How to save electricity at home

31 Jul 2019

With the news that big energy suppliers are set to increase their prices by around £117 this year, affecting close to 11 million people, it’s no wonder that so many are wondering how to save on bills in the home. Switching suppliers may not be enough to get you the best saving though Hoppy always recommend comparing and keeping an eye on the cheapest energy deals. What else can be done? Plenty! All households can reduce their electricity bill with the tips and suggestions we have in store below. A little bit of forethought coupled with some simple changes mean that soon your household can start enjoying the extra cash from a reduced electricity bill.

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UK households vs. The World

Everyone wishes their household bills were cheaper but just how bad could that energy bill be? The average UK home uses an average of 3700kWh annually which is relatively small compared to how much the Americans use – 12300kWh! Canada trails behind America with 11000kWh and Australia racks up an average of 7000kWh. The typical UK home is quite small and usually gets heated with gas while the absence of air conditioning means we get to enjoy far smaller energy bills compared to other countries. The average European home uses 3600kWh so us Brits use only a smidgen more than other EU households. In case you wondered, homes in Nepal were found to use the least electricity, coming in at just an average of 320kWh.

Which appliances use the most energy?

We thought we’d take you through the household’s worst offenders when it comes to electricity expenditure. After all, knowing which appliances use the most energy will greatly help with understanding your family’s energy expenditure. Let’s see the worst offenders below.

The Fridge

The number one spot on our list of wasteful offenders is claimed by the fridge, accounting for up to a third of all the power used. It’s perhaps unsurprising that this household essential uses the most energy as it’s on 24/7 and it’s not like you can just switch it off for the night or when you’re away!

How to save:

Since the fridge is so essential to any household, there isn’t anything dramatic anyone can do to reduce how much energy it uses. To ensure that your fridge uses only what’s necessary, check that the door is always firmly shut - the fridge will use more energy to keep the temperature inside constant if there’s a crack in the door.

Regular defrosting also helps to keep your fridge run at its most efficient. It’s been found that even an inch of built-up ice can seriously affect how much energy the fridge needs to regulate temperature.

The final tip is also the costliest. We all know that old devices aren’t as energy efficient as their newer counterparts. All devices come with an energy rating from A to G, with fridge freezers having an extra three ratings at the top end – A+, A++, and A+++. What this means is that a fridge with an energy rating of A+++ will use, on average, 80% less energy than a fridge that’s energy rated D. That can translate to hefty savings in the long term if you’re in a position to upgrade your current appliance. Do some research on the most efficient models on the market and keep an eye on the price around Black Friday, Christmas and other seasonal sales, to snag a great deal.

The TV

The runner up prize for energy consumption goes to the very thing all living room furniture points at: the TV. With streaming services and unmissable shows like Game of Thrones, we’re all getting very comfortable with spending nights in in front of the telly racing through box sets and using electricity in the process.

How to save:

If you use your TV less, you’ll obviously save on your energy bills but no one wants to miss the latest episode of Love Island! What you can do is turn your TV off when you’re done watching it – not put it on standby but turn it right off.

Buying a more energy efficient model will also have an effect. Newer models typically only use below 1kW per hour when on standby compared to a 10-year old model which uses around 12kW in standby mode. The reality of this will depend on the kind of TV you have and the electricity tariff you’re currently on, but on average you’re looking to pay around £15 annually for an old model while modern TVs will cost you about £2.

The Tumble Dryer

Tumble dryers use a lot of energy as it’s not easy to get clothes dry. Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid using one but running it all the time is wasteful.

How to save

Sure, we don’t get too many sunny days in the UK but when the skies are clear do try hanging your clothes outside to dry. No laundry product smells as good as clothes that have been dried outdoors.

Using the spin cycle on your washing machine (so the tumble dryer doesn’t have to work as hard) and making sure the dryer is full will both help to maximise its efficiency.

The Lights

Turning the lights on is instinctive to most of us as we enter our homes but remembering to turn them off doesn’t come as easy. Leaving them on or forgetting to switch them off as you leave the room (or house for the day) is of course not very efficient.

How to save

Get into the habit of only turning on the lights you need and turning them off. Teach kids from a young age to not leave lights on when they’re leaving a room – you can even make a game out of it by asking them to check the house for any lights which are on but shouldn’t be.

Switch your lightbulbs to energy efficient ones where possible. They’ve improved a lot in recent years so no more waiting around for the light to come on once you’ve flicked that switch.

Don’t worry too much about your…dishwasher. That’s right, the dishwasher is typically one of the most energy efficient appliances in the home. Still, to make the most out of it, learn how to load it properly so space is maximised. Newer models also have eco-cycles that, while taking longer, use even less energy. As always, remember to turn the dishwasher off once the cycled is finished to not let standby mode use unnecessary electricity.

Switch to Save

Now that you’re familiar with your household’s least (and most!) efficient appliances, it’s time to talk about getting you the cheapest energy deal. Get to know your electricity bill and use our easy comparison tool to see if you could be paying even less than you are now. Not only is comparing and switching free, it can also come with some attractive perks. Many energy suppliers are offering bonuses and incentives to make switching useful and fun. Ensuring that you’re on the best tariff for your household is the best way of guaranteeing that you’re not overpaying for that electricity bill. Ofgem reports that on average people can expect to save up to £300 annually.

Even more ways to save electricity: the small things

  • Switch your washing machine down to 30ºC and save up to 50% energy with every laundry load. Modern detergents don’t need a high temperature to do the job well so there’s little point in turning the temperature up high.
  • Go around your home and unplug any devices you’re not using or switch them off at the socket. All plugged in devices will drain energy which adds up over the year.
  • Laptops are more energy efficient than desktop computers so if you’ve been thinking of making the switch anyway, we’re giving you another reason to.
  • Get a smart meter as it’s going to give you a precise report of all the electricity used and the amount of money you’re spending on it.
  • Love a cup of tea or several? Hoppy do too. Don’t be tempted to overfill the kettle if you’re only making a cuppa for one as that wastes electricity.

Victoria Arrington, a spokeswoman for energyhelpline, echoes a lot of our tips and reassures customers saying:

“It may be easier than you think to reduce energy use, by making just a few simple choices. For instance, leaving appliances and devices on standby has the potential to suck up over £100 of energy a year. Using a fan to keep cool uses 80% less energy than air con – and your energy bill may be much lower. And you can make an impact on your usage in the colder months as well – for instance, using an electric blanket uses much less energy than heating an entire room, however it could be very effective in keeping you toasty in bed.”

We think that you’re now more than prepared to start saving electricity (and money) at home! Remember, switching your tariff to the cheapest one will give you the biggest overall saving while ensuring that you follow the tips above will be that cherry on top in getting you those extra pounds in your bank account.

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