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Running cold appliances (i.e. fridges and freezers) accounts for about 8% of your electricity bill. It's important to select A+++ rated appliances when buying new. However, running a fridge or freezer on excessively low temperatures also wastes a lot of energy.
With a room temperature of 20°C, the ideal temperature for a fridge is about 4°C, while -18°C is best for a freezer.
Having 2 or 3cm of ice in the freezer will increase its electricity consumption by 30%.
Every appliance left on standby continues to draw some power. According to the EST, 9% to 16% of all electricity consumed in homes is used to power appliances in standby mode. Electric ovens, microwaves, TVs, TV boxes, DVD players, games consoles, computers, Wi-Fi boxes, printers... the list of appliances kept constantly running is endless and altogether these appliances could be wasting a lot of energy. So, how can we go about reducing usage? Firstly, unplug all appliances when they are not in use. It can also be a good idea to use an extension lead with a switch to turn off multiple appliances at once. Think you might forget to turn things off? Use a timer plug and set your own schedule to turn appliances on and off.
Appliances left on standby can account for up to 16% of your electricity bill by the end of the year.
Appliance eco modes are designed to save you money on electricity as well as water. By only consuming the absolute minimum to get things clean, washing machines and dishwashers can be quite economical – even more so if you ensure you only run them when full. As for tumble dryers, it is best to hang things up instead wherever possible.
Dishwashers are used 3 to 5 times a week on average. According to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), your dishwasher contributes to 8% of your overall electricity bill.
These days, we have the choice between CFL (or energy saving bulbs) and LED light bulbs. Incandescent bulbs have been largely phased out since the EU ban back in 2009. Equally, halogen light bulbs have been banned since September 2021. So between the remaining options, CFL and LED bulbs, which is best? The answer is clear: LED bulbs last about three times longer and consume 1.5 to 2 times less than CFL bulbs.
Lighting accounts for about 10% of the overall domestic electricity consumption.
When going away for the weekend or on holiday, make sure to put your home on energy saving mode. This means turning off your hot water cylinder, switching off any appliances on standby and putting your radiators on frost or eco mode. In short, only keep appliances running that are strictly necessary, such as the fridge or freezer.
If you spend a lot of time away from home, consider installing a smart home system to boost comfort and make real energy savings.
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