Top tips to reduce your energy usage — Bulb Community

Top tips to reduce your energy usage

These are our top 5 energy saving tips. What are yours? How do you keep your energy use low?

1. Turn your thermostat down. Lowering by 1 degree can save £80 per year

2. Turn off lights and no standby mode. Switching off can save £44 per year

3. A cooler wash and less tumble drying. Washing at 30c & drying washing outside can save
£36 per year

4. Replace your light bulbs. Using all LEDs can save £35 per year

5. Draught-proof your home. Blocking gaps in doors and windows can save £15 per year

Comments

  • edited August 2018
    We found that our Xbox uses twice as much energy as our refrigerator. Showering is by far our most expensive activity though. Who wants to join me in saving the planet one stinky armpit at a time?
  • Use a bowl rather than a running tap to do your washing up. You waste less energy heating water and washing up gloves look great!
  • Use eco mode on your dishwasher and turn off the drying function if you don’t need the dishes immediately.
  • If you don't have double glazing you can buy glazing film to put on your windows from DIY shops. If you're in a pinch you can even use cling film and it will keep the house warmer.
  • cotie said:

    We found that our Xbox uses twice as much energy as our refrigerator. Showering is by far our most expensive activity though. Who wants to join me in saving the planet one stinky armpit at a time?

    how did you measure the difference??
  • @FabreGAS : There's several way to measure the difference.

    The simplest/cheapest is to turn everything else off, take a meter reading, turn on (say just the shower), use it, take another meter reading and turn everything back on.

    Then you can step up to things like the 'Kill A Watt' style electricity usage monitors/power meters/meter sockets which plug into sockets and the item (such as the fridge) plugs into that. The meter will then either display (or send to your phone) the usage of that socket. However, this won't work with 'hard wired' devices (such as showers and some electric ovens) as there is no plug to put the meter into.

    The next step up I guess would be to either get the 'clamp meters' and clamp the power lines going into sockets/devices (such as the cables leading to the shower: finding them, as they'll be hidden in walls - will the 'fun' job, but you may be able to clamp around them coming out of the distribution unit) or see if you can get circuit breakers with built in displays and replace those in the distribution unit (which will give the power usage per 'circuit' - but ovens/showers tend to be on their own circuits anyway).

    I just work on the 'I'll try and keep my main [heavy duty] PC off for most of the month and see what my bill is at the end of it' basis (turns out it's about £10/pm saving!).
  • @RichyB. Have you used a 'Kill A Watt' style device? Did you find it useful?

    Some of us at Bulb recently reviewed smart plugs and will be reviewing smart thermostats. Maybe this is something we could look into too.
  • Hi @Eleanor at Bulb : No, I haven't used a 'Kill A Watt' - keep thinking about them (with working from home and two high powered PCs and other electricals we do have a higher than average electricity bill which I ideally want to reduce). I'd look forward to a review of the various types available and, even better, how accurate they are!
  • Sounds like it could be a good energy saving device @RichyB.

    I found it to be cheaper to fill my freezer with food than to have it running half empty. I'm sure it made a difference to my energy bills.

    We'll see if this is something we could review.
  • I found it to be cheaper to fill my freezer with food than to have it running half empty. I'm sure it made a difference to my energy bills.

    I do a similar thing - just with frozen ice packs from food deliveries. Yes, it'll take energy to freeze them, but I would expect the 'thermal mass' to then keep everything cool (especially in the edge case of a power cut). Again, something for 'Bulb Mythbusters' to test ;)
  • edited February 25
    For those of you who might be interested in reducing energy costs on EV’s, Bulb Labs is registering people a trial (in 2020) on the next generation of smart EV chargers. If you have an EV or thinking of getting one in the next year, you can read more about it here.
  • For those of you who might be interested in reducing energy on EV’s, Bulb Labs is registering people a trial (in 2020) on the next generation of smart EV chargers. If you have an EV or thinking of getting one in the next year, you can read more about it here.

    Hi @Daphne at Bulb not sure how this would reduce energy on EVs however it should reduce the cost of the energy by utilising it at more appropriate times / sources.
  • The biggest waster of energy is your kettle. So if you are making say, coffee for two, fill a mug with cold water and decant it into the kettle, then do the same again. That way you'll only boil the exact amount of water you need for your two coffees.
  • If you have a wireless room thermostat keep it at mid wall height rather than lower down or it will run for longer to reach temperature.
  • I bought a clamp on meter reader and it saved us a lot of money, I know if something's on that shouldn't be or if something is wrong with the heating, which it was for the entire house.
  • For those of you who might be interested in reducing energy on EV’s, Bulb Labs is registering people a trial (in 2020) on the next generation of smart EV chargers. If you have an EV or thinking of getting one in the next year, you can read more about it here.

