Energy bills. As discussed in our previous blog post they’re something we all must pay as part of our monthly outgoings, but struggle to have full control over the price we pay.
However, to make us delve even deeper into the money we waste on our energy bills, how many of us are actually using all the energy we are paying for? It has been reported that the UK is losing £9.5billion per year on wasted energy.
What is this energy being wasted on you may ask? Well, the modern lives we are now accustomed to of modern comforts can be the centre of the blame. Keeping all our air conditioners, fridges, freezers, chargers, and water heaters powered is costing us more energy and money than we realise.
Which Appliances are to Blame?
Cooling & Heating
The appliances which we use for cooling and heating of our homes are the worst culprits which consume 47% of our energy use. It takes a lot of energy to change the temperature of a room so, maybe think twice next time you fancy putting the heating or air conditioning think of an alternative such a losing or gaining a layer of clothing.
Water heaters are also considered to be one of the appliances which use the most energy in your home with it being reported that hot water accounts for at least 10% of your bill – possibly rising to as much as 25%. Although hot water is obviously a daily necessity, we can be more efficient with the choices we make in terms of the type of heater we use.
Solar power is by far the most efficient, however, this may not be a solution for everybody, due to restrictions that may be placed on your home’s setup. Nonetheless opting for a central heating system rather than a storage heater, is by far the most energy efficient manner of heating water for use within the home.
Washers and Dryers
Washing machines and tumble dryers are also an essential in our household. Statistics show a typical family of four averages 300 loads of laundry annually, which accounts for 15% to 40% of a household’s water consumption.
You can reduce energy consumption on your washing by using the ‘cold wash’ setting on your washing machine if you have one available. As for the tumble dryer – that is an appliance that is definitely more of a luxury. Invest in a drying rack to dry your laundry on. That way you can dry your clothes without it literally costing the world!
According to statistics 26% of electricity consumption of lighting fixtures in the UK is consumed by residential use.
Apart from the obvious of switching off all lights when they are not needed there are also a few other easy tricks for saving energy on lighting. The list includes avoiding multiple light fittings in one room, using lamps, going solar and introducing more natural light into your home.
Fridges & Freezers
Although our fridges and freezers are clearly an essential like the previously listed appliances they don’t use or waste as much energy. However, unlike all the appliances mentioned above a fridge and freezer will need to be powered 24/7.
This means there is little you can do in terms saving energy by turning it off. However, fridge energy efficiency has progressed rapidly in the last two decades, and most of today's models use 25% or less of the energy consumed by the refrigerators of the past. If you can’t afford a new fridge or freezer there are also some easy tips you can use to make the fridge you already own more efficient. They are keeping it clean, keeping the temperature at 2-3 degrees celcius and placing it in a cool spot in your kitchen away from the oven or windows.
How to Reduce Wasted Energy
The basic rule of trying to reduce the amount of energy you are paying for being wasted; Shut off ANY electronics or devices that suck power even when they are turned off.
These include your TV, laptop, printers, DVD players, dishwashers, routers and modems, phones, gaming consoles, televisions, and microwaves. The list is truly endless!
As Benjamin Franklin is rumoured to have said penny saved is a penny earned – who wouldn’t want to being more efficient with your energy use? Especially when it is as good for your bank balance as it is for the environment.