Energy saving tips

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We all need to use energy to keep our homes running, but with the rising cost of living, many of us will be looking for ways to try and run our homes more efficiently. We’ve compiled a list of tips below which could help you save money on your energy bills. Most energy providers are providing energy-saving and cost-of-living advice – see what your energy company is saying by searching online. 

Are you eligible for energy-efficient updates?

City Energy has secured government funding to deliver home energy efficiency improvements to people living in Central Bedfordshire. Better insulation reduces the amount of heat lost throughout your home and could help reduce your energy bills.

The energy-saving improvements offered by City Energy include: 

  • insulation and ventilation upgrades - to keep your home comfortable in both the winter and summer and help cut your energy bills
  • an upgrade to a low carbon heating system - to cut your carbon emissions, so the new heating system to be installed cannot include a gas or oil boiler 
  • heating controls - that help save you money because you only use the heat when you need it
  • energy efficient hot water solution - keeping your water warm for longer and saving you money 
  • solar PV - to generate free electricity
  • energy efficiency lighting - to make it cheaper to run

You may be eligible for these improvements if:

  • your home has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rated E, F or G (D-rated homes can also be considered), and 
  • you are on a low income – for example, your annual household income is under £30,000, or your household is on means-tested benefits

Find out more about the process on this City Energy customer process diagram.

All funding applications are arranged on your behalf by City Energy, who will also manage all the energy-efficiency installation works. Funding is being distributed on a first-come, first-served basis – apply before 31 December 2022. 

Find out more by visiting the City Energy website and completing the online application form. Or call City Energy on 02921 680951 and press 1 for scheme applications. 

Energy saving tips

Avoid using your tumble dryer

You could save money by air-drying your clothes instead of using your tumble dryer. If you’re drying clothes inside, make sure you leave a window open to allow ventilation and avoid any issues with damp. On a mild or sunny day, dry your clothes outside in a garden or on a balcony if you have space. 

Change to LED bulbs

Energy-efficient lighting could help lower your electricity bills. When you next need to change a lightbulb, consider changing it to an LED bulb, which uses less energy than traditional lightbulbs. The Energy Saving Trust has a whole section on its website dedicated to lighting. They also advise that by turning off lights when you’ve left a room could save an average family £20 a year.

Think about your water usage 

Don’t overfill your kettle – just boil the water you need. And Which? advises that you should descale your kettle regularly; if it's full of limescale, you use more energy to boil the same amount of water.

Swap your baths for showers to use less water. The Energy Saving Trust (saving water at home) says ‘swapping just one bath a week with a 4-minute shower could save you £20 a year on your energy bills'. To make it easier, invest in a shower timer or a water-saving shower head. 

When you’re doing the washing, make sure you fully load your washing machine - the fuller the load, the more energy-efficient the cycle. Use eco-cycles on your machine if you can, and if your clothes are only lightly used, you can wash them at 30°C.

Don’t leave your devices on standby

Switch off devices and appliances rather than leaving them on standby – leaving them on standby still uses energy. Almost all appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming – but check the instructions first. 

Energy efficiency in the kitchen

A microwave may be more energy efficient than a cooker, simply because things cook faster. You may also want to consider investing in a slow cooker – they take longer to cook things but may also be cheaper than using the oven.

If you do use the oven, leave the door open when you’ve finished cooking – no point letting that extra heat go to waste!

Keep the heat inside

Closing your curtains when it gets dark to keep heat inside and keep your home warm. Also check around doors, windows and loft hatches for draughts. Check the Energy Saving Trust website for more information on draught-proofing.