    Hi @Daphne at Bulb not sure how this would reduce energy on EVs however it should reduce the cost of the energy by utilising it at more appropriate times / sources.
    Hi @Phillip_PAL thank you for pointing it out! I have adjusted the post.
  • If you don't have double glazing you can buy glazing film to put on your windows from DIY shops. If you're in a pinch you can even use cling film and it will keep the house warmer.

    Sticking large bubble wrap on your glass will do the same thing. My flat has substandard double glazing so I jiffy wrapped my windows this year.
  • Boil a kettle to do the washing up rather than running a tap for ages until it's hot. Saves on gas and your water bill! Also only filling your kettle to the minimum line makes a cup of tea and uses less electric.
  • Switch off radiators in rooms you don't use as often and close doors. Also wear more layers. I'm saving a fortune by layering up.
  • I bought a smart thermostat. I know the outlay is around £150-200, but it's definitely cut our gas usage. I think it will take a few years before we make our money back though.
    I've also changed all bulbs to LED, sorted out the insulation in the loft and had cavity wall insulation installed. I have spent quite a lot, but I will make it back!
  • I bought a smart thermostat. I know the outlay is around £150-200, but it's definitely cut our gas usage. I think it will take a few years before we make our money back though.

    A smart thermostat I found will not save too much money over a non smart programmable thermostat, however if like me you were upgrading from the mechanical timer on the boiler it saves a load of gas! Although I tend to use mine like a normal programmable one. It's great though when you're away for a bit you can reactivate the house on your way home to get it warm before you get there.

    Out of curiosity which did you go for?
  • Line your curtains with bubble wrap. Tuppence a metre and saves a fortune in leccy.
  • We swapped a dryer for a heat pump dryer, has saved us a lot of money!
  • jamieb85 said:

    We swapped a dryer for a heat pump dryer, has saved us a lot of money!

    =) good tip @jamieb85 . Thanks for sharing!
  • falcieri said:

    Boil a kettle to do the washing up rather than running a tap for ages until it's hot. Saves on gas and your water bill!

    This raises an interesting point - boiling a kettle to do the washing up probably would save some energy, but it would almost certainly cost more money with electricity costing about 4 times as much as electricity per kWh.
  • falcieri said:

    Boil a kettle to do the washing up rather than running a tap for ages until it's hot. Saves on gas and your water bill!

    This raises an interesting point - boiling a kettle to do the washing up probably would save some energy, but it would almost certainly cost more money with electricity costing about 4 times as much as electricity per kWh.
    True. Also your gas boiler is most likely to be 'greener' than the grid in terms of CO2/kWh (yes I know we pay for green electricity, but we consume what is produced 'now', from the grid) The biggest source is burning gas to generate electricity, to travel miles through several different transformers. Better to just burn it in your house :)
  • electricity costing about 4 times as much as electricity per kWh.
    I hope it was obvious that I meant to say "electricity costing about 4 times as much as GAS per kWh".
  • I hope it was obvious that I meant to say "electricity costing about 4 times as much as GAS per kWh".

    It was. :)
  • edited June 28
    Radiator reflectors give a small energy saving. But the cost is low, and the payback surprisingly fast (not really the time of year for it though).
  • edited June 28
    A tip for detecting freezer failure on holiday.
    A cup of water, freeze it, place a coin on top. When you come back from holiday if the coin is at the bottom then likely all food is spoiled, if coin part way down food may be ok.
  • scudo said:

    A tip for detecting freezer failure on holiday.
    A cup of water, freeze it, place a coin on top. When you come back from holiday if the coin is at the bottom then likely all food is spoiled, if coin part way down food may be ok.

    Ohhh! I've never thought to do this. I'll do it next time I'm away.

  • jamieb85 said:

    We swapped a dryer for a heat pump dryer, has saved us a lot of money!

    I know that some people don't have any other options, but not using a dryer at all is also a significant saving.
    If you have a garden or a balcony and the weather's nice, put the washing outside.
    In the winter my house has also enough ventilation that I can just stick the washing in a warm room and it has no problem drying in a day or so.

    I wonder how the power consumption of a dryer compares to opening a window in the winter though. MVHR with washing inside in the winter is likely to be the best solution.
  • All our curtains are interlined. My wife made them, and bought the interlining online. Saved on materials, saved on making. Compared with non-interlined when checked with an infrared camera they worth about 2-3 degrees C difference. Have not checked bill differences but confident they must be saving us gas.
  • In the summer months, switch the washing machine spin cycle to minimum and let the sun do the work
  • RobinE said:

    All our curtains are interlined. My wife made them, and bought the interlining online. Saved on materials, saved on making. Compared with non-interlined when checked with an infrared camera they worth about 2-3 degrees C difference. Have not checked bill differences but confident they must be saving us gas.

    @RobinE what infrared camera do you have? Have you used it in other parts of the house?
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