Support and resources for managing energy efficiency
Check out these useful ways to positively manage energy efficiency at home this winter.
Insulation, draft proofing and ventilation
- Draft proofing is easy and effective for everyone (see draft excluders and door seals).
- Insulating can be simple - use heavy curtains and put them behind the radiators, apply for additional loft insulation through Nottingham Energy Partnership, and check out eco-grants available for cavity wall insulation.
- Good ventilation is important to preventing condensation.
- A helpful guide to draft-proofing.
Preventing condensation and mould
- The Energy Saving Trust provides a guide for mitigating damp and fixing damp and condensation.
- Open your trickle vents and windows regularly.
- Use extractor fans.
- Dry your clothes in a ventilated room - try an extra spin on your wash. A single load can evaporate more than a litre of water into the air.
- Keep moisture out of the air – put lids on your saucepans. Close the door and open the window when you shower.
- Houseplants and pots can help to absorb excess moisture.
- Wipe down wet walls and windows to prevent mould.
- Know the signs - learn how to spot signs of mould.
- Check out these verified products for damp walls.
Using your heating efficiently
- For gas central heating – get your boiler serviced and set your thermostat between 18-21 degrees where affordable. Use valves on radiators to keep unused rooms cooler (set at 2-3) and high-use rooms warmer at 4-5).
- For combi-boilers – turn down your boiler to the lowest temperature that works for you (try 50 degrees).
- Hot water tanks – these should be set and maintained at a minimum of 60-70 degrees for safety reasons.
- Storage heaters – ensure you’re on an economy 7/10 tariff and try to avoid the boost button
- The sun is free heating – whenever the sun is shining on your windows make sure those curtains are open.
Washing is the biggest use of hot water in most homes.
- Showers and baths - take 4-5mins showers and increase ventilation due to extra moisture in the air.
- Dishwashers and washing machines - use eco-settings and only put it on when it’s full.
- Check out Seven Trent Water’s Big Difference scheme.
- Check out these ways to save water.
Cooking and other electricity savings
- Cooking/boiling - reduce moisture creation by putting the lid on pans. Ensure your extractor fan is on and the kitchen door is closed to stop moist air circulating around the house.
- Tumble dryers - ensure tumble dryers are fairly full and do one extra spin in the washing machine first. Consider cheaper alternatives (dehumidifier with a clothes drier etc.).
- 'Vampiric devices' - some devices use energy when they're plugged in without you realising it – e.g. phone chargers, a TV on standby. Replace multi-plugs with ones that feature individual switches and unplug when not in use.
Understanding kilowatt hours
- We all have the ability to work out exactly how much devices cost. All you need to know is the wattage of the appliance (usually written on it), how much you pay for fuel (most of us now pay 34p), and the length of time you use the device.
We hope you feel much more informed and empowered to stay affordably warm in your homes this winter!