20 energy-saving tips for your home

Hive plug.

When you pay your hard-earned cash for something, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth. With our energy saving tips, you can become more energy efficient and get more out of the gas and electricity you pay for. They’ll help you lower your home’s carbon footprint and save money on your monthly bills.

What is energy efficiency and why is increasing it important?

With phrases like net zerocarbon neutral and green goals becoming commonplace, you’d be forgiven for being baffled as to what they all mean. Put simply, to begin reversing the effects of climate change, we need to start making everyday changes that – collectively – will make a real difference for the planet.

One way of doing this is by being energy efficient. The more energy you save, the fewer carbon emissions there are to contribute to climate change. There are a lot of ways to conserve energy around the house. And with our homes accounting for 40% of our emissions in the UK, it’s a great place to start. And when you save electricity, you save on your energy bills too. It’s an absolute win all-round!

And we’re here to help turn these big ideas into simple, everyday actions that we can all do. Here are 20 ways to save energy at home…

1. Do full laundry loads

Half-load settings save very little energy, so a full load is much more energy efficient. Do fewer (but fuller) – wash loads instead.

2. Choose efficient kitchen ware

Glass or ceramic ovenware retains heat better than metal. The same is true for cast-iron pans, while copper-bottomed ones heat more quickly than stainless steel ones.

3. Keep your filters clean

Extractor fans and tumble driers often have filters that get clogged up with fluff or grease making them less energy efficient – give them a quick clean for best results.

4. Use the eco setting

On your dishwasher or boiler, the eco setting heats water more slowly, using less energy. You get the same results; it just takes a little longer.

5. Fill up your fridge

Too empty and you waste energy cooling the air, too full and it could stop air circulating. Aim to keep it about 75% full to maximise efficiency. You can fill space with water containers if you need (and have a chilled drink to boot!).

6. Don’t use standby mode

Unless switched off at the wall, appliances like your TV continue to use energy, costing the average UK home £35 per year. By using Hive Plugs you can switch off at the wall with a quick tap of the app – no need to reach behind the telly!

Hive Smart Plug.

7. Dry your laundry outside

Even though the technology is improving, tumble driers are still one of the most energy-hungry appliances in your home 1. If it’s not line-drying weather, you could try a heated indoor airer instead – they use much less energy than a dryer.

8. Careful with that kettle

When making tea or coffee, most of us fill the kettle right up. This means as a country we’re wasting around £68 million worth of energy a year. By filling your kettle just to the level you need, it could save you up to a third of the energy you have been using.

9. Switch to LED bulbs

Traditional bulbs are extremely inefficient. Modern LEDs are the opposite, and also last longer so are less wasteful too. Smart LED bulbs like Hive Lights can help you save even more energy as you can switch them on and off remotely.

Hive lights.

10. Make your showers shorter

This will save both water and the energy needed to heat it. Think about installing a low-flow showerhead too, to save even more of the wet stuff.

11. Use your microwave more…

You’ll save energy because it’s quicker than using the oven or stove. It’s worth considering a slow cooker too, as they’re one of the most energy-efficient kitchen appliances. 

12. …but not for defrosting

It’s better to plan your meals in advance and thaw food in the fridge or at room temperature to conserve the energy you’d use defrosting it in the microwave.

13. Unplug all your chargers

Across the country, people are unnecessarily over-charging their mobile phones, MP3 players, and laptops. Instead, as soon as your device is fully charged, try and get into the habit of unplugging it. Not only will this save energy, it also prolongs battery life. It could also save you about £60 a year on your electricity bills.

14. Save your smartphone’s batteries

From dimming your screen to keeping it updated and switching off background app refresh, little things will make your phone last longer between charges.

15. Wear some clothes twice

If you automatically chuck clothes in the laundry basket after each wear, stop and think if it could go longer between washes. Obviously, this doesn’t work for smalls or inner layers, but jeans, jumpers and skirts don’t need to be washed every single time they’re worn.

16. Only connect when needed

Try switching data and Bluetooth off on your phone, and only connecting when you need to. It’ll not only save energy, but probably be less distracting too.

17. Keep a lid on it

Keep your saucepans covered when you’re cooking so the heat remains in the pan and your food cooks more quickly.

Put a lid on your saucepan.

18. Clean your oven door

It’s tempting to open the oven door to check on dinner, but this wastes energy by letting heat out unnecessarily. Check it through the glass door instead.

19. Turn down the temperature

With today’s effective washing machine detergents, there’s often no need to run your washing machine any higher than 30°C – clean clothes, energy saved, job done!

20. Update your heating system

New boiler models are impressively more efficient with energy and can make a real difference on your monthly bills, saving you up to £195 a year 2. If you buy a boiler from us, we also have a range of flexible payment methods including the ability to spread the cost with 2-years’ interest-free credit.

Replace your boiler to be more energy efficient.

And for more ways to save energy at home, check our Energy saving tips page.

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Additional information

  1. Dryer costs tumble as technologies improve - Energy Saving Trust

  2. Installing an energy efficient boiler - Energy Saving Trust