Domestic Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency in our homes can make our homes more comfortable and cheaper to run

Energy used in homes is responsible for over a quarter of all UK emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas causing climate change. Making your home as energy efficient as possible will increase the comfort levels in your home, creating a home that is  more welcoming and cheaper to run, as well as reducing your carbon emissions.

Here at Caplor we understand the issues and can work with you to understand how to make your home more energy efficient. As part of our solar pv installations we install energy efficiency measures to ensure you receive the highest Feed in Tariff possible.

Energy efficiency measures such as insulation and double glazing are the first steps in making big changes to your energy bills.

If you have Solar PV installed then knowing when your array is generating power can help to ensure that the energy you generate is used in your home to increase your energy independence. Caplor can supply monitoring and management solutions to help you.

With new products coming onto the market everyday that help to monitor and manage energy usage it is becoming easier to use energy more wisely. Caplor are currently reviewing currently available products to select the best and most appropriate monitoring solutions for our customers.

We have gathered a number of energy saving tips that will help you begin to reduce your bills without spending anything!

Here are few energy saving tips for your home from the Energy Saving Trust.

Kitchen

There are lots of ways to use less energy when creating your culinary masterpieces.

Here are some tasty tips to help you stop wasting energy in the kitchen.

  • Always use the right sized pan for the job.
  • Use the right sized hob ring for each pan.
  • Defrost food in the fridge overnight rather than microwaving it.
  • Keep the oven door shut as much as possible; make sure the glass door is clean so you can see what’s going on. Every time you open the door you lose heat.
  • Keep lids on pans as much as you can, to reduce heat loss – turn the heat down when it reaches the boil.
  • Ensure warm foods cool down before placing them in the fridge.
  • Cutting food into smaller pieces often speeds up the cooking time.
  • Freeze your leftovers, or eat them the next day.
  • Use a microwave to reheat food where possible as this is usually a much more efficient method of warming things up.
  • Covering food with a microwave-safe lid or pierced cling film will hold moisture and speed up cooking times in the microwave.
  • Only boil the water you need in your kettle, and de-scale it from time to time
  • Cooking big batches of food at once is more energy efficient. Storing spare portions in the freezer gives you a supply of ready meals.
  • If you are considering buying a new fridge or freezer, look out for the Energy Saving Recommended logo. All Energy Saving Recommended appliances are guaranteed to be among the most energy-efficient available on the market – saving energy and reducing running costs. If you are planning on buying a new fridge freezer for example, choosing an Energy Saving Trust Recommended model will save around £85 on energy bills over the lifetime of the appliance and around 410kg of CO2.
  • Make sure air can circulate around the back of your fridge and freezer.
  • Make sure your fridge and freezer are set to the right temperature, not too cold and not too warm. This ensures food is kept effectively and ensures energy is not being used to keep the appliance running at too low a temperature.
  • Don’t keep the fridge or freezer door open for longer than necessary.
  • Try not to put the fridge or freezer next to a heat source such as a cooker or radiator, or in direct sunlight.
  • Check what you have in the fridge and freezer before you go shopping. Wasted food is a big contributor towards carbon dioxide emissions
  • If you are buying a new dishwasher, look for the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo. This is your guarantee that you are buying one of the most energy and water efficient machines available.
  • If you are considering buying a dishwasher, choose a machine that is correctly sized for your needs – if you have a small household, consider a slimline or compact machine whereas a large family may be better suited to a full-sized washer.
  • Make sure you have a full load before you use the machine – a half load setting usually uses more than half the energy of a full load.
  • Use the eco setting wherever possible.
  • Always remember to switch appliances off standby when you’ve finished using them.

Bedroom

Snuggle up in your personal haven and keep cosy without paying more than you have to.

