15 Easy Ways to Save Energy (And Money!) In The Home

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Looking for easy ways to save energy and money to help beat the energy price rises? I’ve got you covered with my handy, useful, and practical renter-friendly tips to help cut your bills and keep you warm.

After a few years of price rises, energy bills are finally coming down. The April to June 2024 cap will see unit prices for gas falling by 19% and electricity by 14%, which is a welcome relief after two years of increases. It’s the equivalent of saving more than £300 a year, but our bills are still going to be about £500 higher a year compared to 2020 levels.

If you’re looking to get a handle on your bills, I’ve got lots of easy energy-saving tips to help you out.

I’ve been writing for over 11 years here at Moral Fibres, and in that time I’ve covered a whole range of easy energy-saving tips. In my former life, I worked in a local Energy Saving Trust advice hub. I also hold a City & Guilds energy-saving qualification, so energy saving is something I know more than a little about.

Easy Ways to Save On Your Energy Bills At Home

A living room with a blue text box that says easy ways to save energy and money at home.

There are so many ideas on easy ways to save energy contained in these here archives. So much so, that I thought it might be really useful if I collated them in one post for old and new Moral Fibres readers alike.

Here you can learn ways to save money on both your electricity and gas bills, without compromising on the comfort levels of your home. I promise none of my tips involves wearing multiple jumpers, hats, scarves, and gloves at all times. However, it is, of course, good practice to pop a jumper on when you are cold, before cranking up the thermostat!

Many energy-saving tips focus on the big stuff. Things like insulating your walls, or switching to double or even triple glazing. These are very valid energy-saving tips.

However, as someone who rented for many years, I remember the frustration of having ambivalent landlords who didn’t care that my energy bills were sky-high. I also remember the frustration of lacking the autonomy to be able to make these improvements. So, for these tips, I’ve focused on the more accessible energy-saving tips that almost anyone can implement.

Let’s crack on with the tips!

Easy Ways To Save Energy In Your Kitchen

Cream kitchen with wooden worktops and white exposed brick walls

Here are some of my easy ways to save energy and money in the kitchen:

1. Fill Your Freezer

Did you know that freezers work best when they are full? This is because freezers expend most energy when they have to cool down the warm air that gets in when you open the door to take food out.

Don’t worry. You don’t need to fill your freezer with food. Here are some clever tips to pack your fridge and freezer efficiently – from filling water bottles and reusing styrofoam packing blocks to keep your bills down.

2. Keep It Frost-Free

In a similar vein, defrosting your freezer is a pain but so worth it! This is because frost buildup in your freezer increases the amount of work your freezer’s motor has to do.

If the motor is working harder, then this means it’s using more energy. Keeping it fairly frost-free means energy savings for you. Not convinced? This Is Money says you can save £100 to £200 a year just by defrosting your freezer.

3. Give Your Fridge A Dust

Whilst you are defrosting your freezer, you may want to dust your fridge. Specifically, the coils at the back of the fridge, if you can do so.

This is a surprising but effective tip, as when dust gathers on the condenser coils, it means your fridge has to work a lot harder. A harder-working fridge means more energy is being consumed by it to do its job. This, in turn, results in bigger electricity bills for you.

Plus if your fridge is working harder than it should, then it can shorten the life of your fridge. This means you may have to fork out for a new fridge much earlier than if you’d been a bit more vigilant with the feather duster. According to Friends of the Earth, keeping your fridge’s coils clean can improve your fridge’s efficiency by up to a whopping 30%. 

4. Turn Your Hot Water Thermostat Down

It’s also a good idea to turn down your hot water thermostat to 60ºC

The average boiler hot water thermostat in the UK is set to 65ºC. This is very inefficient and a waste of energy and money. At this temperature, you have to cool the water that you’ve spent money heating to be able to use it.

Heat loss from your boiler/hot water cylinder is also increased at this temperature. You can save around £30 a year if you turn your boiler temperature down from 65ºC to 60ºC.

Don’t set it below 60ºC though. You need your hot water to be at this heat to kill bacteria associated with Legionnaires’ Disease. This is a potentially fatal lung infection spread through the inhalation of waterborne particles.

Whilst we’re on the topic of boilers, here’s how to set the timer on your boiler if you need some advice.

5. Make Your Dishwasher More Energy-Efficient

Many dishwashers offer a heat-dry option that uses extra energy to dry your dishes. Yet any aspect of heating, such as the heat involved in the drying cycle, is energy-intensive, and costly.

Instead, you can opt for the air-dry setting. This clever setting, available on many newer models, doesn’t use heat. Instead, it uses room-temperature air to dry dishes. It does this by circulating the air around the machine using internal fans.

