Author Topic: Home energy saving tips /ideas...  (Read 3957 times)

Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« on: 10 October, 2021, 04:58:32 pm »
Any pearls of energy saving wisdom to impart, esp given current situation?

Only boil water you need.
I've been a bit a bit poor at only boiling water I need of late, so am currently prefilling the container that the boiling water is for, with cold water, then adding it to the kettle to boil only that required.
Fortunately the kettle has a side window, with gradations down to 1 cup.
"Perhaps we cannot raise the winds. But each of us can put up the sail, so that when the wind comes we can catch it." EF.S

Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #1 on: 10 October, 2021, 05:06:59 pm »
Blanket throw for your favourite chair / sofa. A good jumper / fleece to put on. Have any central heating turn off at least 1.5 hours before you go to bed. Turn down central thermostat by 1C or more.  Turn down valves on radiators in rooms you are not in. Long curtains to help retain heat. Close doors to retain warmth in rooms you are in.

Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #2 on: 10 October, 2021, 05:35:12 pm »
Turn lights off in rooms that you are not in and also superfluous outdoor lighting.

Queue up your oven cooking and baking to make best use of the oven.

Make a flask of hot brown liquid of choice when you make a cuppa next time to save on a second boil an hour later.

Put on a fleece / jumper instead of turning the heating on or to allow you to turn the heating down a degree or two.

Turn the rads down to a low / frost setting in rooms where you infrequently go.

Close doors.

A friend of mine used to close off the front rooms in his house in the winter and live in the back rooms only.  He has since moved to a much smaller bungalow.


Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #3 on: 10 October, 2021, 05:50:35 pm »
I have just read the meter. I still don't understand why Ecotricity want me to do this as we have had a smart meter for a couple of years now.

However, the gas reading was exactly the same as the last time the meter was read. This precipitated an inquisition from the website.

"This is the same reading as last time. Are you sure it's right?"

"Yes."

"Please select from the following reasons."

"Other."

then a space for an explanation.

"We haven't used any gas."

I'm currently in credit to the tune of £600 or so. I don't think there's an option to buy my units at today's price so that I don't have to pay the price increase until later.
Bach without a doubt.

road-runner

  • Currently in Slovakia
Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #4 on: 10 October, 2021, 06:26:24 pm »
Queue up your oven cooking and baking to make best use of the oven.

You could do the same with hot water: all bath, shower and do the washing up around the same time to save heating the water for a long time or multiple times each day.

A couple of years ago I cut our lighting running costs by 94% by replacing all our 60w bulbs with LED bulbs.

Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #5 on: 10 October, 2021, 06:39:34 pm »
Only boil water you need.
I've been a bit a bit poor at only boiling water I need of late, so am currently prefilling the container that the boiling water is for, with cold water, then adding it to the kettle to boil only that required.
Fortunately the kettle has a side window, with gradations down to 1 cup.

A hotel room style 750W kettle will help greatly with this.

Not because it uses less energy, because it doesn’t, but because it makes you weight for-chuffing-ever if you casually overfill it.

Mrs Pingu

  • Who ate all the pies? Me
    • Twitter
Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #6 on: 10 October, 2021, 06:52:23 pm »
If you've got a damp house get a dehumidifier. Despite what the thermometer says you'll feel warmer in less damp air of the same temperature.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #7 on: 10 October, 2021, 07:03:06 pm »
Queue up your oven cooking and baking to make best use of the oven.

You could do the same with hot water: all bath, shower and do the washing up around the same time to save heating the water for a long time or multiple times each day.

A couple of years ago I cut our lighting running costs by 94% by replacing all our 60w bulbs with LED bulbs.

Nana used to do that with tin bath in front of coal fire.  Mum, dad, kids all using the same bath water in front of fire before it cooled down.

Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #8 on: 10 October, 2021, 07:12:52 pm »
Queue up your oven cooking and baking to make best use of the oven.

You could do the same with hot water: all bath, shower and do the washing up around the same time to save heating the water for a long time or multiple times each day.

A couple of years ago I cut our lighting running costs by 94% by replacing all our 60w bulbs with LED bulbs.

Nana used to do that with tin bath in front of coal fire.  Mum, dad, kids all using the same bath water in front of fire before it cooled down.

Yep, but then it was a pain in the fundaments to heat the water on the stove in the first place, so you only wanted to do it once.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #9 on: 10 October, 2021, 07:36:59 pm »
Do the washing up with cold water. Soak the dishes first, then rinse off.

Yeah also wash your hands in cold water.

Quote
Queue up your oven cooking and baking to make best use of the oven.

