16th October 2019
Quick and easy energy saving tips
Max McShane, Head of Digital Marketing
Strapped for time?
Want a quick list of simple energy saving tips to help lower your bills? The video below was made just for you!
Unlike other energy saving guides we've estimated roughly how much each tip will save you over the course of a year. To find out what these savings are scroll past the video and read the full details in the blog below.
There's a summary of the savings you can make at the end too.
A guide to significantly lower your energy bills
Lowering your energy bills is as simple as changing a few habits and knowing which appliances cost the most to run. Unlike other energy saving tip guides we've estimated roughly how much each tip will save you over the course of a year. Individually these tips will save you a little each year and together they can save you hundreds. Read below to find out how much they could save you.
Switch off devices on stand-by mode.
A report from 2005 says that on average appliances still use 10% of the usual energy while they're in stand-by. This report is a little dated so we looked into it ourselves.
We found that turning standard home appliances off at the plug can save you anything from £40-£80 a year. It very much varies per household ~ the older your appliances are the more energy they'll be using on stand-by and the more money you'll save by switching them off.
If your household has many gadgets ~ think beyond TVs and microwaves and look how many games consoles, DVD/Blu-ray players, voice assistants (like Alexa and Google devices), wireless speakers, computer monitors, digital TV boxes (like Sky, Virgin or Now TV) etc ~ add appliances like dishwashers, driers and washing machines to that list and you're looking at the top end of those savings. So switch them off at the plug if you're not using them.
You can work out how much energy your appliances use while on stand-by here.
While we're on the topic...
Buy efficient appliances.
When your appliances have run their course, and it’s time to replace them, go for one with a high energy efficiency rating. You can find out how efficient an appliance is from the energy label displayed on it. The most efficient products are those rated as “A” and the least efficient are those rated “D”.
For example, an A+++ fridge freezer will save you around £19 a year compared to an A+ model.
Know which appliances cost the most to run.
Tumble driers, kettles and toasters are the most expensive. This is why you'll have heard to only fill the kettle to the amount you need. It varies on the type of kettle you have but we estimate it costs 14p for every 10 cups of tea. A cup of tea a day is over £5 a year on your electricity bill ~ not a bad price at all. But if you're filling the kettle for 5 people when you only need 1 you'll be paying closer to £25 a year instead.
On average tumble driers use 2.5 kWh of energy per cycle ~ again this will vary based on the rating of your personal appliance ~ if your unit rate is 14p per kWh thats 35p a cycle. Using it 3 times a week will cost you £54 for the year. Limit your usage to only the winter months and you'll save yourself £41 a year. In the warmer months hang your clothes out to dry instead.
Don’t leave your tap dripping - and don't leave water running.
On the whole water is pretty cheap ~ about £1 for 1000 litres. But a dripping tap wastes more than 5,500 litres of water a year. Fixing a dripping tap would save you up to £5.50 a year. Now think how much you could save not leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth? It depends how fast your tap runs and how long you spend brushing your teeth with the tap running but we estimate anything between £40-£60 a year. You can also purchase tap aerators which limit the amount of water being used without losing any pressure. You can find these for around £5.
Use energy efficient light bulbs.
These typically use 25-80% less energy and can last 3-25 times longer! OK some of them take a few extra seconds to brighten the room but lets look at how much they save you in the long term. Replacing a single standard incandescent light bulb (60 watt) with an energy saving one (14 watt) will save you £18 a year.
Let's say you switched the living room, two bedrooms and both the upstairs and downstairs hallway, you'd save yourself £91 a year
Wash clothes at a lower temperature.
Doing your laundry at 30 degrees celsius rather than 40 can be a third cheaper which means savings of up to £52 a year for a family household (depending how often you wash) A cooler load is kinder to your clothes, reducing colour loss and fabric damage your clothes. Though it's recommended to run the occasional hot load too, which you'll need to do for those really muddy washes. An occasional hotter wash helps to keep the washing machine itself clean and bacteria free.
Control your thermostat.
Turning down your heating by just 1 degree, could save you up to £75 a year. That’s worth wearing an extra layer to me!
Not sure you'll be able to cope with the thermostat being colder? Follow the next tip to help you stop losing heat...
Investigate where your heat is escaping.
You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to crack this one! Octopus Energy can help customers discover where heat is escaping and save money on energy bills with a free thermal camera. Yes, rent a thermal camera for FREE (rent for up to 7 days and we’ll even pay the postage to get the camera back to us) This is Money wrote about this incentive here! We'll be creating a page for customers to apply for one this winter too so watch this space.
Covering up and fixing the areas where heat is escaping means a warmer room and you'll be able to drop a few degrees on the thermostat to save a few quid there.
Check you're not overpaying your energy supplier.
60% of the UK are still on an expensive, overpriced tariff. Get a quote at Octopus Energy and see how much you could save. Switching from a 'Big Six' or other expensive energy supplier could save you up to £244 a year!
The first question we ask ourselves when making decisions ~ Is it clear, honest and fair to the customer?
That's why we're 100% green, don't charge early exit fees, and won gold at the Customer Experience Awards in 2019 - for the second year, no biggy.
Total savings summary
Most of the above tips simply require a habit change. Here's what following these tips and changing your autopilot behaviour can save you:
Switch off don't stand-by: £65/year
Limiting water in a kettle: £20/year
Limiting tumble drier usage: £41/year
Fix a dripping tap: £5.50/year
Stop running water: £60/year
Lower your Thermostat: £75/year
30 degree wash: £52/year
Replacing lightbulbs: £91/year
Modern appliances: £19/year
and switching energy supplier: up to £244/year
Total estimated savings made = £672
What would you buy with an extra £672 a year?
Further energy saving information
Energy Saving Trust
For general energy saving advice
England: Energy Saving Trust England, 30 North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5GP (head office phone: 020 7222 0101)
Scotland: Energy Saving Trust Scotland, Second Floor, Ocean Point 1, 94 Ocean Drive, Edinburgh, EH6 6JH (head office phone: 0131 555 7900)
Simple Energy Advice
For bespoke energy efficiency advice for your home
Phone: 0800 444202
Smart Energy GB
Smart Energy GB is the government-backed campaign for a smarter Britain. We work to help you understand smart meters and their rollout across England, Scotland and Wales, and to show you how your smart meter could make you more efficient with your energy use.
Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!×Close window