Seven Energy Saving Tips That Will Also Save You Money!
Author: Ian Wright
Published: Friday, 06 July 2012
In the current economic climate, we could all do with as much money saving advice as possible. Even better if making some simple changes would not only make our budgets stretch further, but would also have a positive impact on the environment.
We've probably all seen the most common tips many times: make sure all lights are switched off when you leave a room; turn your thermostat down by one degree; don't leave appliances on standby or charge unnecessarily; and so on. They are still worth reminding ourselves about - it's all too easy to let these good habits lapse - but we are all basically aware of the key things we should be doing.
Therefore, this article is going to put forward seven slightly less obvious ideas. All of them are easy to follow and are changes we can all make immediately (so there's a feel-good sense of achievement as well, which is always helpful!). These suggestions are taken from the fantastic Energy Saving Trust website, which is definitely a good place to visit if your appetite has been whetted by this article and you're looking for some more inspiration.
These seven tips have been included here on the basis that they make total sense once you read about them, but may not have occurred to you (they certainly hadn't to me) without this helpful prompt!
Get kitchen clever:
1) Using the right size pan for your cooking needs means that you are not, for example, heating a huge vat of water to cook 100 grams worth of pasta. Equally, making sure that you use the right size hob is important as well. Thus, it's best not to use the biggest one simply to heat a can of soup, but if you're catering for a group and you do need that vat of water, don't leave a little hob struggling away for hours trying to do the job. If possible, cutting your food into smaller pieces during the preparation process is another way to reduce the time it will take to cook.
2) Leading on from the above is a strategy that will probably make all our parents and grandparents proud! Batch cooking larger amounts of the dishes you make is a great idea, as the marginal increase in cooking time required (due to the greater quantities of food involved) is less than the energy used to cook separate dishes every evening. Freeze your leftovers (once they've cooled down thoroughly), then defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat using your microwave, which is the most efficient method
Look after your living room:
3) Turn off as many appliances as possible (television, DVD player, games console, etc), but make sure that your digital recorder uses a separate plug socket. That way, you can keep it switched on to ensure you don't miss any series linked programmes, but you can switch everything else off at the mains.
4) Apparently, checking the setting on your television can make a difference. Think about the lighting conditions in the room where you watch television and then ensure that the brightness setting on your TV is suitable. The higher the brightness setting of the television, the more energy it will use. The default settings in place when you buy a television are often fixed too high, meaning that more unnecessary energy is used every time you watch something.
5) Draught excluders can be just as useful for internal doors as they are for external doors, keeping the heat in and preventing energy leaks. Purpose-built draught excluders are widely available, but (as we're in the money saving mood) a rolled-up blanket or large towel will do the job just as well. You can also carry your draught excluder to the bedroom with you when you go bed and use it in the same way throughout the night.
Be bedroom bright:
6) Another great piece of advice is to set your heating to switch itself off a short time before you go to bed. That way, your home will still be warm enough for you to get your pyjamas on, brush your teeth (without leaving the tap on whilst you do so, of course!) and snuggle up, but it won't stay on needlessly throughout the night.
7) Instead of energy-guzzling electric quilts, keep extra (non-electric) blankets by the side of your bed so you can add or remove them as appropriate, ensuring you remain comfortable throughout the night even if the temperature does get noticeably lower.
So there we have it - no excuse for any of us not to get on the case straight away! One last point that's worth mentioning is that the Energy Saving Trust also has seasonal tips on its website as well, so you can make new changes every month if the mood strikes... (In July, apparently we will all be barbecuing and will be doing so by grilling with charcoal, which is the most environmentally friendly method. Now all we need are some tips to ensure some great weather...!)