A report from the Energy Saving Trust (EST) has suggested that across the UK, millions of pounds are wasted on home energy bills due to inefficiency.
The survey covering 86,000 households found that 95% of people boil the kettle once a day, while 40% boil water five times a day. The report also found that 75% of households overfill their kettles, wasting £68m a year.
Addressing wastage from kitchen appliances and small simple changes can help your home reduce your carbon footprint, help fight climate change and save on your household bills.
How can your home fight climate change?
The Energy Saving Trust’s survey highlights how the small things we do every day, such as boil a kettle, can have a big financial and environmental impact when we see our actions in collaboration with the rest of the UK.
Simple changes, like only filling up your kettle with the amount of water you actually need, reduce the amount of energy we need to boil the water and therefore costs less. It is only a small amount of money each time, but over the course of a year it builds up.
A significant way you can reduce your home’s carbon footprint is by switching to a renewable energy supplier. Love Energy Savings partner with a number of hand-picked green energy suppliers, such as Octopus or Bulb. Our energy experts are able to provide you with a price comparison from renewable energy providers that could still save you money on your monthly bills.
Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is by making home improvements to make your property more energy-efficient. These could be simple changes, like sealing windows that have a draught or using thick curtains to better insulate so that you need less energy to heat the room. Switching to LED or CFL lighting from incandescent bulbs can also reduce your electricity consumption. Energy-efficient lighting uses 70% less electricity than incandescent bulbs.
More significant improvements that could save you the most energy depend on your home and energy usage, but some examples include:
- Insulation, such as a solid wall, cavity wall or loft insulation
- Heating upgrades
- Double glazing for windows
- Renewable energy generation, such as solar panels or heat pumps.
For those on limited budgets, financial investment into home improvements might seem like a pipe dream, but support is available for energy efficiency interventions in your home. The government’s Green Deal provides grants to homeowners looking to invest in energy efficiency. The Green Home Grant can cover two-thirds of low-carbon heating improvements on homes up to the cost £5,000, which could help you save up to £600 a year on energy bills. Click here to find out how to apply for a Green Home Grant voucher.
How to reduce your home's carbon footprint
An average household uses a washing machine 3 times a week, which actually uses a significant amount of energy in comparison to other household appliances, like dishwashers and fridge freezers. When it comes to upgrading your appliances, take note of the appliance energy rating, better energy ratings will mean lower electricity bills.
If you’re looking to ‘hack’ the way you use your energy and want to bring those bills down, it’s worth considering a new tariff. For example, if you wouldn’t mind operating your washing machine at night (most modern washing machines have a delay start timer), an Economy 7 tariff – where you’re charged a cheaper night rate – could help you significantly bring your energy costs down.
On average a shower lasts seven and a half minutes. That may not seem like much, but to put it in perspective, if the average shower was one minute less UK households would save £215 million annually. The primary reason shorter showers are advocated isn’t to save money but to save water, energy and ultimately, the environment.
Hot water on average contributes £228 to your home’s utility bills every year. Andrew Tucker, water strategy manager at the Energy Saving Trust says:
“It's all too easy to turn on the tap and not think about the consequences. There is an environmental and energy cost attached to water which many people do not consider.”
Andrew makes a good point, many of us don’t think about water affecting the environment. Whether it’s overfilling the kettle, leaving the tap running when we’re brushing our teeth or washing the dishes, we all do things which are bad habits without even realising.
Use technology to fight climate change
There are many ways to use technology to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
Smart homes have boomed over the last decade, allowing users to control their homes energy consumption from their smartphone. You can read about the top 10 best mobile apps to save you energy here.
Smart energy management systems can also help you to minimise your environmental impact. They allow you to optimise your heating system, so you only use the energy you need, which reduces wasted energy in the home.
Energy monitors are another useful device to help you keep track of how much energy you are using. Knowing how much electricity your appliances are using, and how much it is costing you, can help motivate you to reduce your energy consumption.
To quickly reduce your bills, you can use our free energy comparison tool to see if you could save money on your energy.