Seven tips to save energy at home during summer

Updated 11 June 2024

In the past, when summer rolled around and the heating was turned off, people barely thought about their energy bills. But now, with costs rising, we’re all keeping a much closer eye on our usage.

With warmer months and extra daylight hours ahead, now is a great time to start changing habits to save energy. To help, we’ve compiled our top energy-saving tips, as we edge into summer.

Top tips for saving energy in summer

  • Keep the curtains open for as long as you can and let the natural light in
  • Switch the lights off in rooms you’re not using and swap to LED bulbs
  • Open windows and internal doors to let natural ventilation flow through instead of using an electric fan
  • Defrost your fridge to keep ice under control and make sure it’s working efficiently
  • Dry your laundry outside or on a rack instead of using the tumble dryer
  • Take a four-minute shower instead of a bath
  • Wash your laundry at 30°C and avoid half loads
  • Remember to switch your appliances off standby
  • Turn your heating thermostat down
  • Get your boiler serviced ready for winter.

1. Make the most of lighter nights and save electricity

Now the clocks have gone forward, and we’re officially on British Summer Time, longer days mean the big light doesn’t need to come on until later. Keep the curtains open for as long as you can and let the natural light flood in!

When you do need to switch on the lights, get into the habit of only lighting rooms that are being used and you could save up to £7 a year on your energy bills.1

And, if you’re buying new bulbs, it’s worth looking into LEDs. They’re a bit more expensive than standard light bulbs but are way more energy efficient and last a lot longer. With lighting making up 11% of average UK household electricity usage, energy conservation on even little changes can go a long way.2

2. Bring the outside in and keep your home cool naturally

Sitting or sleeping in a hot stuffy room is never fun. But using a fan for long periods to cool down can really add up on your electricity bill. Instead, if it’s breezy, open windows and internal doors so natural ventilation can flow through.

During a heatwave however, it’s best to leave windows shut when the day is at its hottest to keep your house cool. It might be tempting to fling them open, but when the air outside is warmer than it is inside it’ll only make you feel even hotter. It’s best to open them only early in the morning or later in the evening to let the air in.

3. Give the fridge some love so it’s more energy efficient

Your fridge is going to be a good friend through those hot summer months. And the better it runs, the less electricity it will use.

Typically, fridges and freezers account for around 13% of the average household’s energy bill as they’re always on and using energy.3 So, try to clean and defrost yours as often as you can to keep ice under control – and ensure that it works as efficiently as possible.

4. Green your laundry

A good tip for anyone with outdoor space, whether it’s a balcony, back yard or garden, is drying your laundry outside. Tumble dryers are very energy hungry, adding up to £50 a year to your bills.1 Give yours a break and you won’t just save energy, but all your clothes will smell lovely and fresh, and you’ll be helping the environment too.

5. Be smart with your water to save on bills

Heating up large quantities of water can have a big impact on your bills. Taking a four-minute shower instead of a bath saves a typical household up to £70 a year.1

And you can save even more by replacing your shower head with a water efficient one. They’re just as powerful as a standard shower head but could save a family of four with a water meter around £60 off their combined heating and water bills each year.4

And finally, a few more quick wins: only run your dishwasher when it’s full, wash your clothes at 30°C and avoid half loads!

6. Remember to switch off standby

Leaving appliances on standby may seem harmless – but it’s surprising how much energy they guzzle up. You could save around £45 a year just by turning appliances off at the plug when you aren’t using them.1 (And don’t worry, it’s very unlikely this will affect their programming.)

To make turning everything off easier, it’s worth looking into a standby saver or smart plug so you can turn all your appliances off standby in one go.

7. Give the boiler a break

As the weather warms up, start turning your thermostat down to a temperature you feel comfortable with, which for most people is between 18 and 21°C. If you only have a single room thermostat for the whole house, for every degree you lower the temperature, it could cut your heating bill by about 10%.5

We’re aware that times are tight. But if you have a little money to invest for the long-term, smart thermostats like Hive’s are a great way of taking more control over your heating – so you can lower your bills.

Once they’re installed, you can create new heating schedules for summer easily from your phone. And when it gets really hot – or if you’re off on holiday – put everything on pause with Holiday mode to save more.

Finally, summer is a great time to get a boiler service. Just for a little extra peace of mind when next winter comes round.

Discover even more energy saving tips for your home with our energy saving tips guide.

You might also be interested in our article about things you can do during the summer and autumn months to winter proof your home.

And have you thought about installing a free smart meter to help you save energy? You can learn more here.

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