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Energy saving tips for the home

Energy saving tips for the home
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Unless you subscribe to an extreme self-sufficient lifestyle, there is no escaping the dreaded flop of the energy bill on your doormat. Costs seem to keep creeping up and, frankly, there seems to be very little we can do about that. Instead of weeping sadly into our beer, let’s get proactive and attack things from the other side. We can’t change the price of energy, but we do have control over how much we use. Here are a few energy saving tips for the home to get you started on Operation Energy Save today.

Cheap Energy Saving Actions

Not all energy saving tips involve big investment before you can reap the benefits. There are a number of key things you can do right now to lower your energy consumption. You just need to be organised, and get everyone in your home on board:

Turn Things Off

Appliances left on standby cost the average household between £45 and £60 every year. Most can be safely switched off at the plug without mucking up their systems – just have a quick gandy at your instruction books for TV and satellite receivers before you flip the switch on these to make sure you don’t miss recording your favourite shows.

Heads Up

If your shower is of the type that draws its hot water direct from your boiler or hot water tank you could be in a position to benefit from the fitting of a shower head. These water-efficient gadgets provide pressurised hot water that feels similar to a power shower but uses much less hot water. It’s estimated a family of four could save £65 on gas and £95 on metered water every year with one installed. And many water companies are currently giving shower heads away for free.

Careful Use of Appliances

Save around £43 each year with a few simple exercises, such as washing at 30 degrees instead of 40, washing up from a bowl instead of with the tap running, and boiling just the right amount of water for your needs when you use the kettle.

These 3 tips alone could save a family more than £250 a year. Not bad for minimal effort and expenditure.

Moderately Priced Cost Saving Tips

The more you spend the more you can save, so it’s worth considering investing in a few things that can help keep your long term energy costs down. Such things will generally pay for themselves in time, and then you’ll be quid’s-in. Try these ideas:

Loft Insulation

Energy saving tips for the homeExperts recommend a minimum of 270mm or 10″ of insulation in your loft. Insulating from scratch could save you up to £150 per year, and even if you already have some of the soft stuff up top it’s worth bulking it out to the recommended thickness.

Low Energy Lighting

Most of us have at least some low energy bulbs around the house, but changing over all the remaining ones could save around £45 a year. Many of the new bulbs are not cheap, but their longer life expectancy usually means they pay for themselves within 1-2 years.

Get Control of your Heating

Room thermostats, a programmer and individual thermostatic radiator valves give you ultimate control over your home heating. It is thought that simpy timing your water to come on and off at specific times, and applying varying degrees of heat to different areas of your home according to your needs can save you anything from £70 – £150 a year.

Longer Term Energy Investments

If you know that you plan to remain in your home for an extended period of time then it is worth seriously considering some of the bigger energy-saving initiatives. Up-front costs may be high, but over the years these investments can save you money, and help the planet in one fell swoop:

Solar Panels

Energy saving tips for the homeTypical costs for an average household are around £6000-£7500 for the installation of a solar panel system. Payback is estimated at around £750 per year, so you are looking at a 8-10 year payback period. Sounds a long time, but we all know how swiftly time seems to fly by the older you get. You’ll be laughing into your pension book when the savings from your wise investment years ago keep your energy costs down for years to come.

Cavity Wall Insulation

Most homes built after 1920 are constructed in two layers of brick with a cavity in between. Cavity wall insulation simply fills this gap, trapping heat inside the home. Average costs for the installation of cavity wall insulation are between £450 and £500. Generating a saving of around £145 per year, this investment could pay for itself inside four years. Not bad at all.

Whether you decide to splash out on energy saving initiatives or not, it’s clear that we can all do a little more to help ourselves where energy costs are concerned. The question of whether we should have to is a political one that I won’t open up here, but I will suggest that, leaving aside the argument over profits and pricing, surely we all have an obligation to do our bit to take care of this planet we call home? Do you have any energy saving tips of your own that you’d like to share?

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About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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