Simple changes around the home could help reduce your energy bills.
Stay safe - we're here for you...
There’s no getting around it, things are difficult right now. We know that lots of people are concerned about losing income because of the disruption, and staying at home may mean you’re using more energy than usual.
We're working hard to find the best way to help people - especially those who may struggle to top up or pay for their energy in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, why not try these practical ways to help make things a little easier? We've broken it all down to give you a few ideas relating to each of the key areas and activities around the house that use the most energy.
Don't worry, none of these tips involve buying anything new or having to leave the house.
Top tips to help you save energy
IN THE KITCHEN
Use the microwave to heat things up
Microwaves are an energy-efficient way to heat up food. This is because they concentrate power on a small space for a short period of time.
Open your oven door after using it
A little known tip: after you’ve cooked, switch off your oven, open its door and let the heat fill the rest of the house. It helps if you open the door to your kitchen too, while you’re doing this.
Don’t overfill the kettle
It will save money and energy if you only boil the water you need.
Use the correct sized hob when cooking
This is something we don’t often think about. If you’re using a hob that’s bigger than your pan when you cook, it will waste lots of energy. Make sure the ring you use is of a similar size to your pan. A pan that’s too small, for instance, will lose all that energy out the sides. Too big and it’ll take more energy (and time!) to cook your food.
YOUR BOILER AND RADIATORS
Turn down the water temperature on your boiler
It’s a trick that not everyone is aware of. Check your hot water temperature when you’re taking a shower or washing up. If it’s too hot, try turning it down directly on the boiler. This means the boiler doesn’t have to work so hard to heat up the water in the first place – using less energy and saving money.
Move furniture away from radiators
If your furniture is in front of radiators, they won’t be able to heat rooms anywhere near as well. Try moving things out of the way and see if your home feels warmer. The same goes for laundry and towels: once something’s dry, take it off your radiators to make them more efficient.
Bleed your radiators
When your radiators are switched on, give the top of them a feel. If they’re cold, this means they probably need to be bled with a radiator key. Once all the air’s gone and water starts to drip, you’ve done it. After that, your home should feel warmer, quicker.
Check your boiler pressure
Boiler pressure should ideally be between bars 1 and 3 (though you can also check your boiler manual for more info).
KEEPING THE HEAT IN
Rugs help to trap heat
Did you know: if you’ve got laminate, tiled, lino or wooden floors, you can use rugs to trap warmth more effectively. Otherwise, those types of flooring are losing heat fast!
Get rid of those drafts
Close all the doors inside your home, to keep the heat in more easily. You can also use draft excluders (if you don’t have any, you can use a DIY method with whatever you have to hand: blankets work just as well!).
Try a hot water bottle instead of electric blankets
If you have one, they’re a much cheaper way of staying warm.
SAVING ENERGY AND MONEY
Turn off appliances at the wall
Don’t leave appliances like TVs on standby, this wastes energy. Switch everything off at the wall instead.
Open curtains and blinds when the sun’s out
Make use of the daylight as much as possible, instead of turning on electric lights – which is easier now the days are getting longer. The sunshine could also help warm your home.
When you’re doing laundry...
Wash clothes at 30 and make sure it’s a full load.
If you’ve got a tumble dryer, reduce how long you have to use this inefficient appliance by washing clothes on a high spin cycle first – this will help dry clothes partially beforehand.
Equally, if you don’t own a tumble dryer and you hang things out to dry, use a low spin cycle to save even more energy.
When you’re washing dishes…
Fill a washing up bowl, instead of letting the hot tap run. And if you do have a dishwasher, make sure you’re washing full loads.
Top 5 free apps we'd recommend
Energy Cost Calculator
This app monitors your spending so you can work out just how much you’re unnecessarily wasting on energy every day, week, month and year
This app helps you spend less time in the shower which means you’ll use less energy and save money. Showr is a Smart Shower Timer with visual and audio alerts that tell you when it’s time to get out. It can also show you how much water you’ve used and how much your showers are costing.
- Available on Android only
- If you've got an iPhone, you could try this simple Audio Countdown app to hurry you along too!
Power Cost Calculator
This app is a great way to calculate how much energy your TV, microwave, phone charger and other gadgets and appliances are using when they’re on standby, and how much it’s costing you. You might be surprised at the energy you could save.
- Available on Android only
This app turns using less energy into a game, but one that could also bring you some serious savings. It suggests easy, energy-saving tips and rewards you with points and virtual trophies while also helping your wallet. Users save on average more than £150 a year when they make the app part of their regular activity.
Swift PAYG - Spark Energy
Now more than ever, our very own Swift app is a must have for any smart PAYG customer. You can top up without leaving the sofa, at the tap of a button - anytime, anywhere! It's a great way of keeping track of your spending and seeing how long your credit will last, so you can stay in control and make good decisions about your energy use.
For independent, expert advice on saving energy in your home, contact your local energy advice centre:
England and Wales: Contact the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 (all you pay for is a national rate call). Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm and Saturday, 10am to 2pm. Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Scotland: Call Home Energy Scotland free on 0808 808 2282 or use this link to complete the correct contact form.