Saving energy not only saves you money, it also helps the environment. There are many ways to save energy around the house that can be done without investing in major home appliances or undertaking renovations and they are also suitable for renters.
Many actions can be done at low or no cost, or through small changes in your behaviour. Below are some ideas to get you thinking:
- Switch off lights when you don't need them.
- Use natural light where possible.
- Switch off electrical appliances when not in use (standby power accounts for about 12% of the average home’s use).
- Heat and cool only what you need.
- Turn down the thermostat in winter and put on a jumper (turning it down by just 1ºC can save you up to 10% on your heating bill).
- Use heavy, lined curtains (will keep heat in during winter and heat out during summer).
- Seal up gaps and draughts (use a door snake or window seals to stop draughts).
- Use pot lids when cooking.
- Dry clothes on a line rather than in a clothes dryer.
- Avoid using disposable batteries – use mains power wherever possible or rechargeable batteries.
- Buy appliances that have high energy efficiency ratings to reduce ongoing running costs (look at and compare their energy consumption rather than just the number of stars).
- Place refrigerators in a cool spot with good ventilation and check seals (allows fridges to work at the maximum efficiency).
- Wash clothes in cold water and make sure you have a full load (reduces energy and water usage).
Changing your habits requires a few simple steps:
1. Start out small with easy-to-implement changes.
2. Decide as a household the habits you’re going to establish and ensure that everyone is on-board.
3. Set up reminders (e.g.: notes on the fridge, light switches, etc).
4. Do the habit consciously for a week, then two, then it should be established and your subconscious will keep doing it.
5. At the end of each energy billing period note the savings and reward yourselves.