Fridges, hot water, home entertainment and heating and cooling systems: they are things every household uses daily, but they don’t do much to keep your energy bills at bay. Real Utilities Project Manager, Huey Pham, shares his top five green tips on how customers can improve energy efficiency in their homes, making it more environmentally – and bill – friendly.
1. Hot water
Making some simple changes to the way you wash your clothes, and use appliances such as a dishwasher, can have a big impact on your energy bill.
“Hot water is a real power guzzler, so we suggest using the cold wash setting on your washing machine, and only wash for full loads. This can also be applied to your kitchen – run the dishwasher with full loads, and take note of any eco-wash settings”, says Huey. You can also take advantage of the sun and hang your clothes to dry (if possible) rather than using a dryer. If you do have to use a dryer, set it to cool or warm only and clean the lint filter after each use.
Huey also adds that time of use may be another consideration in reducing electricity costs. “If you are billed on time of use tariffs, electricity usage is charged on different rates depending on the time of the day. Setting timers so your appliances run at night during off-peak times can reduce cost by 40% compared to running it during peak hours1.”
2. Climate control
Heating and cooling can be expensive if you’re not smart about it. When heating, set your thermostat to between 18 and 20 degrees – each degree above 20 can add 5 to 10% to its running costs . In summer, set the temperature to between 25 to 27 degrees. Once again, every degree below 25 can add around 5 to 10% to its running costs2.
3. Switch appliances off at the wall
Huey says it’s important for customers to understand the cost of standby. “Many appliances burn through electricity just because they’re plugged in, and can account for up to 10% of a household energy bill3. Turning off items such as TVs, computers, and chargers for example is one of the quickest and easiest ways to reduce energy consumption.” Switch easy to reach appliances off at the wall when they’re not in use for some electricity savings.
4. Consider the energy rating
Whether you’re purchasing new appliances, or curious about your current ones, consider the energy rating on each appliance (displayed on a label). There are currently two label styles: the 6-star label and the 'super efficiency' 10-star label for appliances rated at 7 stars or higher. Huey says: “The more stars, the better the energy efficiency – and the more savings you’re likely to see!”
5. Change to LED light bulbs
Lights are switched on every single day, for hours at a time. So, it makes sense to ensure they’re as energy efficient as possible. Replace any incandescent or halogen bulbs with LED bulbs – wattage is lower, and brightness is either the same or better than ‘traditional’ bulbs.
Real Utilities benchmarks its rates throughout the year against the rates of the biggest energy retailers in our customers’ local area. This means that our customers are not only able to rest assured that their energy rates are cheaper than leading market offers, but also that they’re being provided with 100% certified carbon neutral energy at no additional cost. Thank you to our customers, who’ve chosen cheaper, greener, simpler energy with Real Utilities.