Saving energy isn't just about helping you to save electricity or be more energy efficient — it's also a great way to save money.
We all know we could do more around the home to save energy, but where to start? While some of the biggest energy savers require time and money there are still plenty of lifestyle changes you can make that will save energy, and money.
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With just a few simple changes to your lifestyle and your home, you could be saving hundreds of pounds on your heating, gas and electricity bills.
So, if you're looking for ways to cut down on your spending, try these 19 free energy saving tips.
Stay warm, cut costs. Turning your thermostat down by 1°C can save you as much as £60 per year.
Also, keeping your heating on constantly on a low heat could potentially save you more money than switching it on and off for big blasts of heat. This is where getting to know and understand the timer settings on your thermostat will really pay off.
Get cosy. Wearing more jumpers, socks and slippers around the house, and putting an extra blanket on the bed means you won't be tempted to turn the heating up.
Turn the pressure down on the power shower. A high-pressure power shower is a great luxury to have but you'd be surprised how much water they use - sometimes even more than a bath.
Save time and stock up. If you're going to use the oven, bake a few meals at a time to get the most out of having your oven on. After all, oven's don't allow us to heat one shelf at a time so why waste your heat?
Heat your home with cooking. Leave the oven door open after cooking to let the heat warm your kitchen. The oven might give off enough heat for you to adjust your thermostat, a far more efficient use of that stored heat than throwing it out of your home with an extractor fan.
Let the dishwasher do the dirty work . Avoid pre-rinsing the dishes in hot water. Save water and energy by just scraping the dishes before they go in.
Make things easy for your fridge and freezer. Keeping them full means they don't have to work as hard and therefore they use less energy. Empty space in your fridge or freezer wastes not only space but energy too.
Use the right ring for the right thing. If your cooker has a small ring, use a small pan. You might only be heating up a small meal, and doing so in a big pan wastes a lot of energy. Conversely if you try and heat a large pan on the small ring you're more likely to end up heating for longer than saving any money or energy.
More tips for energy-efficient cooking.
Shrink your bills, not your clothes. 90% of a washing machine's energy expenditure is spent on heating the water, so if you wash your clothes at 30-40 °C you're saving significant amounts of money.
Hang up your laundry. Air-dry your laundry rather than tumble drying it, particularly if there's warm or windy weather. What's more nothing smells better than air-dried clothes.
Save yourself ironing time. Take your clothes out of the dryer before they're completely dry - they'll iron much quicker and you'll use less energy on your drier.
Switch it off and save. Unplug all the appliances that you aren't using regularly - even chargers continue to use electricity when they aren't charging. Also, make sure you're not leaving appliances on standby: it may be easier but it's also a guaranteed way to waster energy compared to turning things off at the socket.
Get the kids involved. Play energy-saving games with your kids. Get them to spot the areas in the home where energy is being wasted and where lights, switches or appliances have been left on.
Let the sunshine in. On a sunny day, opening your curtains will let warmth into your house, but when it's colder or the sun goes down don't forget to close them to keep that heat in.
Get free cavity wall insulation. There are now government-backed full and partial grants available to help you pay for insulation if your home has cavity walls.
Getting this done could save you around 15% on your fuel bills, so you could be saving on average £98 a year. Even if you don't receive money from the government insulation is still worth it in the long run.
Get free loft insulation. Because heat rises, as much as 25% of the heat in your house could be disappearing into your loft space. What's more, even older properties that already have insulation in place may not have the recommended levels, particularly if it was installed in the 1970s or 1980s.
If you apply for a loft insulation grant, you could save about 19% on your fuel bills - which works out at an average of £128 per year.
Get free solar panels. Having solar panels installed on your house could save you as much as a third on your electricity bills. What's more, thanks to the government's Feed-in Tariff scheme solar panel installers get paid for the energy generated, so they may install them for free.
Apply for an energy-saving grant. There are plenty of energy-saving grants available to help with the cost of home improvements.
Compare gas and electricity prices with uSwitch to make sure you're on the cheapest tariff for you. It only takes a few minutes, we do all the paperwork for you and you could save up to £458.