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How to save money: Cutting shower times, boiling kettles and not using tumble dryers

At a time when energy costs continue to soar as suppliers announce electricity price hikes, Moneysavingexpert.com has released a 9-point energy-saving tips guide.

According to its website, the main way to save during the current energy crisis is to use less.

It has based its guide on saving energy on Energy Saving Trust figures. It has calculated savings using a typical three-bedroom household with a family of four, correct as of November 2021.

1.        Cut your shower time

It suggests that cutting just a minute off your shower time could save over €100 per year in water bills if you have a meter.

It suggests investing in a shower timer to keep your eye on the ball (or just set an alarm on your phone).

2.        Fit a free water-saving showerhead

The guide suggests availing of a free water-saving gadgets available from water firms.

It says that a water-saving showerhead may be the “easiest” way to save.

For a typical family, it states that it equates to a 2%-ish saving, or about €40/year, on average, for a typical home.

3.        Wash more clothes less – and try not to use the tumble dryer

It suggests trying to do one fewer load of washing a week and make sure you fill-up the machine every time.

Also, it says householders could consider doing washing on a colder setting.

Savings here could be in the region of about €10/year for modern machines. However, it says it can be “much more” with old ones.

The guide says that consumers could also save by avoiding using the tumble dryer where possible, which could lead to a saving of €50/year.

Instead, you could dry your clothes on an airer. However, it advises households to leave a window open, as it can cause dampness in poorly ventilated homes.

4.        Turn your thermostat down

According to the guide, for each degree you cut the thermostat, expect to cut bills by 4%-ish, or about £65 a year on average for a typical home.

According to the World Health Organisation,18 degrees is “enough” for healthy adults, while the “very old or young” require slightly higher temperatures.

Furthermore, the Energy Saving Trust advises that you should only have your heating on when you require it.

5.        Use radiator thermostats

The guide highlights that thermostatic radiator valves are an extra control that you can use to set the temperature of each individual room (other than where your main thermostat is).

When the temperature in that room rises above what you have set on the radiator valve, it will stop water from flowing through that particular radiator.

The boiler will still be on to heat other rooms, but it will use less energy.

Installing them and using them with your thermostat allows you to control the temperature room by room, and could save you almost 6%.

Some also say that painting your radiators black can help them heat rooms more efficiently.

However, the Energy Saving Trust has dismissed this claim as “a waste” of time, paint and money.

6.        Do not assume all energy-saving light bulbs are equal

According to the guide, LED uses about half the energy of the bigger fluorescent spiral energy-saving bulbs.

The Energy Saving Trust recommends that you turn off lights when you leave the room, no matter how long.

7.        Think ‘how many cups of tea/coffee am I making?’

The more water you boil, the more energy you use. Be conscious about this when filling the kettle so you do not overfill.

The guide advises households to only fill it with what they will use.

Some even recommend buying a smaller kettle, so you are not tempted to overfill it.

8.        Do not leave your devices on standby

The guide outlines that switching off your devices is better than leaving them on standby.

But, it does add that it is “nowhere near the problem it once was”.

The Energy Saving Trust says you can save €50 a year by switching devices off standby, but this guide creator reckons this figure is “a bit overblown”.

9.        Turn draught detective

It advises households to walk around their home spotting window and door draughts.

Decent draught-proofing can slash 2% off energy bills and can apply to chimneys too, where you could get a further reduction to the tune of 1.5%-ish.

Some also say that putting clingfilm on your windows can help trap the heat in to stop it from escaping.

The Energy Saving Trust confirmed to the website that this does work, as long as it is transparent and airtight.

Other tips: How to save energy:
  • Fill your dishwasher;
  • Top up the insulation;
  • Swap your bath for a shower.

Read more: Money Saving Expert

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