Are We Becoming Energy Greedy?

If you have ever experienced a power cut at home it has probably made you realise just how much we depend on electricity to get us through the day. Just take the morning routine for example. In the first hour of waking alone most of us use an electric shower, the kettle, the toaster or microwave, lighting upstairs and downstairs, the television or radio not to mention the multitude of chargers being used to power up our favourite devices.

You might also use other appliances such as the iron, hairdryer or an electric toothbrush. That’s a lot of energy being used in just 60 minutes.

With so many appliances taking up our lives and many more being introduced all the time, it’s little wonder that the Government faces such a challenge when it comes to energy reduction targets. As a domestic energy customer, there are many things you can do to reduce your energy usage, your carbon footprint and your fuel bills.

Experience a slimmer new fuel bill by reducing your energy consumption.

It’s easy to become greedy with energy. After all, it’s just there when we plug in a device or appliance. At the touch of a switch we have instant hot water, electricity and gas coming into our homes. Compared to many other regions of the world, we are lucky but this can make us complacent too. It is only when our fuel bills start to skyrocket that we realise just how complacent we have become.

The first thing you should consider when reviewing your energy consumption is to compare energy prices online. If you have been with the same provider for years, this is definitely well worth doing. Don’t wait for your energy company to tell you that you are paying too much – that is never going to happen. By comparing gas and electricity prices from other suppliers, you could make some huge savings on your energy bills each year.

These are some small changes you can make around the home:

Look out for the energy saving logo

An appliance sporting the energy saving logo could save you up to £34 each year. You can also review appliances online to see just how much they could save you and which energy rating they carry.

If you’re not using it, unplug it

We leave so many devices plugged in without realising the true cost. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that the UK could save enough energy each year to power 115,000 homes simply by unplugging mobile phone chargers and other devices when they are not in use.

Lights out

Try to get into the habit of switching lights off when you leave a room. You could also consider lights with lower running costs such as energy saving bulbs and fluorescent strip lighting.

Outside security lights

These lights can be highly sensitive and your light could be on all night without you knowing especially if you have a movement sensor on your light. Investing in an energy light bulb will reduce the energy you use and you might also want to invest in some solar lighting.

Energy saving light bulbs

Did you know that in the majority of homes that lighting accounts for up to 15% of the total electricity costs? Normal light bulbs wear out fast whereas an energy light bulb could last 10 times as long.

Using the washing machine

Where possible, replace your old washing machine with a more energy efficient model. This will help you to save on electricity and water consumption. Choose lower temperatures and quick wash features to make even greater savings.

Consuming less energy is not difficult once you assess the way you currently use it around the home. By carrying out an energy comparison and breaking some bad habits you could have a slimmer new fuel bill in no time.

Joanna Tinker is an academic and a consumer rights researcher. She is interested in modern consumer society and what simple things we can do to become more efficient.