year and even make money by selling the surplus back to the grid. If you have solar panels, click here to find out more about becoming a microgen customer.
- The power of the sun can also be harnessed to heat your water and lower your energy bills. Solar water heating systems generate around 60% of your hot water. You’ll get an annual payment for seven years from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), and there’s even a grant to help with the installation costs.
- Have your boiler serviced regularly. We can make sure it’s working at its best, which not only means that it’s safer, but that it’s as efficient as possible. A small investment on a regular basis will save you money as well as heartache. As we all know, boilers that aren’t serviced have a tendency to break down at the least convenient time possible.
- Take control of your heating and your bills. A thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator valves not only give you complete control over how warm your home is, but can save you money every year. You could save between £70 and £150 on your bills depending on how warm you like your house to be.
Cooking up a storm
Whether you’re a maestro of the microwave or a master chef, you probably spend some time in the kitchen. Here are some tips to help you reduce the amount of energy wasted in your kitchen.
- Who doesn’t love a good cup of tea or coffee? Make sure you ask around when boiling the kettle for yourself and only boil as much water as you need. Kettles hog energy, so you’ll save money and energy by only boiling as frequently and as much as you actually need.
- There are a few good reasons to keep your fridge well stocked. For starters, it means that you’ll always have something to pick on when the mood strikes. But keeping the fridge full means that it doesn’t have to work as hard as there’s less empty space to keep cool.
- If you’re using the oven, try to bake a few meals at the same time. This reduces the amount of energy you use and it also gets you organised for future meals. It’s a win-win situation really.
- Once you’re done, leave the oven door open. There’s no point in seeing the energy used heating up the oven go to waste. Open the door and enjoy that stored heat and bask in the smell of freshly made food.
- Like cutlery, each oven ring serves a purpose. If your cooker has a small ring, you should use a small pan. Using a big pan to heat up small meals wastes energy and using a small ring to heat a big pan means that you’re more likely to spend longer, and more energy, heating it.
- Put a lid on your saucepans whenever possible. This helps the contents of the pan heat up quicker, so you use less energy during the cooking process.
Small changes make a big difference
Why spend any more on your electricity bills than you need to? You don’t need to make sweeping changes to your lifestyle to save some money. Some subtle tweaks to your daily routine will help you save energy, which is great news for your bank balance.
- Many people are guilty of leaving electronics on standby rather than switching them off. Well, you may not be now that you know that you could save between £45 and £80 each year by plugging them out altogether.
- Feeling a bit nippy? One of the easiest ways to save money is to simply wrap up warm. Put on your fluffiest jumper and curl up under a blanket and you may be less tempted to put the heat on.
- Keep an eye on the temperature of your house. Even turning down your heating thermostat by just 1°C could save you up to 10% on your heating energy bill. Between 18°C and 21°C is ideal for health and wellbeing as well as cost.
- Wash clothes at lower temperatures. 90% of a washing machine's energy expenditure is spent on heating the water. Washing clothes at 30°C or 40°C will save you a significant amount of money.
- Take advantage of online billing. Power NI offers electronic billing via Energy Online. This gives you more control over your account and could save you up to £60 per year. Plus, you could save even more by paying by Direct Debit. Find out more about Energy Online here.