What is energy efficiency?

Being energy efficient means using less gas and electricity to do the same things – and just wasting less energy generally. The more energy efficient your home is, the less energy you use to do simple things like turning on the heating, boiling the kettle or switching on the lights.

Light bulbs are a great example. The Energy Saving Trust's lighting article explains how a traditional light bulb only turns about 5% of the electricity it uses into light. But newer LED light bulbs use at least 80% less energy than the older ones. So they’re a much more energy-efficient way to light up your home.

This can be the case for your TV, your kettle, your washing machine and all kinds of other modern appliances too. So when the time comes to replace worn out electricals and white goods, getting the most energy efficient model available will help you save energy and reduce your energy bills.

Why is energy efficiency so important?

Energy efficiency is more important than ever, for two main reasons

  • It can save you money
    Having an energy-efficient home means you’re not paying more than you need to for essentials like heating and hot water. You don't need to buy anything new – even quick, simple changes can make a difference. Just turning your thermostat down by one degree can save £55 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust's quick tips.

  • It’s good for the planet
    The more energy we use, the more carbon emissions we create. Making your home more efficient is a great way to do your bit towards making the planet a better place for future generations. Energy Saving Trust's quick tips show how turning down your thermostat also cuts your carbon footprint by 300kg a year.

How to start making a difference

Whether it's insulating your loft, getting a more efficient boiler, or only filling the kettle with the water you need, even small changes add up. Checking your appliances' energy ratings is one way to see where you might be using more energy than you think.

How do energy ratings work?

Energy ratings show how much energy appliances like fridges, freezers and tumble driers use to do what they need to do. The more efficient an appliance is, the less it costs to run.

Energy ratings are colour-coded to make it easy to see the difference between them. The ratings run from G, which is red and the worst, through orange and yellow, and finally to A+++, which is green and the best.