  • Use the right tog duvet for the weather (low tog in summer and high tog in winter) to avoid having to use the heating (or air conditioning) unnecessarily.
  • Draw curtains at dusk to keep the heat in for when you go to bed
  • Wear socks to bed in cold weather to keep toasty
  • Towel dry your hair thoroughly to cut down the time you’ll have to use your hairdryer for.
  • Use a hot water bottle to warm the bed up, rather than an electric blanket.
  • Make sure all the lights are turned off when you go to bed, or use a low wattage energy saving night light if you do need to leave one on
  •  Don’t leave your mobile phone on charge all night – it only needs a couple of hours
  • During winter, set the heating to switch off a short while before you go to bed – that way it’ll still be nice and warm as you get ready for bed but the heating won’t stay on unnecessarily once you’re tucked up.
  • Likewise set it to switch on just long enough before you wake up for the house to be warm by the time you get out of bed. But you don’t need it to stay switched on all the way up to when you leave the house – the house will take a while to cool down again, so try setting the heating to turn off half an hour before you’re due to go out the door.
  • Keep extra blankets by the bed so you can easily adjust your temperature during the night.
  • Invest in draught excluders for the bedroom door to keep the heat in your room during the night.

CHILDREN’S BEDROOMS

  • A TV, DVD player and PS3 will cost around £30 to run over the course of a year – but it could be far higher if they are left on when not in use. Encourage your children to turn off equipment at the socket by making it easy to get to the switch.
  • Draw curtains at dusk to keep the heat in and the draughts out
  • Get into the habit of keeping doors closed.
  • Think about what you are putting on extension sockets to make sure you aren’t powering something that is not in use
  • Think about “losing” the remote control to the television to reduce the temptation to leave it on standby.
  • If you are thinking about buying a new computer, a new laptop typically uses around 85% less energy than a new desktop computer and takes up less room too.

Living Room

Put those pesky appliances in their place and say no to standby. Here are some top tips to keep your living room cosy and keep those energy bills at bay.

  • Draw the curtains at dusk to keep the heat in
  • Make sure items that are not in use are unplugged or switched off at the wall (when was the last time you used your video recorder?!)
  • Only turn on the lights when you need them.
  • Don’t leave things on standby – this could save around £35 per year on energy bills.
  • Close internal doors to keep the heat in the rooms you are in and turn radiators off in unused rooms.
  • Consider putting on an extra layer of clothing before turning up the heating.
  • Energy efficient light bulbs save on average around £3 a year each.
  • Put your digital recorder on a separate plug socket so you can turn off everything else at the mains but keep your series link recordings
  • If you are going on holiday, switch off your television and set-top box at the plug
  • If you are thinking about buying a new TV, look for the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo. This is your guarantee that the appliance you buy is among the most energy efficient on the market.
  • Remember that the energy consumption of your TV is strongly linked to the screen-size. If you are thinking about buying a new TV think carefully about how big a screen you actually need. Smaller TVs are generally cheaper to run.
  • If you are using your television to access digital radio, it’s more energy efficient to opt for a blank screen. Better still, get a digital radio instead.
  • Get into the habit of turning off the television at the socket or on the set, and not leaving it on standby. You can buy mains controllers which do this by remote control.
  • Make sure the brightness setting on your TV is suitable for your room. The brighter the TV is set, the more energy it uses. The factory settings on TVs are often too bright for home use.
  • Consider investing in an intelligent mains controller so that all the equipment linked to your TV (video recorder, DVD player, games controllers etc) are automatically switched off whenever the TV is turned off.
  • If you don’t want to purchase a controller, clear a space around your plug sockets to make it easier to turn items off at the mains, or invest in an individually switched extension lead.
  • If you are replacing old TVs or other electrical equipment, dispose of it in a way that means it can be recycled, rather than sending it to landfill. Whenever you buy new electrical appliances, the retailer is obliged to either take back the old equipment or tell you where you can take it to recycle it. You can also find out where to recycle electrical equipment locally by ringing the council, or using the ‘Bank Locator’ search tool on the Recycle-more.co.uk website.

Hall

Don’t forget about the hall! Plug those gaps to save even more money on your energy bills.

  • Fit draft excluders around the front door and over the letter box and key holes.
  • Putting a curtain over the front door helps keeps the draughts out.
  • Replacing a 60W incandescent with a 15W CFL can save up to £8 per year.
  • Draw the curtains at dusk to keep the heat in and draughts out.
  • Don’t leave the front door open more than necessary.

