Small ways to save energy


At settle, our goal is to improve the energy efficiency of all our properties so that they achieve an energy efficient rating of EPC C or above by 2030.

We’re working on the bigger projects like installing wall insulation, and there are smaller, easier things we can all do at home to save energy and reduce harmful carbon emissions.

See our partnership with Greener Herts to find out more about what we’re doing to be a more energy sustainable landlord.

At home, we can all do small things to help save energy. Below are 24 tips taken from several useful sources which you’ll find at the bottom of the page.

24 small ways to help save energy

  1. Switch off standby – almost all electrical appliances can be turned off at the socket switch without upsetting their programming – this can save around £65 per year.
  2. Turning your lights off when you’re not using them or when you leave a room could save around £25 a year on your annual energy bills.
  3. Switching to energy efficient LED light bulbs can reduce bills by £30. LEDs also have a longer lifespan of around 34 years, compared to just over one year for incandescent bulbs.
  4. Wash clothes at a lower temperature – Washing clothes at 30˚C saves around 40% of the energy that gets used when washing at higher temperature.
  5. Avoid overfilling the kettle – Only filling as much water as you need when boiling the kettle saves water and energy.
  6. Take shorter showers – Keeping your shower time to just 4 minutes can save a typical household £95 a year on energy bills.
  7. Download energy saving apps which can help to reduce your energy use, and in turn save you money.
  8. Ask your energy provider whether they offer SMART meters to get real-time information on your energy use. SMART meters also produce more accurate energy bills and provide access to cheaper tariffs.
  9. If you have a tumble drier – reduce usage where possible to save around £70 a year in energy bills.
  10. Cook with the pan lids on and use a minimum amount of water for cooking vegetables. Steam rather than boil, when possible, it also helps preserve nutrients and vitamins.
  11. When filling a bath, run cold water first – it will reduce steam by around 90%.
  12. Cross-ventilate your home every day (open two windows on opposite sides) but not when the heating is on!
  13. Open curtains during the day for the sun to heat the room during the day and close them at dusk to retain heat.
  14. Reduce your washing machine use by one run per week and try to have a full load when using it.
  15. Swap your bath for a shower – swapping just one bath a week with a 4-minute shower could save you £20 a year on your energy bills.
  16. According to the Food Standards Agency, you should keep fridges at 5°C and freezers at -18°C. Avoid wasting energy by having them set colder than this.
  17. Use the microwave instead of the oven for smaller dishes – microwaves use less energy than ovens because they only heat the food, rather than the air around it. Batch cooking meals is also a good way to cut oven use.
  18. Don’t leave your mobile phone to charge overnight – the average mobile phone takes only three hours to charge, so charging your phone overnight can waste energy.
  19. Bleed your radiators to avoid cold spots that are caused by trapped air. If you don’t know how to do this, please get in touch with us and we can tell you how.
  20. Put reflective panels behind radiators – reflective panels are sheets of reflective material that you place between the back of the radiator and the wall, so heat doesn’t escape through the external wall.
  21. Always use a pan which is the right size for the amount of food you are cooking and use the right size hob ring for your pan. A bigger burner will waste energy and a pan that’s too big will take longer to get to the right temperature.
  22. Don’t put piping hot food straight into the fridge – this will raise the temperature of everything else inside. Your fridge will need to work much harder to maintain a low temperature.
  23. Defrost food in a fridge and don’t cook from frozen – this will save energy and time.
  24. Use a draft excluder as a cheap and efficient way to stop cold air from coming under your door.

Here’s where we found our top 24 tips along with more energy saving ideas and advice:

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