Energy conservation and efficiency

Saving energy involves a mixture of avoiding the unnecessary waste of energy and improving energy efficiency.  Energy efficiency refers to having good insulation and purchasing energy consuming items, such as boilers and electrical appliances, with good energy efficiency ratings.  Below are a few tips on saving energy:

Low cost measures

  • Do not have heating on at unnecessarily high levels.  If you have a thermostat, reducing the temperature by 1°C will save 8% of the fuel used for heating.
  • Switch off lights in rooms not being used.
  • Ensure full loads when using washing machines and dishwashers.  In many cases laundry can be washed at only 30°C.
  • When boiling water in kettles and pots, use only the amount of water required.
  • Do not leave appliances on standby.
  • Fit draught proofing to windows, doors, gaps in floorboards etc.
  • Replace any tungsten lights bulbs with more energy efficient alternatives.
  • Fit ‘radiator panels’ behind radiators.  These are metalised panels that slot behind radiators and reflect heat back into rooms.  They can save as much as 10% on your heating bill.

Medium cost measures

  • Install 270mm thick insulation in loft spaces.
  • Install cavity wall insulation if possible.  Most homes built after the 1930s have ‘cavities’, which are gaps between the outside and inside walls.  Insulation could possibly be pumped into these gaps resulting in significantly reduced heating bills.
  • Purchase items with good energy efficiency ratings.  Click on the Home Appliances link on this page for advice on this.

Large cost measures

  • If current boiler is 10-20 years old consider replacing with a new, efficient model.  Click on the Replacing my Boiler link on this page for advice on this.

Consider solid wall insulation if your home has solid walls.  Homes built before the 1930s are likely to have ‘solid walls’ meaning there is just a double layer of bricks between the inside and outside of the house.  Solid wall insulation applied to either the outside or inside of the home could significantly reduce heating bills and improve comfort.