Dining Room

There are lots of easy ways to waste less energy while you entertain guests in your dining room.

  • Serve food straight to plates and you wont have to wash up serving plates and spoons
  • Draw the curtains at dusk to keep the heat in and the draughts out
  • Don’t forget that the room will heat up if you are having guests round so don’t go mad with the heating
  • Don’t overdo the catering; wasted food makes a significant contribution towards carbon dioxide emissions
  • Warm the plates in the oven as it cools down after your food has cooked.
  • Make sure the lights are turned off when you leave the room
  • When boiling water, only fill the kettle as much as you need – but make sure you cover the metal element at the base.
  • Energy saving lightbulbs last longer and save you money over the longer term. Technology has moved on a lot since energy saving lightbulbs were first invented, and so has the way they look. Whatever types of bulbs you use to light your home, there are sure to be stylish energy saving equivalents. They range from stick shaped bulbs and candle shaped varieties, with small or medium screw and bayonet fittings and there are even halogen and dimmable energy saving bulbs on the market.

Washing

CHECK OUT SOME OF THE EASY WAYS YOU CAN CLEAN UP YOUR ACT AND WASTE LESS ENERGY WHEN YOU DO THE WASHING.

TIPS FOR REDUCING THE ENERGY COSTS OF YOUR TUMBLE DRYER

  • Line-dry clothes whenever possible, even on dry winter days, rather than using the tumble dryer. Your clothes will feel and smell fresher.
  • If you are considering buying a new tumble-dryer, look out for the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo – this guarantees that you are buying one of the most energy efficient appliances available on the market. All Energy Saving Trust Recommended dryers are either A or B rated for energy efficiency or have an electronic sensor system to ensure the clothes are not dried for longer than necessary.
  • Spinning your clothes on the washing machine’s highest spin cycle will remove as much water as possible, so they will dry more quickly on the line or in the tumble dryer.
  • If you have a washer/dryer make sure you don’t accidentally use the tumble dryer function when you don’t need it.
  • Make sure your tumble dryer’s filters are fluff free.
  • Don’t dry for longer than needed – it wastes energy.
  • Switch your tumble dryer off at the plug socket when not in use.
  • Sort out the washed clothes to make sure only the ones that need to be tumble dried get included on the drying cycle.

TIPS FOR REDUCING THE ENERGY COSTS OF YOUR WASHING MACHINE

  • If you are thinking of buying a new washing machine, look out for the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo – this guarantees that the appliance you buy is in the top 20% of the market for energy efficiency. All Energy Saving Trust Recommended washing machines are A-rated for energy efficiency, spin efficiency and wash performance.
  • Washing clothes at 30 degrees rather than at higher temperatures uses around 40% less energy. Modern washing powders and detergents work just as effectively at lower temperatures so unless you have very dirty washing, bear this in mind.
  • Wait until you have a full load before putting on a wash – two half-loads use more energy than a single full load.
  • If possible, make sure that the machine is turned off at the socket when not in use. If any lights are on, then the machine will still be using electricity.
  • Try to minimise unnecessary washing by hanging up clothes to air after wearing them so you can get the maximum use out of each item before needing to wash it.
  • Line-dry clothes whenever possible, especially during the summer months, but also on dry winter days – your clothes will feel and smell fresher too.
  • Hang or fold clothes up straight away after drying them so they will need less ironing.

TIPS FOR REDUCING THE ENERGY COSTS OF YOUR WASHER DRYER

  • Wait until you have a full load before putting on a wash – two half-loads use more energy than a single full load.
  • Improve the quality of the washing and drying by performing the regular maintenance suggested in the manual, such as cleaning out the dispenser drawer and lint filter.
  • When you do use the drier function, choose a wash cycle with a higher final spin speed so that more water is removed from the clothes during spinning and they need less time in the drying cycle. Spinning clothes does not consume much energy
  • Don’t dry for longer than needed – it wastes energy
  • If possible, make sure that the machine is turned off at the socket when not in use.