Tips to save on electricity at home

Heating and energy

2 February 2023

Energy costs have been climbing in recent months, and you might well have noticed your energy bills increasing. So, with budgets getting tighter, and temperatures dropping, you’ll need to be extra savvy to stay warm for less. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to some of the most effective ways to save electricity

As more and more of us have adapted to the new world of working from home or hybrid jobs, energy-saving tips are even more important as you may well be using more energy to stay warm while you work. 

Find out more in our handy guide, to help you save energy and money!

Turning off lights to save energy

We’re sure that someone’s reminded you to turn off lights when they’re not in use - but just how much energy do you save by turning off lights?

Estimates suggest that you can save about £20 a year by turning off lights when you leave a room. On top of the benefits for your wallet, this energy-saving behaviour is also good for the environment too.

Benefits of LED lighting

You might also want to try some other simple changes like using energy-efficient lightbulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. Studies have found that LEDs use around a quarter as much energy as traditional bulbs and can last up to four times as long! 

Along with the benefits of LED lighting, use halogen bulbs for any exterior lighting you may have. This type of bulb has a similar energy reduction to switching to an energy saver LED bulb and gives out just as much brightness as an incandescent bulb.

Switching to energy efficient appliances

Investing in an energy-efficient fridge mean keeping your food fresh isn’t coming at any extra costs. Some of the latest models even feature remote settings so you can adjust them as needed. So, if you emptied the fridge before going on holiday but left it on, you can fix this at the tap of a button. 

Washing and drying clothes is one of the most energy-intensive processes in your home - that’s why making the switch to an energy-efficient tumble dryer can change your bills overnight. Estimates suggest installing a newer model could save you £106 a year!

Does unplugging appliances save electricity?

Advice from energy experts has shown that even when your devices are on standby, they’re consuming energy. So make sure you’re unplugging appliances when not in use to save energy. 

You may not think this would account for much of a saving but in fact, it is responsible for between 5 and 10 per cent of energy use in homes. So, if you’re wondering should I unplug appliances when not in use? This is definitely worth trying out for yourself.

Saving on water heating costs

Before looking at how you’re heating water, we’d suggest considering if you can reduce water usage. Taking a shower instead of a bath is a simple and easy way to cut the energy demands on your water supply.

Along with this behavioural change, you can also upgrade how your home is functioning with these bigger changes:

  • Try reducing your thermostat’s settings
  • Try to insulate exposed pipework
  • Try installing a more water-efficient unit

Using smart home devices

To test how well any change to your home heating is working, home smart devices can tell you in real-time how much your energy use costs. 

With an automated thermostat, you can also set heating according to the times of day that you’ll need it most and control settings from anywhere.

For even more tips for more efficient heating, we’ve got plenty of suggestions like looking at the type of heating you’re using. Portable electric heaters, for example, are the least efficient - so be careful with your usage.

Double glazing windows

For a long-term energy efficiency step, double glazing your windows instantly stops a significant amount of heat loss that regularly escapes from our homes. 

The highest-rated double glazing is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and can save an estimated £235 a year on energy use and 405kg of Co2 emissions.

This modification can also help with noise pollution if you live in a congested area providing dual benefits!

Home insulation

Up to a quarter of your heat escapes from the roof without attic insulation.

So, make sure to explore our guide on how to insulate your house on a tight budget. Spotting areas where you’re losing heat will be your first port of call – roofs and walls are often the biggest culprits. 

Government grants for attic insulation and wall insulation are also available so you may want to contact your local council to see if you are eligible for this assistance.

Turn down the washing temperature

When it comes to getting your clothes clean without breaking the bank, a wash with cold water is a tried and tested way of conserving energy. 

Studies have found that by reducing your machine’s temperature by 10 degrees (from 40°C to 30°C) you can save over half of running costs!

Cooking with a lid on

Just like double glazing on windows and loft insulation helps to stop heat from escaping, cooking with a lid on your pans helps to ensure you use as much of your hob’s heat as possible. Estimates suggest that cooking this way you can save as much as 85% of the energy you would use with an uncovered pan.

This is also an easy way to stop mould and damp from building up in your kitchen or nearby areas. Following this top tip also helps in reducing cooking time.

Solar powered devices

Photovoltaic devices like solar power chargers for phones are now widely available and let you harness natural resources.

You may also want to install solar devices like panels on the outside of your home – how much energy you’ll save depends on where you live in the UK but on average it could be up to a tonne of carbon every year.

Government heating help

Along with our handy tips, it’s worth knowing that you may also be eligible for government assistance with heating if you:

  • Receive a state pension
  • Have a low-income or no income 
  • Have a disability

It’s also a good idea to compare energy tariffs as you may find that you are paying too much for your energy costs on your current plan.

Protecting your home with AXA

Along with protecting your home’s energy supplies, getting insurance for where you live is a must for peace of mind. At AXA we offer Contents and Buildings insurance to give you the assurance of a 24-hour emergency helpline for those unexpected moments like your boiler failing to work just as temperatures start dropping. 

You’ll also know that you can expect guaranteed repairs from our approved suppliers and cover for major risks like burst pipes, drainage and electrics.