In this guide you will find detailed information about: o Money saving cooking tips o Money saving laundry tips o Money saving tips to reduce your water & electricity bills This information was last checked on 05/11/2014. The Advice Service cannot be held responsible if the information here is incorrect. The Advice Service makes every effort to ensure information on these pages is accurate and up to date; however policies, procedures and regulations are subject to change. Therefore the Advice Service cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience suffered as a result of using our pages. Water • • • A dripping tap can fill a bath in a day. If it’s the hot water tap, there’s a lot of energy heating that drip. It would be a good idea to check you’re not spending money on over-heating your hot water. It o o shouldn't need to be on more than 60 C (140 F). Check the thermostat on your hot water tank and turn it down if necessary. Don't bother having a bath - take a shower instead. A five-minute shower uses about a third of the water used for a bath. It also requires less energy to heat the water. Make sure that dishwashers and washing machines are full before you use them, and always use the most efficient water and energy settings. • Using a sink of water to wash up twice a day rather than having the hot tap running could save around £35 a year on your gas bill and around £30 on your water bill (if you have a water meter). If you need to rinse utensils or wash vegetables, use cold water if possible and don't leave the tap running! • Kettles use a lot of electricity, so try not to boil water you won't use: most kettles can boil as little as a mug's worth. This could save you around £8 a year on energy bills. If everyone in the UK did this, we could save enough electricity in a year to power the UK's street lights for two months. • A running tap wastes more than six litres of water a minute, so turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face - and use cold water if you don't need hot. • A dripping tap can waste more than 5,500 litres of water a year, so make sure your taps are properly turned off and change washers promptly when taps start to drip. • Try to reuse unused water: for example, pour leftover glasses of water on houseplants and avoid wasting water from running taps while waiting for hot water. • Insulate your hot water tank and lag your pipes Cooking • Check what you have in the fridge and freezer before you go shopping. Wasted food is a big contributor towards carbon dioxide emissions. • Only boil the water you need in your kettle, and de-scale it from time to time. • Cut food into smaller pieces to speed up the cooking time. • Use the right sized pan for the job and right sized hob ring for each pan. • Keep lids on pans as much as you can, to reduce heat loss - turn the heat down when it reaches the • Keep the oven door shut as much as possible; make sure the glass door is clean so you can see what's boil. going on. • Cooking big batches of food at once is more energy-efficient. Storing spare portions in the freezer • Freeze your leftovers if you don't eat them the next day. gives you a supply of ready meals. Microwave • Defrost food in the fridge overnight rather than microwaving it. • Use a microwave to reheat food where possible as this is usually a much more efficient method of warming things up than using the hob or oven. • Cover food with a microwave-safe lid or pierced cling film to hold moisture and speed up cooking times in the microwave. Fridge and freezer • Let warm foods cool down before putting them in the fridge. • Make sure air can circulate around the back of your fridge and freezer. • Make sure your fridge and freezer are set to the right temperature, not too cold and not too warm. • Don't keep the fridge or freezer door open for longer than necessary. • Try not to put the fridge or freezer next to a heat source such as a cooker or radiator, or in direct sunlight. Laundry • Wash at 30. Washing clothes at 30 degrees rather than at higher temperatures uses around 40% less energy. Modern washing powders and detergents work just as effectively at lower temperatures so unless you have very dirty washing, bear this in mind. • Wait for a full load. Wait until you have a full load before putting on a wash - two half-loads use more energy than a single full load. • Turn off at the wall. Make sure your machine is turned off at the socket when not in use. If any lights are on, then the machine will still be using electricity. • Air after wear. Try to minimise unnecessary washing by hanging up clothes to air after wearing them so you can get the maximum use out of each item before needing to wash it. • Dry on the line. Save energy by drying clothes on a line wherever possible, even on dry winter days, rather than using the tumble dryer. Your clothes will feel fresher and you will save money too. • If you have to use a tumble dryer, don’t dry for longer than needed – it wastes energy. Switch your tumble dryer off at the plug socket when not in use. • Make the most of your washing machine. Spinning your clothes on the washing machine’s highest spin cycle will remove as much water as possible, so they will dry more quickly on the line