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Blog Post 29 October 2020 Updated 28 May 2021

Top 10 energy saving actions for your home

From choosing energy efficient kitchen appliances to draught-proofing your windows and doors, we round up our top 10 energy saving tips to help you save money on your energy bills and reduce your household carbon footprint.


Switch off standby

You could save around £35 a year by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode.

Almost all electrical and electronic appliances can be turned off at the plug without interfering with their settings. You could also buy a standby saver, which allows you to turn all your appliances off standby at once.

You may need to leave your satellite or digital TV recorder plugged in if you’re recording programmes you want to watch later. You may also need to leave any ‘smart’ technologies you own switched on, such as smart speakers and heating controls.

Find out which appliances use most energy in your home.


Choose energy efficient appliances

Your kitchen appliances use more energy than you might think, but it’s easy to save money on your energy bills by using them more carefully.

A 10-litre washing up bowl can fill in as little as a minute and a half. If you’re standing at the sink longer this, using a bowl stop your money going down the drain. And when you want to make your next cup of tea or coffee, remember to only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need – this could save you around £6 a year.

Your washing machine is one of the most used appliances in your kitchen. A 7kg washing machine used 220 times a year will cost around £29-35 each year to run. You could save £8 a year by reducing your washing machine use by just one cycle a week.

We have more tips on how to save money when using your washing machine.


Control your lighting

Switching to energy efficient lights such as LED spotlights could save you money throughout your house. LEDs come in a variety of shapes, sizes and fittings – if the average household replaced all their bulbs with LEDs, it could save up to £40 a year.

An even easier way to save is to turn off your lights when you’re not using them. Even if you leave the room just for a few seconds, switching off the lights will save more energy than they use to switch on again. Always turning off your lights when you’re not using them could save you up to £15 a year on your energy bill.

Find out more about the benefits of switching to energy efficient lighting.


Reduce your water use

We’ve already mentioned using a washing up bowl instead of running the tap to save water, but there are even more ways to quickly and easily save money by saving water.

Spending just one minute less in the shower will save up to £8 a year on your energy bills, per person. With a water meter, this could save a further £13 off annual water and sewerage bills.

Replacing your shower head with a water efficient one could save a four-person household as much as £38 a year on gas for water heating *. Metered homes could save an additional £53 on their annual water and sewerage charges. A running tap uses more than five litres of water every minute, so turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your face.

*Calculation is based on replacing a 9.82 litre/minute shower head with a 7.7 litre/minute water efficient shower head. Water-efficient showerheads are incompatible with electric showers.


Take control of your heating

More than half of the money spent on the average household’s fuel bills goes towards providing heating and hot water.

Installing a room thermostat, a programmer and thermostatic radiator valves – and using these controls efficiently – could save you around £75 a year.

Turning down your room thermostat by just one degree can save around £60 a year.

We have more advice on thermostats and heating controls, including their benefits, potential savings and videos showing you how to use them efficiently.


Get savvy with smart controls

Smart heating controls can help you control your heating and understand how much energy you use. They allow you to control your heating remotely via a mobile app, so you can manage the temperature of your home from wherever you are.

Smart meters can help you save money by making you aware of how much energy you use, helping you to cut waste – whether this is by turning off the lights or switching your TV off standby.

Government estimates that a display or monitor could typically help reduce a household’s electricity use by 2.8% and gas use by 2%. Find out more about smart meters.


Draught-proof your home

Unless your home is very new, you’ll probably be losing heat through draughts around your windows and doors, as well as through gaps in the floor or through the chimney.

Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy – and money – in any type of building.

Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you around £25 a year. If you have an open chimney, draught-proofing your chimney when you’re not using it could save around £19 a year.

While professional draught-proofing is likely to save more money, if you’re happy carrying out simple DIY tasks, explore our advice on how to draught-proof your home.


Upgrade your windows and doors

Replacing your doors and windows with energy efficient ones will reduce your energy bills and lower your carbon footprint. Energy efficient glazing covers both double and triple glazing, which could help to reduce heat loss from your home.

If you live in a gas heated, semi-detached house in England, Scotland or Wales, for example, you could save between £80-105 a year by replacing all single glazed windows with double glazing.


Install insulation

If your home isn’t well insulated, you could be losing considerable amounts of heat – and money – through your walls, floor and roof. Insulating under the floorboards on the ground floor of your home, for example, could save you about £45 a year on your energy bill.


Financial support for energy saving measures

If you live in England, you may be eligible for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, which obliges energy companies to install energy efficiency measures in the homes of those who need them most.

If you live in Scotland, check with Home Energy Scotland – their advisors offer free, impartial advice on energy saving and reducing water use, among others.

In Wales, if you’re struggling to keep your home warm or cope with your energy bills, the Nest scheme offers a range of free advice. If you are eligible, you may be able to apply for a package of free home energy efficiency improvements.

And if you’re based in Northern Ireland, we recommend contacting NI Energy Advice to find out more about energy efficiency grants that may be available.

Last updated: 28 May 2021