We all rely heavily on electricity in our day to day lives from heating our water to lighting up a room after dark; we would all be lost with it. However it is not getting any cheaper which can really impact on our pockets. There are a number of things you can do to help reduce your electricity bill and save the environment.
There are a number of small things you can start working into your daily life to help you to reduce your electricity bill. If you have not already done it you may consider replacing every bulb with energy efficient ones. Traditional 40W, 60W and 100W bulbs have equivalent low-energy versions, which are rated approximately 8W, 10W and 15-20W respectively. The next easy one is to turn off the lights when you leave a room this can be hard to do with children and teenagers but a worthy exercise. The next tip might seem a bit odd but clean all light fittings and bulbs regularly so the light can be seen clearly. If you have large over head lights with multiple bulbs and separate small lamps in a room try to light the smaller lamps with the singular bulb when possible as these are cheaper to run.
At night remember to turn off all electrical equipment rather than leaving it on standby as it uses up to as much as half the electricity as when it is switched on. Change computer settings so the machine will go into energy saving mode with which will configure it to use less energy. Unplug your gadget chargers when you’re not using them. If a charger feels warm when it’s plugged in but not attached to a device, it’s still using energy. While cooking with an electrical oven towards the end of the process turn off rings and the oven to let the residual heat finish the cooking. Try not to open the oven door while cooking as this will let out up to 20% of the heat. Your electric oven can use a lot of energy so try to use it as efficiently as possible use as much of the space to cook as possible. Do not use your oven to reheat a microwave uses far less energy to reheat a meal and do your toast in a toaster rather than using the grill.
The Real Effort
OK here is where real effort is needed to make lifestyle changes which are always hard but you will see a bigger improvement in your electricity consumption. In the middle of winter try not to use the tumble dryer continuously, invest in a clothes horse, position it in the warmest room in your house if possible and hang small items on this straight out of the washing machine. For the bigger items dry heavy articles separately from light articles and turn the dryer off as soon as the clothes are dry – or if they are not fully dry hang them on the clothes horse to fully dry. If you have an indoor space such as a garage have you thought of hanging a line indoors for the winter months? Also remember a cold full wash is more energy efficient than two half washes.
Make an Investment
Though it takes time to recoup the initial cost, if you want to go the extra mile for energy efficiency, you could slash your water heating bill by a third with Solar Panels. On the upside SEAI offer a grant to help reduce the initial cost that little bit further and you could get up to €800 on a Solar Thermal and generate up to 70% of your hot water needs.
If you have old appliances especially ones you would use frequently perhaps it’s time to invest in a more energy efficient appliance to help reduce your energy costs.
An energy monitor is a small, simple gadget that estimates in real time how much energy you’re using in your home. It shows how different appliances affect your consumption. Keep an eye on it and when you see a huge drain on your energy see if you can figure out what is doing it and if there is anyway you could reduce it.