In The Kitchen
Choose the right size pan. Use a small ring or low flame for small pans.
Use appropriate utensils. Toast bread in a toaster instead of the grill; and boil water in a jug kettle rather than a saucepan.
Don’t over-fill the kettle. Many kettles have markings to show how full the kettle should be (e.g. to make a desired number of cups).
Set the oven to the right temperature. Avoid over-heating the oven, and don’t pre-heat it for longer than is required.
Avoid opening the oven door. For some recipes this is unavoidable, but try to keep this to a minimum to ensure that the oven does not cool down whilst cooking.
Defrosting food. Take food out of the freezer in plenty of time to allow it to defrost without using the microwave.
Keep fridge/freezer doors shut. For every minute that a fridge door is left open it takes 10 minutes to cool back down.
Don’t put warm food straight in the fridge/freezer. This warms up air inside the fridge, which wastes energy and also poses a food hygiene risk.
Defrost fridges and freezers regularly . The more ice, the more electricity used.
Keep fridge/freezers well stocked. The more food that is in a freezer, the less air that has to be cooled. This also helps to maintain a cool temperature in the event of a power cut.
Dry washing outside. Drying clothes outside helps to reduce problems with condensation damp. This also avoids blocking heat from radiators inside, making your heating more efficient.
Use low-temperature washes on a washing machine. Most powders work best at 40°c – 55°c, and this uses less energy than higher-temperature modes.
Wash full loads. Try to avoid using a washing machine for small amounts of clothes. If this is not possible, use the “half load” setting or equivalent when washing small amounts.
General Energy Saving Tips
Don’t leave appliances on standby. Standby consumption is responsible for wasting the equivalent of approximately two power stations’ worth of electricity a year in the UK.
Fit energy-efficient lightbulbs. Use the lowest wattage light bulb that provides you with the required amount of light you need. Many low-energy bulbs show the actual wattage and comparable wattage of equivalent higher-energy models, to let you choose the appropriate bulb. Energy efficient lightbulbs also last approximately six times as long as a normal bulb, and use about 80% less electricity.
Turn off the light. Try to remember to turn off lights when you leave a room.
Adjust the curtains. Open the curtains or adjust blinds during the day to let in as much natural light as possible. Close the curtains at night to stop heat escaping through the windows.
Central Heating Boilers
New condensing gas and oil boilers are highly efficient as they extract more heat from the fuel, cutting energy bills by 25% compared with older balanced flue or back-boilers.
Combi-Condensing boilers can be more efficient as they do away with the hot water cylinder and only heat water as it’s required. The down-side is that it can take longer to run a bath, but they are good for a shower.
Using the programmer or time-clock allows you to set the heating to be on automatically when you need it and off when you don’t, such as when out at work or overnight. If you don’t want the heating to go off completely then turn down the thermostat.
There are smart systems available now that let you control your heating from your smartphone, either at home or when you are away.
Thermostatic radiator valves allow you to set different temperatures in different rooms with living rooms typically being set at 21oC and bedrooms at 18oC. If you have rooms not being used then these can be set lower, but not so low as to cause condensation.