On this page we’ve compiled a list of relatively small changes that you can safely make to your home, which can help to reduce your energy usage and bills.
If you’re looking to go one step further and make serious alterations to the fabric of your property to make it energy efficient and fit for the future, then you should always enlist the services of a regulated and accredited retrofit professional before commencing any works.
At SDL Surveying, we have a nationwide team of accredited domestic energy and retrofit assessors that can support with your project.
Whether you’re feeling the pinch and are looking to save some money, or seeking to improve your carbon footprint, introducing more energy efficient practices into your home can be easy and beneficial.
Being more energy efficient doesn’t have to mean installing expensive or permanent changes to your home, making a few small adjustments can make all the difference. We’ve compiled some top tips to help you conserve energy without breaking the bank.
While the tried and trusted measure of turning the light off when you leave a room is always a great energy saving step, another easy change you can make to improve your home’s energy efficiency is to install energy-saving LED lightbulbs.
Older incandescent lightbulbs can waste up to 95% of the energy they use by turning it into heat. Even newer CFL energy saving bulbs can lose up to 80% of the energy they consume through this by-product. Comparatively, LED lightbulbs waste very little energy as most of the electricity they use is focused on creating light.
Additionally, LED lights now come in a variety of sizes and shapes and, because they don’t get hot, they are much safer to install in tight spaces. You can even go so far as updating the lights in your fridge and freezer!
Domestic refrigerators and freezers consume a huge amount of household energy and, depending on the age and model, they can account for on average 14% of total household energy use.
While you can’t readily turn them off without your food going mouldy, a simple action you can take to increase your energy savings is to adjust the temperature settings down by a degree or two. Especially in the colder months!
Are you running your dishwasher on half a load? Stop doing that!
Make sure you’re only using your dishwasher and washing machine when they are full, as they take just as much energy to run when filled to half capacity as they do when filled to the brim. Ensure that you’re setting your washing aside until there is enough for a full load and you will easily reduce the amount of energy going down the drain.
Air-drying your clothes might take slightly longer but it can dramatically shrink your energy costs. Investing in a drying rack is significantly more cost effective than a tumble dryer.
To help save energy, if possible, consider stopping your dishwasher cycle when it gets to its drying stage and let your dishes dry naturally by opening the door and letting them air-dry.
It’s as simple as that really! It may be obvious, but a lot of modern appliances come equipped with their own eco-friendly setting, and yet many of us aren’t using them.
Using the eco- friendly setting on your dishwasher, washing machine, or boiler means that the appliance will heat the water at a slower rate and therefore use less energy. You get the same results and lower your energy consumption; it will just take slightly longer.
Most UK plug socket outlets have a built-in switch, allowing you to easily disconnect from your energy supply, but how often are you switching these off?
Unless you are directly switching your devices off at the wall, electronics such as your TV or computer will remain on standby. Although they do consume less energy when in standby, it all adds up. So, save yourself the extra energy and switch it off!
To avoid using more energy than you need to when pouring yourself a cuppa, make sure you’re only putting the right amount of water into your kettle.
A lot of us will fill the kettle right to the top when going to make a brew, but this could be wasting you a substantial amount of energy. By filling the kettle to the appropriate level required, you could potentially save up to a third of the amount of energy you have been using.
There’s nothing better than a home cooked meal, however, consistently switching your oven and stove top on could be eating into your energy consumption.
A quicker alternative would be to switch to the microwave for some of your tasks – it’s faster and more energy efficient. This doesn’t have to mean ready bought microwave meals! This could be as simple as using your microwave for boiling or blanching your veg, reheating food, or even a quick jacket potato.
Similarly, it’s worth considering investing in a slow cooker or even joining the air-fryer craze, they use a relatively low amount of energy and can be used for a huge range of recipes.
If you’re paying to heat your home, don’t let that money escape!
Keep an eye out for any gaps or cracks around your windows and doors where you could be losing precious heat. If you do spot any air leaks, seal them up! This could be with weather stripping, caulk, or even a draft catcher for your doors.
However, be careful not to block intentional ventilation which is built-for-purpose to regulate the airflow in your home.
One way in which you can reduce your energy use is by reducing your reliance on artificial light. Make sure you’re maximising the daylight hours by opening your curtains. Not only will this let in light, but also a little bit of natural heat from the sun.
To really make the most of the natural light consider strategically placing mirrors and moving any workspace you utilise in the day nearer to your windows.
You might also consider solar lamps to convert the suns energy in the day for lighting your home during the darker hours.
Replacing your shower head is a straightforward step you can take which can help you to use less energy each day.
A water efficient shower head works by aerating the water flow of the shower. This reduces the amount of water being used, and therefore reduces the amount of water that needs to be heated, which in turn means less energy needs to be generated for each shower.
However, you will need to check the compatibility of your shower and water efficient shower heads aren’t recommended for electric showers.
Houses in the UK typically have radiator panels in every room, particularly if of an older housing stock. However, when turning your heating on you don’t necessarily need to heat every room in the house.
Make sure you’re checking to see what your thermostatic radiator valves are set to. If it is in a room that you don’t need heating, set it to off. Moreover, most people have their heating valves to either fully on or fully off, switching it off when it gets too warm. You could save energy and money by correctly setting the valve to a temperature you are comfortable with.
If you’re looking to spend a little bit more to maximise the energy you are using, then you might consider purchasing and installing reflective radiator panels.
Reflective radiator panels are lightweight and can easily be placed behind your radiators allowing the heat exerted to be reflected into the room as opposed to being absorbed into your walls.
Double glazing, or even triple glazing, is always recommended to improve the energy efficiency of your home. However, if you’re not in the position to invest in new windows, or if you’re living in rented accommodation, applying window film can be a cheaper (albeit slightly less effective) alternative to help reduce heating loss and increase your energy savings.
Window film acts as a temporary form of secondary glazing which can help to reduce heart loss through your windows, meaning you’re not wasting additional energy.
SDL Surveying has a nationwide team of RICS-qualified surveyors who are also Elmhurst Energy and TrustMark registered assessors that can provide you with domestic energy and retrofit reporting services.