How to save energy at home
1st Mar, 2016
When you were younger you probably imagined that by the year 2016 we’d all be living in self-managing, space-age houses that produced and recycled their own energy and were 100% energy-efficient. Whilst we may not be quite there yet, year-on-year, house-builders make huge leaps in the materials, structure and design of new-build homes making them more and more energy-efficient. Coupled with the fact that brand new houses come pre-installed with A-rated appliances, the dream of 100% energy efficient homes is getting nearer all the time.
Sustainability runs deep throughout every Lovell project and we’re passionate about helping people understand how little changes can make a big difference to your money as well as to the environment. Our downloadable Sustainable Living Brochure is packed with ways to save money by doing things ‘greener’.
Energy saving tips
There’s lots of advice out there about ways to save energy at home, so we’ve rounded up some of the best to get you started:-
1. Change what you do
The first step to making an making an energy efficient house is to make a conscious decision to do the things you already do but in a more sustainable way.
2. Switch-off, remotely
Leaving appliances on or on stand-by is one of the top ways to throw your money down the drain. UK homes waste an average of £30 a year through leaving appliances on stand-by. If you’ve been wondering how to save electricity, it’s as simple as turning off laptops, TVs, games consoles and lights when not in use. You can even install remote plugs which allow you to turn things off from a smartphone app, even when you’re not in the same room
3. Manage your heating
Instead of leaving heating on all day, programme your timer to come on and off around when you are in the house, or use a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats can be managed from your smartphone so it’s really easy to turn your heating on and off when you need to. This new smart technology can be used with heating, hot water, windows and plugs to efficiently manage your energy consumption. Turning your thermostat down by just 1°C could save you around £75 per year.
4. Solar panel
Lovell Homes builds energy efficient homes, fitted with solar panels. Solar panels can heat your water saving you money as well as reducing your home’s carbon footprint. Even when it is cloudy, solar panels still store energy, so the energy and money saving potential is quite significant.
Around a third of your energy bill is attributable to lighting in the home. Normal incandescent bulbs burn a lot of energy and don’t last very long. A great way of saving energy at home is by using LED bulbs, which are more energy efficient and can last decades with anywhere from a 20,000 to a 50,000 hour lifespan. A normal 60W bulb’s LED equivalent uses just 14W. Lovell Homes only installs energy saving bulbs in its properties.
6. Why waste water?
Little habits like putting tissues or cotton wool pads in the toilet and flushing them away can waste gallons of water and block pipes. Popping them in the bin instead is much more efficient. Having a shower will save about a third of the water than if you had a bath. Install a Water Hippo in your toilet to reduce the quantity of water used. Ensure the dishwasher is fully loaded before running, as this will help to reduce your water and electricity bill. Keep a jug of tap water in the fridge so you always have cold water instead of having to let the tap run. Don’t use tap water to water your garden, install a water butt to collect rainwater, you can also use cooled water that you’ve used to boil your veg, this reuses water and provides extra minerals for your plants.
Lovell Homes properties can often save up to 30% of water due to the efficiency of the taps, toilets and showers that we install.
7. Travel green
In the not too distant future, electric cars may power your home, but until that technology becomes mainstream, opting not to use the car for short journeys or where the bus or train is an option, will save you money and help protect the environment.
8. Recycle and reuse
Today, the majority of things can be recycled. What your council won’t take, your local recycle depot probably will. Before throwing furniture or décor items out, see if you can turn your hand to upcycling.
According to WRAP, the average UK household throws £700 worth of food out every year. Just by knowing the Best Before label does not mean Use By, could save a lot of money. Keep leftovers to make a quick meal another time and save even more money.
9. Smart meters
By 2020, smart meters will be the norm. They collect data about how you use energy to enable you to make better choices, and they send your meter readings directly to your energy provider. Smart meters let you keep track of what your energy bills are costing, typically smart meters save customers around 25% on their electricity bills. Because smart meters track energy, if you have solar panels, it will also enable you to sell this back to the grid.
10. Buy a new build home
This may sound like we’re trying to sell you a house, but the facts are that if you are looking to buy a home, a new build home will cost you less over time because it will be built with the latest technology, making it more energy-efficient. Our range of green benefits mean that our homes are as energy and water efficient as possible.
11. Energy bill comparison
Below you can see indicative savings when comparing a Victorian, 2013 house and 2016 house and the energy costs associated with them. These figures will only improve with each new generation of new-build homes.
We’d love to hear some of your favourite energy saving tips around your home. Head over to our social media channels to share your ideas on how to save electricity and improve your home energy efficiency.
Lovell Homes uses 40 years’ experience to bring unique designs to every development, ensuring our homes work perfectly in their environment whilst keeping our focus firmly on the people who will be calling our properties ‘home’. From first time buyers searching for an affordable new home to growing families or down-sizers, we offer brand new homes with exceptional quality, style and value throughout the UK. We are committed to sustainable development and strictly adhere to the Consumer Code for Home Builders.