Essex is a high energy consumption area with over half of households having a high energy usage (more than 3100 kWh per year). The average home uses 13 appliances. Thirty years ago the average was four appliances per household that’s a considerable increase. Of course, appliances are more energy efficient than they were 30 years ago, but electricity isn’t getting cheaper. There’s is, however, a lot you can do to reduce your electricity bill
1, Turn Off Lights
There’s a common misconception that turning on lights uses more energy than leaving lights on this is a myth and should be ignored. Turning off lights doesn’t cost you anything and only takes a second of your time. Throughout a year this will save you money. The amount of money you will save will depend if you have old Incandescent light bulbs or modern Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs or Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL). Turning off your lights when you have old incandescent light bulbs will save you a significant amount of money as they are the least efficient light bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs burn 90% of energy as heat while only 10% generates light. Turning off modern energy efficient light bulbs will save you around £15 per year.
2, Upgrade Lightbulbs
Lighting makes up to 20% of the average homes electric bill upgrading all lightbulbs to LED or CFL can save the average household up to £100 a year. These bulbs last a lot longer and use a lot less energy up to 80% with some bulbs. Incandescent bulbs on average last 1200 hours CFL bulbs have an average life of 8000 hours, LED bulbs to have an average life of 20000 hours.
3, Turn Off Idle Appliances
Certain appliances on standby left on standby will drain electricity. Always turn these appliances off at the wall when you’re not using them, and you can save yourself up to £100 a year. TV boxes (Sky for example) waste the most energy. TV’s, games consoles and speaker systems will all needlessly drain energy so make sure you turn them off when not in use. Don’t forget your phone, tablet and laptop chargers which will still consume power even when a device isn’t charging, remember to unplug them.
4, Washing & Drying
When using your washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher make sure they are full. A full load will use less energy than two half loads. Wash your clothes at 30-40C and try to dry your clothes outside (If and when you can). The washing machine is the most expensive appliance to run followed by the tumble dryer. Drying your clothes outside 100 days a year will save you £35. When it comes to buying a new appliance always buy the highest energy efficient one that you can afford. For example, An A+++ dishwasher will save you £37 a year (compared to a low energy rated dishwasher)
5, Only Boil What You Need
Many people boil far to much water every time they make a cup of Tea. Some homeowners boil a full kettle (8 cups) of water to make 2-4 cups of tea. Filling your kettle to the top every time you make a cup of tea will cost you £73 a year. Fill the kettle halfway (4 cups) you will pay £36.50 a year. Boil only 2 cups, and you will pay £18.25 a year. So it’s a good idea only to boil the exact amount of water you need.