or in the tumble dryer. • Carefully does it. If you have a washer/dryer make sure you don’t accidentally use the tumble dryer • De-fluff your dryer. Make sure your tumble dryer’s filters are fluff free. It will help it to dry efficiently. function when you don’t need it. The fluff is also a fire hazard: never leave the house with the tumble dryer on. • Reduce the load. Sort out the washed clothes to make sure only the ones that need to be tumble dried get included on the drying cycle. Living room • Only turn on the lights when you need them. Consider swapping your light bulbs for energy saving light bulbs; on average, this could save you around £3 a year for each bulb you use. It can really add up! • Don't leave things on standby. This could save between £50 - £90 per year on electricity bills: this applies to the whole house. Get into the habit of turning off the television at the socket or on the set, and not leaving it on standby. (Standby is the mode in which an appliance is neither switched off, nor is in full-on mode. • Unplug or switch off. Make sure items that are not in use are unplugged or switched off at the wall. If you are going on holiday, switch off your television and set-top box at the plug. • Consider investing in an intelligent mains controller so that all the equipment linked to your TV (video recorder, DVD player, games controllers etc) are automatically switched off whenever the TV is turned off. If you don't want to purchase a controller, clear a space around your plug sockets to make it easier to turn items off at the mains, or invest in an individually switched extension lead. • Use separate plugs. Put your digital recorder on a separate plug socket so you can turn off everything else at the mains but keep your series link recordings. • Buying a new TV? Look for the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo. This is your guarantee that the appliance you buy is among the most energy efficient on the market. • Replacing your old TVs or other electrical equipment? Dispose of it in a way that means it can be recycled. When buying new electrical appliances, retailers are obliged to either take back the old equipment or tell you where you can recycle it. Find out where to recycle electrical equipment locally by ringing the council, or find your local recycling centre on the Recycle Now website. • Using your television to access digital radio? It's more energy efficient to opt for a blank screen. Better still, get a digital radio instead. • Check your settings. Make sure the brightness setting on your TV is suitable for your room. The brighter the TV is set, the more energy it uses. The factory settings on TVs are often too bright for home use. • When it gets dark, draw the curtains at dusk to keep the heat in. Close internal doors to keep the heat in the rooms you are in and turn radiators off in unused rooms. Consider putting on an extra layer of clothing before turning up the heating. • Double glazing can cut heat loss through windows by half Bedroom • • Always draw your curtains – this way you reduce heat loss through the windows at night. And don't forget to turn the lights off when you’re not using them. Using energy-saving light bulbs throughout your house could save you about £25 a year, according to the Department for the Environment. Put draft-proofing strips around your windows and doors. If you can feel cold air coming in, it means warm air is escaping the same way. • Towel dry your hair thoroughly to cut down the time you’ll have to use your hairdryer for. • Make sure all the lights are turned off when you go to bed, or use a low wattage energy saving night light if you do need to leave one on. • Don’t leave your mobile phone on charge all night – it only needs a couple of hours. • Keep extra blankets by the bed so you can easily adjust your temperature during the night. • Set the heating to switch off a short while before you go to bed – that way it’ll still be nice and warm as you get ready for bed but the heating won’t stay on unnecessarily once you’re tucked up. • Set the heating to switch on just long enough before you wake up for the house to be warm by the time you get out of bed. But you don’t need it to stay switched on all the way up to when you leave the house – the house will take a while to cool down again, so try setting the heating to turn off half an hour before you’re due to go out of the door. • Use the right tog duvet for the weather (low tog in summer and high tog in winter) to avoid having to use the heating (or air conditioning) unnecessarily. • Draw curtains at dusk to keep the heat in for when you go to bed and to keep draughts out. • Wear socks to bed in cold weather to keep toasty. • Invest in draught excluders for the bedroom door to keep the heat in your room during the night. • Get into the habit of keeping doors closed. • Think about what you are putting on extension sockets to make sure you aren’t powering something that is not in use • Think about “losing” the remote control to the television to reduce the temptation to leave it on standby. • If you are thinking about buying a new computer, a new laptop typically uses around 85% less energy than a new desktop computer and takes up less room too.