75 Guaranteed Ways to Reduce Energy Consumption and Save Money

Emily Manning

Emily Manning

February 10, 2022

tips to reduce energy consumption

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With price hikes and rising bills, many of us are wondering what (if anything) we can do to keep costs down. We asked Mykidstime parents for their tips and suggestions to reduce energy consumption, and included practical advice from reputable advisory bodies to address some of the key areas where our energy consumption is unavoidable.

While ‘big ticket’ items such as installing solar panels will certainly bring bills down, they require an initial investment and they aren’t immediately actionable. The majority of these tips and ways to reduce energy consumption can be implemented right now in your home so you can start to see results with immediate effect.

How to Reduce Energy Consumption Immediately

Remember, this is a conversation to have with the whole household – even little ones can learn to switch off the lights and close the door when they leave a room, or to be aware of switching off devices and unplugging as needed.

Reduce Energy Use: In the Kitchen

  1. Only boil as much water as you need, not a full kettle.
  2. Don’t leave the fridge or freezer door open for too long – grab what you need and close the door immediately. Teach kids not to ‘browse’. According to the SEAI, for every 10-20 seconds the door is open it takes 45 minutes for the fridge to cool down to its original temperature.
  3. Keep space in your fridge to allow air to circulate.
  4. Don’t put warm food into the fridge; leave it to cool fully before chilling.
  5. Only run the dishwasher when it is full.
  6. Use the microwave – it uses less energy than the oven as it heats only the food and not the whole internal space.
  7. Defrost your freezer every six months to keep it working as efficiently as possible.
  8. Thaw frozen food in the fridge overnight. Not only is it best practice for food safety, it will also help to keep the fridge cool.
  9. Use the right size hob ring for your pan. The closer the fit, the less wasted energy and the easier it will be to maintain temperature.
  10. Use lids on your saucepan to speed up heating and maintain temperature.
  11. Keep your freezer full as it means less energy is needed to keep it cold. If your freezer is looking a little empty, fill water bottles about two-thirds full and freeze.
  12. Batch cook as much as possible and freeze leftovers for another day.
  13. If the oven is on, use it to bake or cook multiple things at the same time. Meal planning will help with this – cook today and tomorrow’s dinner at the same time, then reheat portions in the microwave when needed.
  14. Leave the oven door once finished cooking and let the residual heat warm the kitchen.
  15. Use a tiered steamer to cook several items in one pot at the same time.
  16. Use your slow cooker more, it uses considerably less energy than the oven.

Reduce Energy Use: Doing Laundry

  1. Turn down the washing machine – lower temperatures use less energy. Clothes that are not very soiled can be washed at 30c. According to Energy Saving Trust, washing machines, dishwashers and anything else that uses water are known as ‘wet appliances’. These appliances take the top spot in terms of how much energy they use, accounting for 16% of total energy bill costs. The power needed to heat the water that they use pushes up consumption, making them energy-hungry household appliances.
  2. Avoid washing half loads. Only wash your clothes when you have a full load.
  3. Skip the dryer. Use an indoor clothes airer or outdoor clothes line to dry clothes.
  4. If using the dryer, use dryer balls to speed up drying time.
  5. If using the dryer, keep light (e.g. t-shirts) and heavy items (e.g. towels, jeans) separate. Trying to dry them together will result in the dryer being on for longer.
  6. Don’t dry clothes directly on the radiator as it will block the heat to the rest of the room. Instead, use a clothes airer.

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Reduce Energy Use: Temperature Control

  1. Check the temperature on your water boiler – the flow temperature controls the heat of the water to the taps and shower. This is often set too high; it should be set to 60c which will ensure water is at a high enough temperature to keep safe from bacteria multiplying.
  2. Keep an eye on your thermostat – between 18 and 21c is ideal.
  3. If you can, turn it down by one degree. According to SEAI, you can reduce your heating bill by 10% by lowering your room temperature by just one degree.
  4. Don’t leave your water on all the time. Set your water timer to come on 30-60 minutes before it will be needed (e.g. morning showers, kids bath time, etc)
  5. Don’t use your thermostat as an on/off switch. Set it to your desired temperature and then leave it.
  6. Get your boiler serviced regularly to ensure it’s as efficient as possible.

