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Saving Energy at Home

Light Bulb

There are many ways of keeping your costs down through energy efficiency measures.

For example:

  • Heavy or lined curtains are as effective as double glazing when drawn.
  • Blinds have no energy saving benefit.
  • Draw curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping.
  • Make sure the thermostat on the water cylinder is set at 60°C
  • Don't cover radiators with furniture or curtains or use to dry clothing.
  • Carpets and underlay have good thermal qualities.
  • Low energy bulbs produce four times the light for the same amount of electricity. This saves around £7 per bulb per year.

Using Appliances:

  • Digital radios are five times more inefficient when left on standby than analogue radios. Turn off at the switch or unplug.
  • Don't leave TV's on standby as they are using 85% of the energy of full use. DVD's and videos have similar problems.
  • Mobile phone chargers - Don't leave plugged in as they use 95% of the energy compared when actually charging
  • Low energy lighting lasts over six times longer and uses four times less electricity.

In the Kitchen:

  • Cover saucepans with lids whenever possible. Cuts condensation and reduces heating time.
  • Electric kettles are more energy efficient than a pan on a cooker.
  • Once vegetables are boiling turn them down to simmer and use just enough water to keep covered.
  • Electric toasters are more energy efficient than electric grills.
  • Slow cookers are more efficient for many dishes.
  • Use a jug kettle with a gauge or simply boil what you need. De-scale regularly.
  • Never overfill your fridge.
  • Keep your freezer at least three quarters full
  • Defrost your freezer regularly and never allow more than six mm thickness of ice to build up.
  • Whenever possible run dishwashers and washing machines with a full load, if you do only have a half load try to use the economy settings.
  • Wash at a cooler temperature such as 30ºC
  • If you are using a tumble dryer, wring clothes out first and do not over dry. Dry your washing outside when possible.

This table shows the time it takes for Energy Efficiency measures to be "paid off" (based on a 3 bed semi-detached house)

pay back time of energy efficiency measures

Energy Efficiency Measure

Initial Cost

Saving Per Year

Pay-back Period

Low energy light bulb



3 Months

Cylinder Jacket (DIY)



Under 1 Year

Radiator reflectors



Under 1 Year

Loft Insulation



1.2 Years

Cavity Wall Insulation



1.4 Years

Condensing Boiler



3.4-7 Years

Insulate Walls Outside



30 Years

Double Glazing



70-125 Years

Energy Efficiency Information

Energy Saving Trust (opens new window)

West Wales Eco Centre (opens new window)

ID: 17984 Revised: 10/6/2010