If you live in a flat or apartment, you may think there are fewer ways to save energy. Yet taking simple steps can help you increase your energy efficiency and lower your bills.
It doesn't matter whether you own your flat or you're renting. You can still achieve your goals of reducing your energy bills.
How can I increase my flat’s energy efficiency?
If you live in a flat or apartment, you may be unsure of what you can do to raise energy efficiency. Installing wall and floor insulation may need approval from a landlord or building owner.
However, that doesn't mean you can't take action. Here, you can find some simple measures to help you save energy in your apartment.
1. Switch to energy-saving lightbulbs
You could switch to efficient lightbulbs like LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes) to help you lower your energy usage. They use approximately 90% less energy than standard lightbulbs and could save you up to £40 a year on your energy bills.
2. Turn the thermostat down
To save energy, you should set your thermostat to the lowest comfortable temperature. Always wear an extra layer before you turn to the thermostat. You can even use a hot water bottle for added warmth.
Turning your thermostat down by just one degree could help you save around £60 a year on your heating bill.
Draught-proofing is a simple and cheap way of keeping as much heat in your home as possible. You may not have permission to insulate your flat, but you can take steps including:
- Investing in thick curtains
- Applying adhesive strips in between gaps in your windows
- Using draught-excluders
These simple measures can prevent heat loss and reduce the amount of energy required to heat your home.
4. Turn appliances off standby
The term “phantom power” is used to describe the energy used by appliances in standby mode. We often underestimate how much energy we are wasting by failing to switch appliances completely off.
Turning products such as your television off at the switch could help you save up to £35 on your yearly energy bill.
5. Invest in smart devices
Smart meters and smart thermostats can increase your control over your energy usage. They also allow you to monitor your usage and make adjustments where necessary.
Contact your energy provider and consult your landlord to find out whether you can get these devices installed into your flat.
6. Use a clotheshorse
Instead of using your dryer, you could use a clotheshorse to dry your clothes and save energy. You should also avoid placing clothes on top of your radiators to dry as this could block the flow of warm air.
7. Be smart with your water usage
Investing in an energy-efficient shower head and taking short showers instead of baths can help to lower your water usage. This could also reduce your heating bills. 28% of the average UK household’s heating bill is spent on heating water. Find out more by visiting our water efficiency guide.
8. Report issues to your landlord ASAP
A dripping tap may seem like a minor inconvenience. However, the Energy Saving Trust reports that this could waste over 5,000 litres of water. Contact your landlord as soon as possible to report issues such as leaking taps and overflowing toilets to prevent water wastage.
9. Get a rug
You may not be able to insulate the floor in your flat but adding rugs or carpet could help to block draughts and keep your living space warm.
10. Don’t block radiators
You should avoid blocking your radiators with furniture or any other objects. Blocked radiators make it harder for warm air to circulate your home.
Having space around your radiators could improve the quality of your home heating and reduce the amount of energy needed to keep your space warm. Another useful measure is adding radiator reflector foil to the back of your radiators. Heat is then reflected into your rooms instead of escaping through your external walls.
11. Switch energy suppliers
A cheaper energy deal could help you save hundreds of pounds a year. Making your flat more efficient will have little effect on your energy bills if you are on the wrong tariff.
Our free comparison tool could help you find the best energy tariff for your apartment.
How can landlords make their rented properties more efficient?
Landlords are responsible for making their rented properties efficient in ways that tenants aren’t generally permitted to. This can include insulation and upgrades to appliances like boilers and washing machines.
According to the government’s Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), all rented properties must have a minimum EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of E. Speak to your landlord if you feel that your rented apartment needs to be made more efficient.