I would say don't use the oven, as it seems to me it uses a lot of fuel compared to other methods of cooking.


Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #10 on: 10 October, 2021, 07:50:56 pm »
Do the washing up with cold water. Soak the dishes first, then rinse off.


I had to do this a couple of months ago when we were without a boiler for about 10 days. It was horrible - things just didn't seem to get as clean, and I ended up using more washing-up liquid to compensate. I won't be doing it by choice in a hurry.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #11 on: 10 October, 2021, 08:21:53 pm »
Yeah also wash your hands in cold water.

I'm probably washing my hands about 5 times more than usual on account of caring for barakta.  They're dry and cracked, like after a week of camping.  If the water were any colder they'd be bleeding raw.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #12 on: 10 October, 2021, 08:24:04 pm »
Oven cooking is less efficient than a microwave but the excess energy is heat, inside your house. That offsets against additional central heating, to some extent.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #13 on: 10 October, 2021, 08:27:23 pm »
Get a good understanding of what you're using, when and where.
Don't open fridges and freezers more often than needed and keep them reasonably full.
Always wash a full load, get a spinner, then air dry unless that's impossible.
Batch cook meals.
Know how warm you need to be for comfort rather than habit, but don't let your home get so cold it costs a fortune to bring it back up to a reasonable temperature.

I've never had running hot water other than from an electric shower. I use that in the bathroom and have two kettles in the kitchen,  Either I've lived places where there wasn't the option, or that option has been a crappy emersion heater. I might do otherwise if the option was an efficient combi boiler, but I've never missed what I've never had.
If you haven't already, get a night tariff and do as much as practical at the lower rate.
My energy bill for a small two bedroom flat is £24 a month and I'm well in credit  ;)  Though I've had my meter checked twice on the pretext there might be a fault, but they're obviously looking to see if it's been tampered with.

Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #14 on: 10 October, 2021, 08:34:25 pm »
Oven cooking os less efficient than a microwave but the excess energy is heat, inside your house. That offsets against additional central heating, to some extent.

In defence of the humble oven:

I can get significantly more into my gas oven than I can a microwave oven, and,

We do not own a microwave.

I don't know what a decent microwave costs but regardless, I have no realistic idea of how long it would take to recoup the cost in energy use terms.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #15 on: 10 October, 2021, 08:36:01 pm »
I'm not sure anyone's made a decent microwave this century.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #16 on: 10 October, 2021, 08:47:43 pm »
In that case I can resist the lure of the poppity ping with a clear conscience.  😉

Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #17 on: 10 October, 2021, 08:48:16 pm »
I find it's not much fun below about 12C. I've been known to pull up a stool in front of the open door of a recently-used oven before.

Also wintering in one room so as not to heat the others. (One oil radiator per room, one with a working dial, the other without. Made an arduino-controlled thermostat to hold the room I was in at a specified temperature with the busted radiatior and used the working radiator on the frost setting to stop the other room from getting too too cold.)

Thick socks and fingerless gloves in a Dickensian clerk stylee.




Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #18 on: 10 October, 2021, 08:53:30 pm »
Queue up your oven cooking and baking to make best use of the oven.

You could do the same with hot water: all bath, shower and do the washing up around the same time to save heating the water for a long time or multiple times each day.

A couple of years ago I cut our lighting running costs by 94% by replacing all our 60w bulbs with LED bulbs.

Nana used to do that with tin bath in front of coal fire.  Mum, dad, kids all using the same bath water in front of fire before it cooled down.

Yep, but then it was a pain in the fundaments to heat the water on the stove in the first place, so you only wanted to do it once.

There was a back boiler connected to the fire by a long iron rod that reached down into the fire.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #19 on: 10 October, 2021, 08:54:44 pm »
Also wintering in one room so as not to heat the others.

This.  I reckon barakta and I (normally) save a huge amount of energy by mostly living upstairs, rather than trying to heat downstairs to a reasonable level.  Especially since the gas heater in the front room got condemned.

I reckon the biggest energy saving I could make would be to cycle (and therefore wash) less.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #20 on: 10 October, 2021, 09:01:24 pm »
Use free solar heat on sunny winter days by opening doors to sunny rooms.  If you have a conservatory in full sun, this can heat the whole house.

If you have a wood burner, you have probably learnt the art of scavenging free wood already (always loads free on Facebook Marketplace, although unlikely to be ready to burn this year).  My top tip is that leylandii is a pretty good wood burner fuel and totally useless for anything else, so people are often looking to get rid of it.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #21 on: 10 October, 2021, 09:06:42 pm »
I would say don't use the oven, as it seems to me it uses a lot of fuel compared to other methods of cooking.

