It is amazing how a few small changes can help reduce your energy usage and how this can also have a positive effect towards climate change. We have teamed up with SSE Airtricity to help you reduce your energy bills with these ten simple tips. Good for your purse and good for the planet. Remember, it’s the small changes that can make all the difference.
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Smarter Energy Usage At Home
There are many simple ways you can cut back on your energy usage around the home and save money on your energy bills.
#1. Be Smart About Lighting
Turn off the lights when you leave rooms and switch to LED bulbs which use 90% less energy than halogen bulbs. Lighting makes up around 10% of your annual energy bill so think what that 10% reduction could mean in money terms for your family.
#2. Brew Smart!
The average Irish person consumes 1,460 cups of tea per year. Make sure you only boil the amount of water you need for your cuppa, as boiling only what you need saves not only electricity but also water.
#3. Towel Dry Your Hair
Did you know that a hairdryer uses more energy than a clothes drier?!
Towel dry your hair more often and you will definitely save on your energy usage and bills.
SSE Airtricity Generation Green
Small choices can make a big difference. By choosing a renewable energy provider, you’re joining the growing numbers moving away from fossil fuels and helping to power a cleaner, greener Ireland.
Switch to 100% Green Electricity and get a free Smart Home Bundle which includes Climote Heating Control and Amazon Echo and an Echo Dot*. That’s a bundle value of €656* including energy savings. Click here to find out more.
If you switch both gas and electricity you can avail of a free Smart Home Bundle including the Climote Heating Control, the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Spot. The Amazon Echo Spot is capable of video calling and checking baby monitors as well as your thermostat and more. That’s a fantastic bundle value of €812* including energy savings. Click here to find out more.
*terms & conditions apply
#4. Turn Down by 1 Degree
You’ve probably already heard that turning your thermostat down by 1 degree is a good thing to do. It can save as much as 10% on your annual energy usage and save you money too!
Remember, when you have the heat on, be sure to keep doors closed to conserve heat in each room.
#5. Fridge Tips
Don’t leave the fridge door open for too long while getting food. For every 10–20 seconds the door is open it takes 45 minutes for the fridge to cool down to its original temperature.
Your fridge accounts for around 13% of your annual energy usage. Set it to 3-5º C and your freezer to -18º C to maximise energy efficiency.
Don’t put warm or hot food straight into the fridge or freezer. The fridge or freezer has to work extra hard and draw more energy to cool it down. Thawing food in the fridge is better for keeping your food safe to eat and keeps the fridge cool. And defrost the inside of your freezer at least every 6 months to help it run efficiently.
#6. Wash at Lower Temperatures
Most of the energy used by a dishwasher and washing machine is for water heating. By running these appliances at a lower temperature setting you will save on your energy costs. Many new dishwashers and washing machines have Eco settings for reducing energy and water use.
A 40°c wash uses a third less energy than a 60°c cycle and will usually wash just as effectively.
Make sure they’re filled up before switching them on to avoid wasting water and energy.
#7. Powering Off
We all leave chargers, TV’s and other electrical items plugged in more than we need to. And the average family household has plenty of phones and tablets nowadays. But did you know:
- The average mobile phone takes just 2 hours to fully charge, yet many are left plugged in for up to 8 hours overnight, that’s a lot of wasted energy, 18 million hours per night in fact!
- And even when your phone/laptop/tablet is not charging, by leaving your charger plugged in, it is still consuming energy, same for TV’s and other appliances that sit on standby. So flip those switches and save money and the planet.
- This is an interesting one – closing down apps on your phone actually consumes more power than leaving them open!
#8. Lids & Hobs
When cooking, don’t let the heat escape by covering your pots and pans with a lid. The lid keeps the heat in and also reduces condensation in the kitchen.
Use the right sized hob for your pan – the closer the match, the less energy you use.
#9. Be Sure to Pull the Plug
Turn the heating off when you leave the house or if you go away. Remember, your radiators will continue to heat your home for some time after the heating has been turned off.
Switch off all your appliances at night and when you are not home. You should turn off your computer whenever you are not going to use it for more than an hour.
Use a power strip which means that at night or when you leave the house, you can easily unplug your devices at once.
Turn off lights when you are leaving a room or when you do not need them.
#10. Service or Replace to Save
Upgrading your appliances can slash your bill. Take your fridge for example – it’s on all day, everyday. If you’ve got an old inefficient fridge, it could be wasting your money – all day, everyday.
Most common appliances sold in Ireland such as fridges, washing machines and electric ovens must have an energy efficiency label. You can check this to see what you can expect from your machine. The label rates how efficient the appliance is on a scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). In the EU, refrigeration appliances can even go up to A++! If you’re thinking of buying a new one, check the label.
Getting a boiler service actually saves you money on your bills. As your gas boiler runs, it starts to work less efficiently – using more gas to generate the same amount of energy over time. Getting regular servicing means that your boiler will use the right amount of gas to heat your home and it will be more environmentally-friendly. Spending a little now can save you a lot later. Repairs, parts and replacements can cost a lot but getting a service will reduce the risk of a breakdown and help your boiler last longer so these types of costs will be fewer and further between. Replacing or upgrading your gas boiler will can your heating costs by up to 25%^ and improve your Building Energy Rating (BER).
Small changes in the way you use energy can make a big difference to your CO2 emissions and the size of your energy bills. SSE Airtricity can help you cut your bills and save money. Contact their Energy Services Team for specialist advice in Gas Boiler Servicing, Repairing and Replacing.
1850 81 81 70* (24 hour line) or visit SSE Airtricity
^Savings taken from the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI), visit www.seai.ie
5 Bonus Tips For Families to Go More Green
As climate change becomes more obvious, we are all looking at ways to save energy, conserve water and generally go more green. Here a few simple tips to put in place in your home.
Recycle Whenever You Can
We all know that recycling is good as it helps avoid more rubbish going to the landfill. Did you know that:
- 1 recycled tin would save enough energy to power a television for up to 3 hours.
- 1 recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for up to 25 minutes.
- If we recycled all of the newspapers we buy, it would save 250million trees annually.
Reusable Cups and Water Bottles
- Irish consumers use 22,000 disposable cups every hour. So next time you are getting a hot drink to takeaway, bring your own reusable cup.
- Start taking a water bottle out with you that you can refill rather than buying single use plastic bottles when you are out and about. In Ireland we currently only recycle around 35% of our plastic bottles.
Don’t Bin it Automatically
Before binning, consider reusing, donating, repairing or sharing. Irish households reuse less than 5% of the amount of waste that is discarded annually.
Reduce Water Use
- A full dishwasher uses less water than you would doing the dishes the traditional way. This is definitely one to share with my Dad!
- Washing a full machine load of clothes uses less water and energy than doing 2 half loads.
- Save up to 6 litres of water a minute by turning off the tap while brushing your teeth.
- Showers use less water than baths with the average seven-minute shower using around 49 litres of hot water vs 80 litres for a bath.
- By cutting your shower down to 6 minutes you will save on average, 2,500 litres of water annually.
Make Smart Food Choices
You may wonder how your food choices can affect your energy savings but did you know:
- Livestock produces 18% of our global emissions annually.
- Using seasonal, local produce reduces the carbon emissions associated with growing and transporting food long distances.
- Switching to veggies for 2 days a week can help reduce your food chain emissions by nearly 30%.
Over to you now. Do you have any other tips for how to reduce your energy bills? What have you changed in your house that has made a difference? Please share them with us in the comments box below.