I’ve got lots more tips to save energy when using your dishwasher, even if you don’t have a new model.

How To Save Energy When You Are Cooking

I’ve also got a heap of tips to cut down your energy bills associated with cooking:

6. Try Using Your Microwave More

Microwaves are generally more energy-efficient than ovens, particularly for reheating food. Here’s how to save energy by using your microwave.

7. Slay Vampire Energy

Whilst microwaves help save you energy, they can also silently use energy (known as vampire energy). So here’s why you should switch your microwave off at the wall when you aren’t using it.

Need more convincing? A typical microwave is on for 70 hours a year. Yet a microwave draws power for more than 100 times as long, just to keep the clock and electronic controls powered. That means you are using energy and paying extra on your bills for appliances you are not even using.

8. Consider Investing In A Slow Cooker

Slow cookers are incredibly energy efficient. Whilst they are on for longer they use a fraction of the electricity that your oven uses, often making them much cheaper to run. Here are some handy vegetarian and vegan slow cooker recipes to get you started.

9. Put A Lid On It

When you’re using your hob, it’s good practice to use a lid on your pans. This is because the lid keeps the heat in the pan, where it’s needed, rather than escaping into the air. Your food will cook faster this way, saving energy on your gas or electricity bills.

10. Embrace Batch Cooking

Whilst ovens are energy-intensive, one way to run them efficiently is to batch-cook several things. For example, whilst you’re cooking baked potatoes, try cooking something else in the oven at the same time.

And if you normally use the oven to cook one or two baked potatoes, try adding a few more. Baked potatoes can then be frozen, and defrosted and reheated when you need them.

For more ideas on how to save using your oven, try my guide on how to save energy while using your oven.

How To Save Energy By Cleaning

You can save energy just by changing up how you dry your clothes. Here’s how:

11. Don’t Dry Your Clothes On The Radiator

My top energy-saving tip is to use a clothes horse instead of drying clothes on radiators.

This is because hanging wet clothes on your radiator makes your boiler work harder, to get your room to your desired temperature. This means it takes longer to heat your home. In turn, this uses more energy to heat your home and costs you more money.

That being said, ventilation is crucially important to help prevent health issues. If you can, dry your clothes in a room where you can open a window and close the door on it, to allow the air to circulate freely. If that’s not possible, opening your windows every day for at least fifteen minutes helps fresh air to freely circulate, reducing the chance of dampness occurring.

Ways to Save In Your Living Room

living room with grey sofa, cream rug and plants

Looking for easy ways to save energy in your living room? I’ve got heaps of ideas for you:

12. Rearrange Your Furniture

Rearrange your furniture. Yes, really! If your sofa or any other bulky item of furniture is in front of your radiator then it will absorb a high percentage of the heat being emitted from your radiator. This means you’ll have to run your heating for longer for your room to warm up. Moving your sofa allows heat to circulate freely.

13. Turn The Brightness Down On Your TV

It’s a good idea to check to see if you need to turn the brightness down on your TV.

This is because when TV sets are packaged for sale or display, they are set at much higher levels of brightness and contrast than really necessary.

Manufacturers do this bit of trickery so the screens look all bright and jazzy in illuminated shop displays. However, the default brightness settings are too bright for most living rooms.

Increased brightness and contrast on your TV means increased power consumption. Turning down the brightness saves a surprising amount of energy.

14. Charge Your Mobile Phone During The Day

It’s also a good idea to get into the practice of charging your mobile phone during the day.

To charge an iPhone, it takes under an hour for a flat battery to reach 80% battery levels. It then takes another 60 to 90 minutes to reach 100%. That’s 1.5 hours maximum, to recharge your phone’s battery.

But if you sleep for around 8 hours on a good night, you are using 6.5 hours of extra power that doesn’t need to be used. Leaving your phone on charge when it’s fully charged can also decrease the battery’s lifespan.

15. Close Your Curtains At Dusk

Finally, it’s a good idea close your curtains at dusk (and open them again as soon as you get up) to keep heat in, and to take advantage of solar gain while the sun is up.

Have you got any easy ways to save energy? Share with other readers in the comments below.

What To Do If You Are Struggling To Pay Your Bills

If you are struggling with your energy bills, do seek help. Speak to your supplier first – some energy suppliers offer hardship funds that you can access and can offer payment plans.

Citizens Advice also have details on grants and benefits that might be available to you to help you pay your energy bills too. This includes the Warm Home Discount Scheme that’s running in 2023/24, Winter Fuel Payments if you are of pension age, and more.

You can also contact your local council to see if they have funding to help support those struggling with the costs of living. It is well worth getting in touch with them.

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