Saving Energy at Work and at Home
There are lots of ways you can help save energy both at home and at work.
In the home
- Turning down the thermostat by one degree can cut your annual heating bill by 8 per cent
- Turn on radiators and heat up hot water only when needed
- Bleed radiators so they perform at their best
You won’t use as much energy to heat your home if you can keep the warmth in better.
If your boiler is very old or becoming inefficient, replace it with a more energy efficient boiler. An A-rated condensing boiler with heating controls could knock 25 per cent off your annual gas bill.
There are two main kinds of energy-saving lamp available. Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs use far less energy than traditional light bulbs. Light emitting diode (LED) lights also use less power and can often run for a long time from a battery, making them ideal for lighting sheds, under kitchen cabinets and inside cupboards. Although they sometimes cost more than traditional bulbs, they last a lot longer – and you’ll make your money back in electricity savings.
One energy-saving lamp might save you up to £60 over its lifetime. Swap over to low energy lighting indoors and outside to start saving energy at home now.
Leaving appliances on standby saps energy without giving any great benefit. Switching off and on again only takes a minute or two more and some newer devices will do it automatically. And saying goodbye to standby could cut your electricity bill by around eight per cent. Remember to turn off chargers as soon as they have done their job too.
Switch off lights when you leave a room. A traditional 100W light bulb is responsible for enough carbon emissions to fill a balloon every 30 minutes. So replace your older tungsten light bulbs with low energy lighting. Each energy-saving light bulb you fit will save you around £3 a year in electricity costs and cut your carbon emissions.
Fill the kettle for the right amount of cups – although make sure that an electric kettle is at least at its minimum capacity.
Your washing powder will do the job just as well if you wash your clothes at 30 degrees, but you’ll cut electricity use by around 40 per cent each time. Try to only switch on with a full load – whether it’s the washing machine or the dishwasher. Two half loads will use more energy than a single full load.
All appliances now come with energy efficiency ratings. If you need to buy a new fridge, oven or washing machine, buying the most energy efficient model you can afford can be a wise buy in the long run. Second-hand appliances can sometimes be energy efficient too.
Water is a valuable commodity and needs saving. A considerable amount of energy is used to treat waste water. Save water by:
- Turning off taps and fixing any leaks; a tap that drips hot water sends the energy, and money, you used to heat it straight down the drain
- Taking short showers instead of baths
- Using a water butt in the garden to catch rainwater to water your garden with
Saving water helps to save energy at home, and can help save you money too. More than a third of the average cost of heating a home in England goes towards heating water – so little changes can have a big effect!
Switch off, not standby
Computers, printers, scanners and other office equipment sap energy, even while they are on standby. A policy of switching off equipment when it’s not in use should be in place. Both your organisation and the environment stand to benefit from the savings on your annual energy bill.
Follow a heating policy of no more than 18 degrees. Having the heating just one degree cooler can reduce your annual heating bill by eight per cent.
When it’s hot, shut blinds and open windows to keep cool. If you have to use air conditioning, make sure it doesn’t come on unless the heating is off.
New appliances are designed with energy efficiency in mind. Look for Energy Saving Trust recommended desktop computers, monitors and printers for ideas on where you could save energy at work. Energy efficient equipment uses less power to run. Laptops use even less energy than desktop computers, thanks to their smaller screens and parts.
If your business spends more than £50,000 a year on energy, you can arrange a carbon survey. Your carbon survey will reveal where you can save energy – and cut fuel bills by as much as 20 per cent.
Especially useful for rooms intermittently in use, like bathrooms and kitchen areas. Motion sensitive lighting means that staff and visitors don’t need to remember to turn off the lights when they leave the room – it will happen automatically. Include outside areas too – entrance lights and security lighting use a lot of energy too.
Encourage the role of Energy Warden within your organisation. The aim of the Energy Warden scheme is to build a network of enthusiastic, well-informed employees who promote and encourage energy awareness.