How to manage energy usage in your home

Will Leyland, 21 October 2022

As we move into winter we’re now starting to think a lot more about how much money we're spending on energy and really looking at how we can manage energy usage at home. That means being much more conscious of the items we’re using around the house, not just the heating or the lights left on.

It’s perhaps now coming into starker focus as the nights draw in and the temperature drops. This will usually start to bring us into a more concerted effort to save on our bills as they’re actually visibly there.

Let’s start by saying, we’re not expecting you to walk around the house in a jumper and a duvet - if the temperature drops significantly, you need to turn the heating on to stay warm, but there are other ways you could offset that cost by being a bit more hands-on when it comes to managing energy usage in the home.

Here, we’ve got a list of appliances that use the most energy around the house according to the energy-saving trust (EST).

How to manage energy usage at home

Wet appliances

According to the EST, washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of the typical household energy bill.

Now, of course, you can’t simply stop using your washing machine, nor should you be expected to, however, being smart can help. Try only running a wash when you know you can put a full load in and try to always use the eco-saving mode that most washing machines come with. Washing at 30 or 40 degrees instead of a higher temperature can save £100’s per year.

Similarly, a dishwasher is always nice to have, but in terms of cost, it’s much more expensive than just washing the pots yourself. Whilst a dishwasher will run for roughly half an hour using electricity to warm the water and run the machine, a sink will only take about 5 to 10 minutes to warm the water through the boiler.

Tumble dryers are often extremely convenient or necessary, especially with kids, if you need your clothes drying quickly. Having said that, if you’re not in a rush to dry your clothes then it could make sense to hold off and hang them over radiators or on clothes driers near radiators whilst you have the heating on.

Fridges and freezers

Also accounting for roughly 13% of the typical household bill, fridges and freezers are quite clearly an absolute necessity, however, they have a long lifespan of about 15 to 17 years.

Next time you need to purchase one consider ensuring that you’re buying the most energy-efficient model that you can find to help to manage your energy usage.

Electronics

Electronics such as laptops, phones, TVs and game consoles account for about 6% of your overall energy usage, so whilst not a huge contributor to the cost they still make a hefty dent in that yearly amount.

The old advice is still the best in this regard, ensure you’re switching your appliances off at the plug before bed to ensure they’re not sapping energy on standby mode overnight.

Whilst standby can certainly save energy, off is always best. Just ensure you don’t turn your broadband router off as this can affect its function and can stop some devices from updating overnight.

And there we have, just a few tips to help you manage energy usage in your home. We hope this helps in some way, and if you want to read some of our other money-saving tips, why not take a look at this article?


Will Leyland, 21 October 2022