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Save energy at home

Reduce your energy bills (even when you’re renting)

It’s in yours and your flatmates hands

With energy prices rising and the cost of living creeping higher you can make changes around your rented property that could really help. You don’t have to work out how to ask your landlord for solar panels – these tips below are small easy changes that anyone could do.

Step by step. Room by room.

We’ve got room-specific tips that’ll work especially well in rented properties - whether you’re sharing with five other people or renting by yourself.

Save energy, room by room

Kitchen

Wash clothes at a lower temperature

They'll be just as clean, and with 90% of a washing machine's energy used to heat the water, a lower temperature will help save energy and could save you money (source: USwitch, 2021). Also make each load count. Don’t just pop on a wash for one top you want to wear later.

Use 'eco' settings on appliances

Have you seen those ‘eco’ buttons on the dishwasher? Try them. Appliances have ‘eco’ buttons on them for a reason and although the wash might take a bit longer – it’ll use less water and energy.

Place lids on pots when you’re cooking

Cook your food faster by placing lids on pots while you’re cooking.

Don’t overfill kettles

It’s just good etiquette to offer a cuppa when you make yourself one. But only fill the kettle with how many cups you need. You get your tea faster and save money.

Close the fridge door

Please don’t be the person who guzzles orange juice straight from the carton with the fridge door wide open. Keep the fridge closed if you’re going to do stuff like that.

Bathroom

Reduce the time you spend in the shower

Is the shower where you do your best thinking? Speed up your showers and think when it’s not costing you money. Also, the tap doesn’t need to be running the full two minutes while you brush your teeth.

Good ventilation is important

Crack open the window when you’re in the shower. With more moisture in the air a room becomes harder to heat.

Save space in your bathroom cabinet

Even the little things like cutting back on aerosol sprays or choosing a bamboo toothbrush could make a difference.

Bedroom

Get more from your radiators

When cleaning your room, you might not think to dust off your radiator but by keeping the top and back free of dust they’ll be more efficient. Meaning you’re wasting less energy. It'll give your boiler less work to do too.

Lower the temperature

According to the Sleep Foundation, a lower temperature in your room could give you a better sleep.

Living room

Turn off standby

Switching the tv or radio off at the wall when you’re not using it may seem like a small task but could add up over time.

There’s a reason cats lie in sunbeams

Open those curtains wide and let the sun heat up the room before being tempted to turn on the heating.

Reduce draughts

It can be difficult to work out where cold draughts are coming from, but gaps in wooden floorboards or open fireplaces can be culprits. Curtains aren't just for windows, they can be used to keep out the cold on draughty front doors too.

Easy changes for you and your flatmates

Let’s start with the very simple. If you’re studying or working from home, move your desk or chair to the window. The natural light is better for your mood and is a perfect place to stare into space while coming up with those lightbulb moments (without the lightbulb).

While LED lightbulbs might cost a bit more to buy, they’ll save you money in the long term by lasting a lot longer than incandescent or halogen ones. And, according to this Guardian article (Jan, 2019), lighting electricity bills could be cut by 90% if all lightbulbs in a property were switched with LEDs. 

Small changes can add up

The lowdown on landlords

Unless they have an exemption, landlords can only let out properties to new tenants that have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or higher. That's because of something called the Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES). 

If your landlord is not able to share it with you, it might be a sign that this might not be the place. Our simple EPC certificate guide will show you how EPCs work.

Flat-hunting, energy saving checklist

  1. 01

    Look for signs of damp. When viewing a property, keep your eyes peeled for the tell-tale signs of a damp – smell, mould and condensation. A damp property is harder to heat and could have a significant impact on your wellbeing.

  2. 02

    Energy-efficient appliances. Appliances have a rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). The more efficient the appliance, the less it will cost you to run (unless you forget to turn it off).

  3. 03

    Gas or electric? Check if the house is heated with gas or electricity or both, and ask the current tenants (if possible) how they find the heating. Heating is important to avoid problems of damp and keeping things comfortable.

  4. 04

    Insulated windows, walls and roof. Good double glazing will help make a flat more energy-efficient, and could make it easier and cheaper to heat. Also check the EPC certificate or ask the landlord what insulation there is in the property.

  5. 05

    Water tanks, pipes and radiators. Make sure these are well insulated, it will help reduce the amount of heat lost and could save you money on your energy bills.

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