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10 Free ways to be more energy efficient around the home

  1. Check the room temperatures - a one degree Celsius reduction in the heat level can cut heating costs by 10%.

  2. Check that the water in a hot water storage tank is not too hot - the recommended level is 60°C.

  3. Always put a plug in the basin/sink when running hot water to save heated water 'going down the drain'.

  4. Take a shower instead of having a bath - a bath can use up to five times as much hot water as a shower, so using a shower saves energy and money.

  5. When cooking, make sure that the cooker ring suits the saucepan. Use the saucepan lids. Gas hobs should only heat the base of saucepans, not the sides. Turn the ring down as soon as the water boils saves energy and money.

  6. Keep the fridge/freezer full and only put cold food in them. If you don't have enough food to fill a fridge, put plastic bottles filled with water in it. (Every time the door of an upright fridge/freezer is opened, cold air rushes out, keeping the fridge/freezer full reduces the cold air which can rush out).

  7. Don't put less than a full load into a washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher - but don't store dirty dishes as they will become harder to wash as the food dries. Use a short, low temperature washing machine programme if the load is lightly soiled. Use a low temperature dishwasher programme unless the dishes are extremely dirty.

  8. Switch off the television and stereo rather than leave them on standby - a television on standby uses up to 75% of the energy it uses when switched fully on.

  9. Don't leave lights switched on in empty rooms.

  10. Draw the curtains at dusk to prevent heat loss through the windows (even double glazed). If there is a radiator under the window, make sure that the curtain tucks behind the radiator to keep the heat in the room.

None of the above suggestions cost anything or affect your 'standard of living' - they are just 10 ways to save energy in the home for free.