That's pretty hair-shirt, even by the standards of this thread.
Making bread over a hotel-issue milliwatt iron is going to be somewhat challenging.


quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #22 on: 10 October, 2021, 09:24:07 pm »
Be careful you don't end up chasing the marginal gains. Turning lights off, great idea. It does save energy. But, emotional health can be improved by being in a well lit space. A typical LED light bulb these days is about 9w. You need to have that bulb on for over 111 hours for it to cost you 1KwH. Not stubbing my toe in the hallway (light switch is far end of it, and only one end), is worth having the light on for. The same with the whole "Make sure you switch your TV off completely, not just on standby". EU law requires that devices like TV's consume 1W or less on standby. That's gonna take you almost 42 days for it to use 1kwh. Worth it for the improvement in quality of life of being able to turn the tele on from under your warm blanket...

So, rather than worrying about marginal gains, look at the big things.

Don't use a tumble drier. Unless you absolutely need to have your clothes dry in a couple of hours, just hang them up, outside if it's dry, inside if not. This should save in the region of 4-5kwh per cycle. Depending on how often you use your tumble drier, that can add up. Certainly faster than turning off lights, switching the tv off at the wall, or faffing about measuring only the amount of water you need for your tea.

Check for drafts. The highest standards of energy efficiency basically require your home to be a sealed box. With very little air exchange. Pretty much every home not built to these standards is going to be a drafty mess. But you can greatly improve things by those draft excludy strips along doors, checking windows etc... If you can keep the exchange of warm air indoors, with cold air out, to a minimum, you'll improve things a lot. A good pair of curtains can really help to reduce losses at the windows.

It can be a good idea to get heat exchanging vents tho, these can recover about 90% of the energy from the air they vent out, while warming the air that comes in, all for about 10-30w of energy.

It's very hard in a typical British home to be more energy efficient than most people already are, without drastically impinging on your quality of life, or without spending a lot of money on new things. Most of the common advice people give for energy saving is going to save pennies when multiplied out to a whole year. Even the thing with boiling only the water you need is very much in marginal gains territory. It takes about 0.046kwh to boil 500ml of water, and 0.091kwh to boil 1l of water. If every time you want to make 0.5l of tea, you boiled 1l instead, you'd need to do that nearly 22 times to cost an extra 1kwh. (exact numbers may vary depending on efficiency of your kettle). But. If you boil an extra 0.5l of water, you're not pouring it down the drain after you've made your tea, it sits in the kettle to be reboiled the next time (after you've topped it up again no doubt). As that water cools, the energy from that water is going to dissipate into the local environment. It's going to warm your kitchen a little. It's a marginal gain, for a lot of extra faff when you just want a cup of tea. Obviously if you drink a lot of tea every day, that may have a more significant impact over the whole year. The UK tea and infusions association[1] says the Brits drink 100000000 cups of tea a day, that's less than 1.5 cups per person per day. So that 22 cups of tea is going to work out at an extra 1kwh every 2 weeks, or 26kwh over the year. Or about a fiver...

J

[1] yeah, I was surprised by that one too...
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #23 on: 10 October, 2021, 09:27:56 pm »
I would say don't use the oven, as it seems to me it uses a lot of fuel compared to other methods of cooking.

That's pretty hair-shirt, even by the standards of this thread.
Making bread over a hotel-issue milliwatt iron is going to be somewhat challenging.

And it's misguided. Running the oven for an hour, is about 2.5kwh of energy (based on googling how much energy does an oven use). Which if the oven was out in the garden, would result in 2.5Kwh of energy lost to atmosphere, plus dinner. But your oven is in the kitchen, so running the oven for an hour puts 2.5kwh of energy into the kitchen in the form of warmth. And produces dinner. Saving you the need for 2.5kwh of heating in that room. It's a win win.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Home energy saving tips /ideas...
« Reply #24 on: 10 October, 2021, 09:35:03 pm »
Probably doesn't apply to most on here, but I reckon the nation as a whole could save a lot of energy by not waiting for the safety cut-out on electric kettles when making tea and coffee. The water is boiling long before the cut-out triggers, and coffee is best brewed with the water at less than 100C anyway.

Every time I've had work done on the house, a chalet bungalow (1925) with non-cavity walls, I've included as much additional insulation as reasonably practicable. My next move is to fit closable grilles over the open ones which keep the underfloor area ventilated to prevent rotting of the rafters. When a westerly wind blows I can feel cold draughts in the kitchen as the air finds its way through inaccessible gaps. Selectively closing the grilles will reduce this without causing rot problems.