Whether you are looking to lower your monthly bills or reduce your carbon footprint, there are many ways to adopt healthier energy habits and save while renting. It all comes down to energy consumption.
According to Ofgem, the typical annual domestic energy use (TDCVs) is 12,000kwh for Gas and 2,900kwh for electricity, and it varies depending on the size of your household. While home is a safe place where we like to feel warm and cosy, our comforts can consume a lot of energy and run up our utility charges.
It's always a good idea to review your energy spend and be aware of the many available options for you as a renter.
Use an EPC to check energy efficiency
If you are looking to move to a new house now, check out the home’s energy performance certificate (EPC). EPCs are issued by professional assessors who measure how energy-efficient the home is, taking into account lighting, windows, and heating, among many other features.
Think of the much wanted double glazing windows that keep the drafts at bay or the highly desirable brand new appliances, which most often come with A+ energy efficiency ratings. Properties are graded on a scale A-G, with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least. The better the EPC grade, the greener your new home will be, and the less you will pay for utilities.
Install a smart meter
Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters, which allow you to track your usage from your mobile phone, get real time readings and accurate billing every time. Energy suppliers are offering smart meters to all their customers. If you haven’t got a smart meter, it’s worth discussing it with your landlord to obtain permission, you can then request one to be installed for free.
Smart technology can now give us access to data we didn’t have previously, such as our hourly energy consumption. With a smart meter, you can easily track your usage and understand where you would be able to make reductions. A smart meter will give you the option to easily track your usage and understand where you would be able to make reductions.
Should you switch suppliers?
It’s always a good idea to run a health check on your energy bills. If you have a smart meter, you already know your consumption or you can check it on the latest bill. You can benchmark your consumption against the annual average for your household (TDCVs) available from all energy suppliers.
Don't hesitate to run a price comparison; you can take advantage of one of the many free online tools to better understand the market and your spending. If you are moving home, it is an excellent time to look for energy deals that will get you the most savings. As a renter, it’s always advised to check in with your landlord before proceeding with a switch in suppliers.
Over the past few years, increasing demand for sustainably generated energy has brought to the market a wider choice of green tariffs that are not more or less expensive than energy tariffs generated using traditional fossil fuels. You can join the many eco-conscious households that opt for clean energy supply. Bulb, GEUK, Ecotricity, Octopus energy, or Ovo energy offer some of the best green tariffs.
Switching energy providers has been one of the most efficient ways to save for many households. If you have already ticked that box, revise your energy habits, adopting greener, sustainable practices is the next best thing.
Check your light bulbs
Energy-saving light bulbs such as Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) last longer and use significantly less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, which are now almost completely phased out.
It is well known that LEDs outperform not only traditional lighting bulbs but also CFLs. LEDs have a rated life of up to 50,000 hours; this translates into an 8-10 times longer lifespan than a typical CFL. If cost is a concern, don't be put off by the higher price tag of LEDs; keeping your LED lamp on for 8 hours per day, it will still last for 17 years.
Changing to energy-saving bulbs is certainly cost-efficient, but perhaps the most important of all is to remember to turn off the lights when you leave a room. Simply switching off the lights in your home will significantly reduce your electricity bill and the saving will be piling up the more you get into the habit.
Make the most of your washing machine and dishwasher
Washing machines and dishwashers use a lot of power and water, using them responsibly can help you save energy at home.
- Always run your machines on full loads, both for laundry and dishes.
- Choose the appropriate load size so that the machine will adjust the water level.
- Wash clothes in cold water; heating up the water accounts for 90% of the energy used during a wash.
- On your dishwasher, save energy by turning off the drying cycle and let dishes drip and air dry instead.
Reduce phantom loads
Have you ever heard the term ‘phantom loads’? It’s the energy used by all electronics and appliances even when these are switched off or on ‘standby power’. It might be your TV set, the laptop you left unintentionally charging overnight, or the mobile phone charger that is plugged in even if you are not charging up your phone.
We have two pieces of advice to help you save on your energy bills:
- Remember to unplug appliances, especially when away for a holiday or long periods.
- Connect smaller appliances to an extension lead to reduce the number of power outlets in use.
There are many effortless ways to reduce energy consumption in every modern home, from switching off the light when we are not there to switching energy providers. We’re all responsible for the energy we use in our homes; let’s use a little less and in a smarter way. This way, we are right on track to greater and greener savings.