How to consume less energy and save this winter - KFM

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Every household in Ireland is facing a winter of financial discontent when it comes to their gas and electricity bills. However, the good news is that there are a number of different steps you can take to help offset the energy price increases. 

Our Head of Communications, Daragh Cassidy, joined Ciara Plunkett on KFM to discuss what options consumers have when it comes to mitigating the price increases. Daragh also outlined a range of easy ways to use less electricity around the home and save on winter energy bills. 

Listen back to the interview above or take a look at the main points discussed below.

How can people combat energy price increases?

There are three kinds of measures people can take to offset energy price increases:

  1. There are short term, quick and easy steps people can take to consume less electricity around the home and save money.
  2. Then there are longer-term measures, such as retrofitting, which can unfortunately be expensive. However there are grants in place for those looking to do this. Review the finance options available for retrofitting in this blog, or discover all you need to know about retrofitting in our podcast.
  3. Then finally there’s the quick and easy way to save, which involves switching energy supplier.

How can people consume less electricity?

We need to be more mindful of the energy we consume, especially this winter as energy prices are soaring and many people are still working from home. Energy bills could skyrocket. There are lots of simple things we can do around the home to use less energy. 

The main thing is to make sure that all of your lightbulbs are LED. They use 80-90% less electricity than a standard lightbulb and tend to last 5-10 times longer, too. Even though they might cost a little more to buy, they can save you money in the short to medium term. 

Unplug appliances
The second thing is to unplug appliances, particularly when going to bed. Leaving electronics plugged in can waste electricity and it can all add up. 

It’s estimated that around 15% of the entire energy used by electronics is from when they’re plugged in on standby, and not being used. Unplugging these appliances could save you between €50-100 a year. 

Leaving appliances like toasters and kettles plugged in won’t use much electricity, but electronics like computers, laptops, the Xbox, PlayStation and broadband would use a lot more.

Also if you’re going away for a few days, do make sure you plug out everything.

Cook clever

Steps you can take in the kitchen include not overfilling the kettle and cooking clever. Turn off the cooker 4-5 minutes before the food is due to finish cooking, as the residual heat will still cook it. 

Older cookers can use about a third as much energy as running an electric shower. If you have the oven on for about an hour, this can use the equivalent amount of energy as taking a 20-minute electric shower. 

Be mindful of opening the fridge too. Every time you open it for even just 15 seconds, it will take around 45 minutes for the fridge to cool down to its original temperature.

The cost of heating water

Whether you’re boiling the kettle, heating water for a shower or just heating water to use the iron, a lot of energy will be used. Anything that heats water quickly will use a huge amount of electricity, particularly electric showers.

People often leave the hot tap running and you’re quite literally pouring money down the drain. Many don’t realise this. For a lot of households, around 50% of the electricity bill is from heating water alone.

Sometimes if you put on an eco wash, it can take a lot longer than a normal wash. This is because around 90% of the energy that your dishwasher or your washing machine uses is actually for heating the water, and not for running the appliance. 

More ways to save

These are all small things that will help, but many people are unaware of how much energy appliances and electronics actually use. 

Take a look at our blog on 15 ways to use less electricity and save money for a full list of steps you can take to save on energy consumption around the home.

Are you looking for the most energy-efficient and cost-effective ways to heat your home this winter? Check out our blog on 10 ways to heat your home for less.

For more saving tips and helpful information, make sure you keep an eye on our energy blogs and guides pages.

Switch and save

As well as implementing the steps outlined above, you can also mitigate the energy price hikes by switching energy supplier. 

Those willing to switch energy suppliers could save up to 30-40% off standard rates for the first 12 months. Switching is quick and easy to do on! 

With our energy comparison tool, you can compare gas and electricity deals and tariffs across all 14 energy suppliers nationwide in just a few clicks. 

Before making the switch, you might find it helpful to take a look at the following guides:

Get in touch

Can you think of any other ways that people can reduce their energy consumption this winter? If so, we’d love to hear from you!

If you have any energy-related questions, feel free to reach out too. We’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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