Save energy and you can save money – and help the environment. There are lots of cheap, easy things you can do to start saving energy today. Or if you want to save even more, there are home improvements that might cost a bit more but could save a lot in the long run.
A good way to start your energy saving journey is to keep track of what you're using. Upgrade to a smart meter and you can do just that.
Get a smart meter
Smart meters are a new type of energy meter that show energy usage in real time.
When you turn on your living room lights or put the kettle on, an In-Home Display shows these increases in your energy usage in pounds and pence. You can then make small, simple changes to see if you can save energy in your home.
Why not book your SSE smart meter appointment today, at no extra cost?
Free and easy energy saving methods
Keeping your home warm
Saving energy is great – but it's also important to keep warm. You only have to turn your thermostat down one degree to potentially cut your heating bill by up to £75 a year. Pop on an extra jumper, pair of socks or even a blanket and you can keep the cold out without cranking up the heating. Find out more about keeping warm.
And for more tips and advice on saving electricity and gas, check out our guide to energy efficiency PDF.
In the kitchen
Your kitchen's full of appliances that use energy. We recommend those which are A+ rated, but you can make any appliance more efficient with a few quick and easy actions:
- Use your microwave where possible. They use less energy and are quicker than a conventional oven.
- Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need.
- Fill up your freezer! Use cardboard or water bottles to fill gaps.
- If you have an electric tariff like E7, add a timer to your dishwasher. Set it to run when your electricity is at a cheaper rate.
Doing the laundry
- Make sure to do a full load of washing in your washing machine or tumble dryer.
- Wash at 30 unless you're doing sheets or towels. This uses around 40% less energy than higher temperatures.
- Dry your washing outside if you can. It's cheaper than using the tumble dryer.
Choosing your energy-efficient lighting
Lights make up around 15% of the average household electricity's bill so turn them off when you don't need them!
You may also want to invest in low energy lighting. Energy saving bulbs are cheap and easy to fit. Modern ones warm up quickly and can provide the same ‘glow’ as old-style lightbulbs.
For areas where you need a lot of light like a kitchen or study, consider an LED light. These have become far more efficient in recent years and can be better than halogen bulbs.
Energy-saving home improvements and investments
You may not realise how you can control your heating so it's working efficiently for you and your family.
Make the best use of the programmers and thermostats. Set your programmer so your heating and hot water are only on when you need them.
Think about the condition of your radiators and whether or not they may need a power flush. Cleaning sludge from your central heating system can ensure it works more efficiently.
Set your room thermostat to between 18-21°C. And you can usually control your radiators with valves. Think about which rooms you use and turn off radiators that aren't needed. Check out our guide to heating and hot water controls to find out more.
Remote central heating controls
You may have heard about smart thermostats or intelligent heating. These systems let you control your central heating via your smart phone so you can change it wherever you are. Some let you control the heating in different areas of your home individually. Read our article on remote central heating controls to find out more.
We recommend boilers that are A+ rated or above. All new boilers are condensing boilers. They use heat from exhaust gases which would otherwise be wasted. Fitting a new energy-efficient boiler can save you up to £305 a year*. And you might be able to get a discount on installing a new boiler.
You also need to make sure your boiler and heating system keep working efficiently. A yearly boiler service and heating system inspection can help find any problems. These are part of our heating and boiler cover plans, starting from just £13.45 per month for Boiler Cover 50 which comes with an annual boiler service.
Good insulation means heat stays in your house where it should be. And it's the best thing you can do to save energy in your home. If you get certain benefits you may qualify for help installing insulation in your home.
Loft and cavity wall insulation
You can lose up to 25% of the heat in your home through your roof*. If you're keen on DIY you can fit it yourself. Find out more about loft insulation.
Houses built after 1930 are likely to have a gap or cavity in their external walls. Filling it insulates your walls and could save you up to £245 on your energy bills per year. You can find out more about cavity wall insulation here.
If you have solid walls, it's still possible to improve the insulation. You could save up to £415 per year* on your energy bills.
If you're thinking of changing your windows, look at double or even triple-glazed ones. Cheaper alternatives are simple secondary glazing panels or thermal curtains. Don’t forget to close your curtains at dusk to keep the heat in!
Draught proofing is probably the quickest and cheapest way to save energy in your home. Our guide to draught proofing helps you get rid of draughts around windows, doors and even chimneys!
Powering your home with solar energy
Ever thought of generating your own energy? Solar panels, ground-source heat pumps and wind turbines are all sustainable ways to make energy at home. Plus you could get help to install them. And if you make more energy than you use, you can sell it back to an energy supplier via a Feed-In Tariff.