Reduce Energy Use: Around the House

tips to reduce energy consumption
  1. Close doors when you leave a room to ensure residual heat stays inside.
  2. Make sure curtains don’t cover your radiators so heat makes it into the room not out the window.
  3. Bleed radiators to ensure they are at optimum output, so you don’t risk turning up the thermostat to compensate.
  4. Make sure furniture (e.g. couch) isn’t right on top of the radiator or it will absorb the heat.
  5. Turn down radiators in rooms that aren’t being used regularly.
  6. If you have an unused chimney, consider blocking it up to prevent heat loss. There are both temporary and permanent options available.
  7. Have tiles or wooden floors? Consider sweeping up rather than vacuuming every time.
  8. Use draught excluders (or even rolled up towels) around doors and windows.
  9. Use silicone sealant to fill gaps around doors and windows, as needed
  10. Install a letter box draught excluder if you don’t already have one.
  11. Open curtains in the morning and allow passive heat to warm the room during the day.
  12. Close curtains just before it gets dark outside to keep the residual heat inside.
  13. Many external doors can be a source of heat escaping. Consider a curtain over the front/back door to keep the heat in.
  14. Put exterior lights on a timer or motion sensors to reduce the need for lights to be on all night.
  15. Use thermal silver foil behind radiators, particularly those on external walls, as this will reflect the heat back into the room.

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Reduce Energy Use: Water

  1. Choose showers over baths.
  2. Shorten your showers. According to Energy Saving Trust, keeping your shower time to just 4 minutes could save a typical household £65 a year on their energy bills.
  3. Turn the shower off and don’t waste hot water while you shampoo your hair, wash your body, etc.
  4. Turn the pressure down on your shower; more pressure means more water, and that requires more heating.
  5. Don’t leave the water running – obviously not an environmentally friendly choice at any time, but in particular with the hot water that you’re paying to heat.
  6. Make sure your hot water cylinder is wrapped and insulated.

Reduce Energy Use: General Tips

reduce energy consumption tips
  1. Turn lights off when you leave a room.
  2. Turn devices off standby or unplug when not in use. Don’t forget about lamps, chargers, etc.
  3. Wear layers to regular your body temperature.
  4. Feeling cold? Make adding another layer or warmer socks your first choice, rather than turning on the heating.
  5. Put a hot water bottle into your bed 30 minutes before bedtime.
  6. Add blankets on top of bed covers; woollen or cellular blankets and layers of thin blankets hold heat well.
  7. Leave a blanket over the arm of the couch for snuggling up in the evenings.
  8. Unplug chargers once phones are fully charged – don’t leave them overnight as they often only need an hour or two to be fully charged.
  9. Don’t leave computers and laptops on standby or in ‘sleep’ mode; turn it off if not using it for more than an hour.
  10. Skip the hairdryer (one of the most energy-consuming appliances) and towel dry your hair instead.
  11. If you receive an estimated bill, call your energy supplier with an accurate meter reading.
  12. If you have a tariff that provides cheaper electricity at certain hours, consider waiting to put on a wash.
  13. Opt for the eco setting on appliances (e.g. washing machine, dishwasher) – it’ll be cooler and/or take longer, but will use less energy.
  14. Look after your appliances to keep them working their best – clean the filters, don’t overload the washing machine drum, descale as needed, etc.
  15. Get the whole household involved – you can’t optimise savings and reduce energy consumption if everyone isn’t on board.

How to Reduce Energy Consumption Long-Term

  1. When replacing appliances and white goods, choose the most energy efficient models.
  2. Install a smart meter.
  3. Insulate your home – around doors, windows, walls and in particular the attic. If you have a loft hatch/door, it could be a source of heat loss that needs rectifying.
  4. Replace halogen bulbs with energy-saving LED alternatives.
  5. Opt for thermal lined curtains and blinds.
  6. Investigate the possibility of solar panels and alternative energy sources.
  7. Replace windows with double- or triple-glazed versions.
  8. Install water timers that will limit water usage.
  9. Install a more energy efficient boiler.
  10. Investigate the smart devices that are available to help you have more control over your energy usage.
  11. See if you are eligible for an home improvement/eco grants to help reduce your energy consumption.
75 Guaranteed Ways to Reduce Energy Consumption and Save Money - Mykidstime

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Published On: February 10th, 2022 / Categories: Lifestyle / Last Updated: May 2nd, 2022 / Tags: , , /

About the Author: Emily Manning

Emily is the coffee-loving Editor of MyKidsTime. Mum of one daughter and two naughty Tibetan Terriers, she is particularly partial to Curly Wurlys and unable to resist pretty stationery and new cookbooks. As an avid foodie and domestic goddess-wannabe, she is most likely to be found in the kitchen.

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