THERE is no better time to save energy than when the weather improves, so here are some tips to help you from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. If you are saving energy you are saving money.
By bringing energy savings into every part of your life you can make a real difference! Not only will you do your bit to help prevent climate change, you will also see a difference in your pocket. The average household could save up to £270 a year on energy bills by being more energy efficient and by budgeting.
* Payment Option – no matter what kind of fuel you use, always discuss payment options with your supplier. Different payment methods can attract discounts for example paying by direct debit will usually get the biggest discount.
* Turn down your thermostat – with the better weather on its way you can reduce bills by turning down your central heating. You could save around £60 a year on your heating bills by turning your thermostat down just 1°c.
* Consider only turning on radiators in rooms you use most often or, if you have thermostatic radiator valves fitted to your radiators, you could adjust these to a lower setting.
* Swap your light bulbs – by switching every light bulb in your home for an energy saving bulb you could save around £50 a year and your bulb will last up to 10 times as long.
* Use natural lighting as much as possible. If you have lights on a timer, this is a good time to check them and make sure they are only on when needed.
* Dust or wipe light bulbs. Clean bulbs provide more light.
* Insulate – insulation is one of the best ways to save energy, plus it makes your home warmer and more comfortable. You can insulate in a variety of ways, such as filling cavity walls, double glazed windows, putting jackets around hot water tanks and draught proofing. Grants are available for cavity wall or loft insulation from the Energy Saving Trust.
* Standby off – leaving gadgets and appliances on standby across the UK wastes over £900 million worth of energy. By turning standby off you will cut both your consumption and your bills, do this by unplugging appliances at the wall when they’re not being used; don’t leave chargers plugged in; and don’t leave TVs, computers etc on standby. Simply by turning off standby you could save up to £117 every year.
* Consider taking advantage of the warmer air and dry your laundry outside, rather than using a tumble dryer; on a similar theme using cold water detergents with cold water settings on your washing machine are just as effective and of course only using your washing machine for full loads saves energy.
If you add up all of these benefits of the Spring weather etc, there is bound to be a saving there. Tough times call for sensible economies, and these tips will certainly help you on your way.