Millions of people in the UK and worldwide are now forced to stay home in efforts to stop the further spread of COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic has seen a steep increase in the number of cases since the start of 2020.
With many working from home, energy consumption is bound to rise for several households in this time of crisis. However, there are many energy-saving tips that consumers can follow to curb the skyrocketing energy use, reduce bills and cut carbon emissions during this period.
Energy Saving Trust Senior Consultant Brian Horne said carbon savings are possible when people consume less energy now that transport is minimal. He added that there are many ways for people to save energy.
Uswitch, a comparison site, predicts that homes could have more than a 25% increase in electricity usage and up to 17% or more on gas per day.
To lessen the probability of sky-high energy bills in this lockdown, here are energy-saving tips that consumers can practice.
It’s typical for people to turn on the lights when they are home, especially when working, but there are instances when it’s unnecessary. Natural light during the day can be more beneficial in terms of improving mood and fighting off bouts of seasonal affective disorder.
It’s also better to turn off the lights when leaving a room. This practice can save as much as £15 a year.
Additionally, switching inefficient bulbs for energy-saving ones could help save as much as £3 every year for each halogen bulb being replaced with an LED bulb, which is roughly equal to 5kg of carbon dioxide emissions.
If all light bulbs in a home are LED, owners can enjoy savings of up to £35 a year.
In typical situations, heat is usually turned on as soon as people get home from work or school. However, having it run all day at this time will cost twice or more than the average bill allocated to heating. It is better to heat only the rooms that are of use. Users who are alone at home should also consider switching to a portable electric heater when working, which is more energy-efficient than heating the entire house.
Consumers can also try decreasing the thermostat one degree at a time to determine a comfortable temperature. An £80-saving per year can be achieved for every degree lessened.
Unplugging appliances and devices that are not in use could save as much as £30 per year. Any chargers that have display lights should be unplugged, and laptops, consoles, or tables turned off when not used.
It’s also not ideal to leave devices plugged in overnight. There are appliances with a standby saver that can turn them off automatically in one go. However, some devices like TV recorders may need to be plugged in to track programmes that need to be recorded.
To maximize savings on energy, lessening the number of electrical devices being used at the same time is preferable.
Users can also save more when the eco-saver mode is activated on dishwashers and washing machines, if possible. Up to £5 per year can be saved when the washing machine is used by only one cycle each week. Another energy-saving tip would be to opt for air-drying instead of tumble drying.
As for the dishwasher, running it fully just once and setting the eco-mode on can also help save up on energy bills.
For ovens, cooking in batches and using the freeze-and-reheat method for excesses could use less energy compared to cooking from scratch each time.
Dressing in comfortable clothes can be an eco-saving method as it prevents users from turning thermostat a notch down. Additionally, spending less time in the shower can bring a £7 savings per person a year. Switching to a water-efficient showerhead could save a four-person household as much as £70 for heating and £115 for water per year.
Inspecting Bills and Shopping Around
Some consumers don’t bother examining their energy bills, but it would be good practice to match energy usage with the bill breakdown and evaluate whether they could find a better deal than the one they are getting. Switching suppliers at this time could be ideal as wholesale energy prices have gone down due to the outbreak.