Helpful tips


Energy Saving advice

The biggest long-term savings come from changing your energy habits and being more energy efficient around the home.

As you start to see savings its a good idea to re-invest this money in energy saving products and appliances to reduce your energy consumption even further. The long-term savings will more than pay for the cost of purchasing and installing these measures.

Start using these no-cost energy saving tips energy saving ideas around your home and measure the reduction in your next few energy bills. The more you apply the more you'll save.

Heating Tips

  • Set your heating to go off 30 minutes before you leave the house, and come on again 30 minutes before you expect to return.
  • Turn the room thermostat down by 1 degree. This can save you around £30 a year.
  • Make sure your radiators are not obstructed by curtains or furniture.
  • Draw your curtains at dusk to help keep the heat generated inside your rooms.
  • Insulate your loft space and consider cavity wall insulation too.

Electrical Appliances

  • Use energy efficient light bulbs which use less energy and last up to ten times longer than standard bulbs.
  • Turn off household appliances such as microwaves, TVs, videos, music systems, and computers when not in use, as they continue to use energy when they are left on standby.

Refrigeration

  • Don't leave the fridge door open and try to avoid putting hot or warm food straight into the fridge as this increases the energy required to keep the contents cold.
  • Defrost your fridge frequently and check the door seals. Avoid putting your fridge next to heat generating appliances such as an oven or boiler. If possible, keep the freezer in a cool room or garage.

Washing Machines, Tumble Dryers and Dishwashers

  • Use a low temperature setting and only wash full loads or use a half-load or economy programme.
  • In summer, dry your clothes outside rather than using a tumble dryer.
  • When drying your clothes indoors, use a clothes rail instead of a radiator as this stops the heat from reaching the rest of the room.
  • Modern dishwashers use less energy and water than washing up by hand.

Cooking

  • Use a pan which is the same size as the cooker ring to prevent heat loss.
  • Use a lid on saucepans where possible, so the contents heat up faster and require less energy.
  • Consider using pressure cookers, steamers and microwaves which use less energy.

Hot Water

  • When using a kettle, only boil as much water as you need.
  • If you live in a hard water area, limescale can effect the efficiency of your kettle. Look out for a buildup of limescale in your kettle and treat with vinegar or descaling solutions.
  • Consider turning the thermostat on your hot water tank down to 60 degrees centigrade which is a comfortable temperature for most people and will save on your heating costs.
  • If you have a standard shower it will use around 40% of the water required for a bath.



Identifying Problems

"Do you have in your home a circuit chart of the fuse board so that you know which trip switch to turn off?"
  • An area of importance when it comes to electrics in the home is whether people actually know where their fuse box is fitted and whether they know how to isolate it.  
  • Do you have in your home a circuit chart of the fuse board so that you know which trip switch to turn off?
  • Is the condition of the wiring in your home in good working condition?
  • If you have young kids you should consider fitting safety caps over the sockets.
  • When it comes to earthing, the stronger the earth the safer the appliances can be. 

Common Symptoms of old wiring   
  • Lights going dim when using appliances
  • Older style sockets and switches
  • Fuse blowing without cause
  • Burning smell when using appliances   
  •   
  • Arcing or cracking noise from switches
  • Green liquid substance around connections
  • Burning smell from switches 

Do you have older wiring in your home? 
With the amount of electrical devices we have today, the electrical cables in your home have to perform to the highest standards. Older wiring colours are Red, Black and Green and if these colours are present in your home or business, then you have wiring which is probably more than 20 years old.



Electrical Hazards

Electrical hazards are invisible but deadly, causing fires and electrical shocks. These hazards are easily preventable if you use approved electrician to install, inspect and maintain your electrics.

Government figures estimate that each year there are around:
10 fatal and 2,000 non-fatal electric shock accidents in the home 
19 fatal and 880 non-fatal shock accidents in the workplace

There are also about 12,500 electrical fires in homes across the UK each year. Although many incidents are caused by faulty appliances rather than the electrical installation itself, a properly installed and well-maintained electrical system could save lives.

Cables, switches, socket-outlets and other equipment deteriorate with prolonged use, so they all need to be checked and necessary replacements or repairs made in good time.

Whilst it is relatively easy to make an electrical circuit work – it is far more tricky to make the circuit work safely.  To avoid the dangers that electricity can create it is essential that electrical work is carried out only by those with the correct knowledge, skill and experience in the type of electrical work to be undertaken.

The Electrical Safety Council published the results of their National Consumer Survey and found that:

  • 42% of those surveyed stated they had never had their electrics checked
  • 32% of DIYers stated they had experienced one or more electric shocks while carrying out DIY 
  • 59% of people do not use qualified electricians when carrying out electrical work 
  • 48% of those surveyed did not know that their electrics should be checked at least every 10 years

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