Energy wasting habits around the home

29 November 2016

Everyone should be able to feel warm and comfortable this winter. Here’s how you can keep the cold out, and save energy and money at the same time.

When cold weather arrives heating in homes across the UK gets cranked up. Rather than reaching for the thermostat as the weather turns colder, we should all instead be doing more when it comes to saving energy around the house.

Is turning off lights, choosing showers over baths and washing clothes at 30°c really enough? Recent research suggests that there’s a whole lot more we could be doing to conserve energy on a day-to-day basis.

The data, from OVO energy, has revealed the top wasting habits that many UK residents do daily around the home - and it provides some interesting reading even for the most attentive conservationist. 

Save money by giving your home an energy efficient once-over

Energy wasting habits

2,000 people were quizzed on their approach to energy in the home; here are some of the energy wasting habits that we’ve all been guilty of at some stage:

Phones and computers
40% of those who took part admit to leaving their phones and laptops on charge overnight. Another 31% leave devices plugged in when the battery has been fully charged.

A third of the participants leave the TV on standby throughout the night.

30% confess to leaving the tap running while brushing their teeth, while 17% boil a full kettle even if making just one cup of tea.

Heating homes accounts for around 70% of a household’s energy consumption. However, the survey shows that just one in five Brits do not turn off radiators in empty rooms.

How to save money on winter energy bills

Follow these eco-friendly ways to lower your energy usage and bills.

1. Reduce shower time

The majority of working Brits rely on their morning shower to wake them up every day. The length of time spent washing can really have an impact on your bills.  Try and see if you can spend a minute less in the shower – over the year you’ll see a reduction in energy costs.

2. Control the heating

Unfortunately, the UK is not known for its warm and balmy winters, which means you’ll have to heat your home for at least four to five months of the year.

Turning off radiators in unused parts of the house and turning down the central heating by 1°c are two major recommendations.

Timers on central heating are advisable too – warming up the boiler thirty minutes before you wake uses a lot less energy than waking up, turning on the heating at a higher temperature and potentially forgetting to turn it off again all day!

Five energy-saving myths

3. Bring back the draught excluder

Draught excluders can be hugely beneficial in keeping in the heat, and blocking cold air from outside. Also, keep an eye out for any gaps in the house that may need draught proofing. Culprits often include gaps in wooden floorboards and windows.

4. Free your radiator

Make sure your radiators are able to circulate warm air freely. A lot of homes obstruct radiators with curtains, sofas and bookcases.

Another great hack is buying radiator panels. These are reflective sheets that can be placed behind your radiator. They stop heat from being absorbed by the wall, allowing more warmth to enter the rest of the wall. 

Top 10 energy myths dispelled

Join our exclusive membership programme to enjoy a world of Possibilities, including exclusive events, great offers and money-can’t-buy opportunities. Find out more

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.