For homeowners, energy usage and energy costs are important considerations. Energy bills form a large part of the cost of running a home. There are a few simple mistakes that could be causing your energy consumption to be unnecessarily high. Listed below are five common energy management mistakes that are easy to fix and could help make your home a lot more energy-efficient:
1. Not Knowing Your EPC Rating
A great first step towards managing your energy usage is to have a domestic EPC carried out. An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is a report that establishes how energy-efficient a domestic building is. It is a legal requirement for all British homes to have an EPC carried out when being sold or rented and it is also a great way to discover ways in which your home can become more energy-efficient.
A domestic EPC assessment will provide you with information about your home’s current energy-efficiency along with recommendations on how to improve it. Domestic EPC assessments look at various aspects of your home’s energy consumption. This includes analysing your home’s lighting, insulation, heating systems, windows, ventilation, and more. This analysis provides great insights into ways in which your dwelling could improve its energy-efficiency.
2. Not Eliminating Cold Draughts
Cold draughts lower the temperature of homes as they continuously allow cold air in and warm air out of your home. This impact results in an increase in heating and energy usage. Therefore, draught-proofing your home is highly beneficial and can be done at a fairly low cost.
One such way is by adding draught-proof strips around doors, windows, and loft hatches. Another efficient way of draught-proofing is by blocking the chimneys of any unused fireplaces. Sealing any cracks in your skirting boards and floorboards will also help to eliminate any chance of cold draughts. Cold air can also often enter through gaps where two different building materials meet so checking the exterior of your home can also be highly beneficial in blocking out any cold air.
3. Mismanaging Your Thermostat
On average, nearly half of a home’s energy usage comes from heating. Tuning your thermostat down by even just one degree could have a massive impact on your energy bill. Therefore, in the colder months before you turn your thermostat up consider first layering up your clothing and bedding.
A great way to easily manage your heating is by installing a smart thermostat. This will allow you to automatically change your thermostat setting throughout the day. This can be a great way to save on heating and energy costs while you are asleep or not in your house.
It’s also important to remember that trying to suddenly increase your house’s temperature will massively affect your energy usage. Forcing the thermostat up in an attempt to warm up your home quickly will not speed up the process – it will only increase your energy bill.
4. Misusing Your Washing Machine
A washing machine cycle uses a lot of energy to wash clothing. Therefore, it is important to always fill your washing machine every time you do a load of washing. Washing half loads does not save any energy and just requires more frequent use of your washing machine. Ensuring your washing machine is full before starting a cycle is an impactful way to be energy-efficient. If your washing machine has an energy-saving mode, it is worthwhile to always wash your clothing using that mode as that will further reduce your energy consumption.
Changing your washing machine’s temperature will also help reduce energy usage. Washing your clothes at 30°C rather than 40°C can significantly save on your energy bills and modern washing detergents work just as well at lower temperatures so there is no harm in lowering your settings. Also, remember to always switch your washing machine off of stand by mode when you are finished using it, as appliances left on stand by could still be using energy.
5. Not Regularly Switching Energy Suppliers
UK energy deals usually last fewer than three years. It is therefore important to regularly swap suppliers in order to be on the best rates available. When a deal runs out you are put onto the suppliers’ regular rates which commonly cost more than deals that would currently be available. When swapping though, it is important to consider early-exit or switching fees that may be in place.
While there are no definite rules when it comes to energy management, being aware of common mistakes could help make a difference to your household’s energy bill. A few simple steps could be all it takes to make a significant impact on your energy-efficiency – which is great not only for you but also for the planet!