*This is a collaborative post.
Energy prices are rising faster than they have in years, putting a strain on family budgets. Add to this the environmental cost the energy inefficiencies of your home, then making your home more energy-efficient should be a top priority.
Between making changes to your property and altering your routine a little, you can make a huge difference to the energy efficiency of your home.
Shop around for energy suppliers
Don’t just stay with the same supplier because it’s easier. Shopping around for a better deal can save you a significant amount. Some suppliers have specialist tariffs for those with electric cars. Like having reduced costs on the weekend when you might be doing a lot of your laundry.
There are fewer offers on the market at the moment than there have been, but it’s still worth taking a look periodically to see if you’re paying too much.
Power your home with renewable energy
Though it may cost more in the short term, having solar panels fitted to your home can have a huge impact on your energy bills for years to come. You can even make money selling power back to the grid. Contact a reputable solar provider and ask them to do a survey of your property. They’ll be able to give you an indication of how much you could be saving.
Buy energy-efficient appliances
The modern kitchen has a lot of electric appliances in it. Many of the more modern appliances are designed to use far less power than older ones. So if you’re regularly using old appliances, replace them with newer models and recycle the old ones properly.
Think about your cooking methods
Constantly cooking in the oven or on the stove can really rack up those energy bills. There are ways to reduce this. You could look at other ways of cooking such as using the microwave or a halogen oven. These use far less power than a traditional oven. Buy a multi-tiered steaming pan, so you can cook multiple vegetables on one stove ring rather than having to turn on two or three.
When cooking, use a pan that is the right size, so you’re not unnecessarily heating large pans for no reason. You should also put the lids on pans when you’re cooking so that your food cooks more quickly.
Or, you could start batch cooking, which would involve cooking many meals at once and then storing them in the fridge or freezer. There are many benefits to batch cooking including using less energy, lower food bills and less food waste. Many people also find that it makes them much healthier to have their meals prepared in advance, leaving far less temptation to order food in or snack.
You’ll also have the added benefit of freeing up your time during the week. Instead of spending hours a day cooking meals from scratch, you can spend it doing something else.
The never-ending task of laundry is a huge portion of your energy costs, especially if you’re using a clothes dryer too.
Having energy and water-efficient washing machine is a good start. Modern washing machines can use up to 75% less water per cycle than older ones. They also have shorter cycles for laundry that isn’t as dirty.
A lot of the energy used in washing is to heat up the water for the cycle. Washing at a lower temperature can save energy and will work on most laundry. Try using a detergent that is formulated to work at lower temperatures. Only use hot cycles when you really need to.
Drying clothes can be a drain on your energy too. Again, you should buy an energy-efficient dryer if there’s no option to line dry your clothes. Many modern dryers have sensors that can detect when clothes are dry and stop themselves automatically, rather than being required to run for a certain length of time. Having a washer with a high spin setting can remove a lot of excess water from your laundry, which will reduce the drying time considerably.
A lot of your household energy is used in the kitchen and it can feel like a hopeless task to try and change your habits. After all, the best way to change your habits for the long term is to do it in a way that doesn’t feel like a huge change.
By buying the right equipment and learning a few new tricks when it comes to cooking and laundry can save you a lot of time and money.