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How to use less electricity – Money-saving tips

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Using less energy isn’t just greener – it will save you money! The Energy Saving Trust estimates the average household could save up to £250 annually by putting energy-saving measures into place.

How much money can I save?

Quite a lot. Even without buying new energy-efficient products, the way you use your current household items can make a big difference. For example, a typical 42-inch plasma TV will use about 300W an hour, or 0.3kWh. If on for 4 hours every evening and left on standby when not in use, it will consume approximately £4.90 of electricity a month. Simply switching on its energy-saving mode when in use, and powering down completely when not in use as opposed to leaving it in standby, will take more than a third off this cost straight away.

Tumble drying clothes can use more than 60p of electricity per load if you’re machine isn’t particularly efficient. You can cut this by following our energy-saving tumble drying tips.

Also, replacing old energy-guzzlers like traditional light bulbs with new, energy-efficient equivalents can add to your savings. Which? members can discover the best and worst energy saving light bulbs in our online review.

Get the best energy deal

To make sure you’re paying the best price for the energy you use, use our switching site to get cheaper gas and cheaper electricity.

  • Saving The average annual saving using Which? Switch is £270.

Make your own electricity

Home wind turbine on roof

Our wind turbine used more energy than it generated

Solar power can generate electricity (solar PV), or for a much lower initial outlay just help you heat water (solar thermal) – this can slash your water heating bill by a third. Find out more about solar panels, including how much you can expect to save, in our online guide.

Small domestic wind turbines can provide up to 35% of an average home’s electricity needs, with shorter payback periods than solar panels – although the average wind speed around your house is absolutely key to how your small domestic turbine will perform. For most people in the UK, it won’t be worth it. Find out more about wind turbines in our online guide.

  • Saving After the considerable initial expenditure on a Solar PV system, the estimated average annual income based on annual electricity savings and feed-in tariff benefits is £835.

Say bye to standby

We’ve covered standby in some detail (see the Standby and electricity page). But here’s another fact: a single computer and monitor left on 24 hours a day will cost more than £50 a year in electricity. Switching these off completely out of normal working hours, and not leaving them on standby, could cut this to £15 a year.

Turning your DVD player or DVD recorderoff, instead of leaving it on standby, is another big energy saver. An average DVD recorder left on standby overnight uses roughly the same amount of electricity as a low energy light bulb left on for the same time. Some DVD recorders use double this amount.
  • Saving Up to £40 per year.

Use low-energy light bulbs

energy saving bulb 146

Low energy light bulbs can last 10 years

Change traditional light bulbs to low-energy bulbs. These can last 10 years or more compared with an average of one year for a traditional bulb.

  • Saving For each single 100W bulb replaced by a low-energy equivalent, you’ll reduce your electricity bill by about £11 a year.

Unplug gadget chargers

If a charger feels warm when it’s plugged in without being attached to a device, it’s still converting energy. So unplug mobile phone and laptop chargers when you’re not using them to save electricity and money.

  • Saving £1.50 per year. It costs less than a penny to charge a phone for eight hours, but unplugging when not in use is one of those changes that can make a big environmental impact if everyone does it.
Article by: Which? Consumer Magazine
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