8 energy-saving tips for savvy students

student_keeping_warm Not only is it environmentally friendly to save energy, but it saves money too. You can make your money go further with these small and large change suggestions, which will ensure your home is more energy-efficient and you are able to cut your utility bills now and for the future

1. Energy sweep through your home at night

We’re all guilty of leaving lights, fans or other appliances on at night while we’re sleeping. This wastes energy, which is becoming increasingly expensive. To avoid unnecessary costs, sweep through your home before bed and ensure all electrical items and lights are turned off before you retire for the night. The savings accrued by turning everything off at night can quickly accumulate.

2. Turn the thermostat down

Even the smallest reductions in temperature to your hot water and heating system will reduce your bills. Turn down the thermostat by a degree or two. And remember to turn heating right down, or off if you are away for any duration, saving even more. If the flat or shared house you’re renting has a combi boiler (a heating system that provides instant hot water out of the tap), then you will save energy by not having to heat up a large tank of water – and you could also end up saving water too, doubling up savings.

3. Wrap up warm

It may seem obvious, but adding another layer of clothing, wearing slippers and perhaps even a dressing gown will mean you can keep your thermostat a degree or two lower without suffering. A hot water bottle is great for cosying up to in bed or on the sofa, and a blanket for watching TV after a long evening working on assignments will add extra warmth on a cold evening.

4. Identify any draughts

Small draughts throughout your home can have the cumulative effect of leaving a window open all year long. The main places to check for these draughts are around door and window frames, key holes and letter boxes and around the holes in walls where pipes may enter or exit your property. Once identified, we advise you to let your landlords know so they can address the issues. Problems like this are easily fixed as landlords can invest in cheap draught excluders to lay across the bottom of doors, or you could even try stuffing an old pair of tights with old socks! By preventing draughts, you will find that your utility bills will come down while your home maintains a steady, comfortable temperature.

5. Microwave your food

Blitzing your dinner in a microwave is more energy efficient than cooking it in the oven, as food cooks in a fraction of the time. If you do use an oven, cook together with your housemates and leave the oven door open after your meal to warm your home.

6. Save water on a cuppa

Instant coffee and tea are a student staple, so ensure that when you boil the kettle you are only boiling the water that you need. Electricity costs around three times as much as gas to heat water, so boiling any extra water will increase costs over time.

7. Washing and drying

When it comes to the washing machine, there are a few simple rules to follow to save energy and keep your costs down. Never put on a half load of washing – always make sure you wait till there is enough for a full load or you will be wasting energy. Wash your clothes at 30ºC rather than 40ºC and choose a quick wash if available. Avoid tumble dryers at all costs, as they are extortionate to run and are a luxury rather than a necessity. A simple clothes horse will suffice, allowing your clothes to dry overnight.

8. Look out for the best deal

Use a price comparison site to check which tariff you are on and if there are cheaper ones available you can switch to (check out Ofgem’s Be an Energy Shopper website for tips on finding the best deal). You will need to know your gas and electricity supplier, the name of the tariff you are currently on and how many kWh (kilowatt hours) you have used in the past 12 months. Your energy company or landlord should be able to provide you with all this information. Are you ready to start saving? Try an online savings calculator and get to work!

This article was provided in association with Pump Sales Direct

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