Quick and easy energy saving tips

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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.

Extra help that might be available

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme is a government energy efficiency programme to reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. Energy suppliers take part in the scheme to improve the ability of low income, fuel poor and vulnerable households to heat their homes.

You need to fulfil certain criteria to be eligible for the scheme (for example being in receipt of income support) - there’s more information here: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/eco/support-improving-your-home/faqs-domestic-consumers-and-landlords

If you’d like to learn more, please email eco@octopus.energy and our team will get in touch with an application form.


Switch off devices on stand-by mode.

A report from 2005 says that on average appliances still use 10% of the usual energy whilst they're on 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 (TVs, microwaves, 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 appliances to run. 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, so a cup of tea a day is over £5 a year on your electricity bill. That's 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 per 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, roughly £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.


Control your thermostat.

Turning down your heating by just 1˚C, 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.

Covering up and fixing the areas where heat is escaping means a warmer room, so you'll be able to drop a few degrees on the thermostat and save some money. Find draughts using the back of your hand, then check out our simple, budget-friendly ways to keep the heat in here.


Wash your clothes and dishes wisely.

We've teamed up with Smol

Did you know that washing machines and dishwashers account for over 25% of household carbon emissions? Each smol capsule generates 35% less carbon than the average detergent.

Do less washing and only wash when you have a full load...

If every UK home dropped just one 40˚C washing load a month, across the UK we'd reduce carbon emissions by 120,000 tonnes - that's the equivalent of heating 43,000 UK homes for a year! Psst... for a full load, leave a palm’s width between the top of your laundry and the top inside of the drum.

Turn it down...

Doing your laundry at 30˚C instead of 40˚C can be a third cheaper, saving a family household up to £52 a year (depending how often you wash). A cooler load is also kinder to your clothes, reducing colour loss and fabric damage. An occasional hotter wash is recommended as it helps keep the washing machine clean and bacteria free, so use those occasions for really muddy washes.

Know your machines...

Try to discover the best cycle for your washing machine and dish washer. You want the shortest, coolest, lowest-water cycle possible… and it isn’t always the one labelled ‘eco’.

Refill, not landfill...

Did you know that a lot of plastic isn’t or can’t be recycled? Choose cleaning brands that offer concentrated products, refills and bottles-for-life and you’ll soon be saving carbon, plastic and cash.

Timing is key...

It’s worthwhile thinking about when you put your wash on. Between midnight and 4pm, more of the UK's power comes from clean, green renewable sources (mostly wind energy).


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

Total estimated savings made = £428


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.


Published on 16th October 2019 by:

image of Max McShane

Max McShane

Head of Digital Marketing

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!