Saving energy is easier than you think!

When you save energy, not only do you help do your bit for the environment but you can save even more money too.

How to save gas

Insulate your home
• One of the biggest savings you can make on your energy bills is through insulating your home. Installing loft insulation could save you around £155 a year and cavity wall insulation around £120 a year*. Together the savings add up to around £275 a year

Insulate your hot water cylinder
• If you have a hot water cylinder, check that it is fully insulated. If not, invest in an insulating jacket that is at least 75mm (3” thick)

Insulate your pipe work
• Hot water pipes should also be insulated to prevent heat loss. Pre-formed pipe insulation is available from most DIY shops

Upgrade your boiler
• New gas condensing boilers are much more efficient than old ones. If your boiler is over 15 years old, consider replacing it with a new gas condensing boiler with heating controls

Adjust your thermostat
• Reduce the temperature in your home by just 1ºC and you could reduce your heating bill by 10%. Turn the thermostat down just a little and see if you notice any difference (it’ll take a few hours to adjust). Keep turning it down until you reach the lowest temperature you feel comfortable with Note: Remember the recommended temperature is 18ºC – 21ºC. The recommended temperature for young children and older people is 21ºC.

Only use your central heating when you need it
• Set your central heating timer to turn on 30 minutes before you get up or arrive home, and turn off 30 minutes before you leave for work or go to bed
• Turn radiators off in rooms you don’t use and close doors to rooms that are not in use
• When you go away, turn the room thermostat to low and leave the heating on to protect against frost and burst pipes. It will only come on if the house gets too cold

Only heat your home when you need to
• With Remote Heating Control you can control your heating wherever you are from your mobile or online. You can save energy and money too by only having the heating on when you need it

How to save electricity

Check your water temperature
• If you have a thermostat on your hot water system, it may be heating your water more than necessary. The normal level for hot water is 60ºC (140ºF)

Put foil behind your radiators
• Putting reflective foil behind your radiators can reflect heat back into your room and increase the efficiency of the radiator

Use a hot water thermostat
• Have a separate clamp-on thermostat and control valve fitted to your hot water cylinder and set the temperature to 60ºC

Draught proof your home
• Fit draught proofing around windows, outside doors and skylights. Fill gaps between windows and door frames, taking care not to block any ventilation

Install a shower
• A shower uses around a third* of the water needed for a bath. Remember that power showers use more energy than standard showers

Save energy in the kitchen
• Choose the correct size of saucepan for your cooking requirements and remember to put lids on saucepans

Stop heat loss through your windows
• Remember to draw your curtains at night – heavy lined curtains, especially those with heat-reflective, insulated linings will help reduce heat loss
• Don’t put furniture in front of radiators as it absorbs the heat and stops it heating the room
• If you don’t have double glazing, stretch a roll of clear film across your window frames in winter – available from most DIY shops. Remember not to cover any ventilation grills

Switch off unused lights
• When you’re not using lights, remember to switch them off

Fit energy saving light bulbs
• Replace traditional bulbs with energy saving ones. Energy Saving bulbs last up to ten times as long as traditional ones

Don’t leave appliances on standby
• Appliances like your TV, computer and hi fi continue to use electricity when they are on standby. That glowing little red light is a sign of wasted electricity

Fill up your washing machine and dishwasher
• Make sure that you only run your washing machine and dishwasher when they are full
• If you have a two rate electricity meter and are on a cheaper night electricity tariff, run your washing machine and dishwasher at night

Make sure you use your washing machine at 30°
• Washing at a lower temperature will save you energy

Drip dry your clothes
 • Spin your clothes then hang them out to dry instead of using a tumble dryer. Tumble dryers use a large amount of electricity

Check your fridge temperature
• Your fridge should be set to between 3ºC and 5ºC. Freezers work best at -18ºC

Microwave your food
• Microwaves generally use 10% less energy than a conventional oven, so use your microwave whenever you can

Choose ‘A’ rated appliances
• All electrical appliances carry a European Energy Label that rates its energy efficiency. A++ graded appliances are the most energy efficient and ‘G’ graded are the least

Look into grants and benefits to help you save on home heat and insulation

Also try the Energy Savings Advice Service and Home Energy Scotland. These national helplines can advise on benefits, grants for home insulation, reduced tariffs and special payment options. Or try the government's energy grants calculator.

Look into government energy efficiency schemes

Then look into government initiatives that may be able to help pay for home improvements:

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