General ramblings

Electricity Saving Hints and Tips

March 18, 2014

I thought I would kick-start our ‘Electric’ week with some basic hints and tips and ideas for using less electricity, many of which I am sure you all know, but there might be the odd gem in there!
And again, I really would love this to be an inter-active process, and you guys to share your best ideas too, so please do leave comments below 🙂

  • Wash at 30C-we do this for pretty much everything, and I wouldn’t say we walk around looking grubby (others may disagree…)
  • Wash less! We are just coming out of the other side of the very messy baby/toddler stage, where every outfit gets covered in snot/sick/food/grime (adult and small alike), and I got into a habit of routinely chucking all the Small’s clothes in the wash at the end of every day. But actually, sometimes, they don’t need washing-especially things like t-shirts that may well have been hiding under a jumper all day. This was a revelation to me!
  • Use an eco-setting if you have one on your washing machine, and on your dishwasher
  • Only wash full-loads, of clothes or dishes (don’t get them mixed up)
  • Ditch the dryer!
    Line dryingTumble dryers are the second biggest energy consumer in the house, after the fridge.  I feel slightly smug in saying that we have never had a tumble dryer. That is with two small people in the house, and pretty much constant use of washable nappies for the last 5 years. I get ridiculously excited when I can hang things outside, but otherwise we have a clothes horse in residence in the spare room, and the majority of things dry in 24 hours
  • Don’t iron. Just don’t.
    IroningThink of not only the energy you will save, but also the hours (years) of your life! We are lucky in that hubby wears polo shirts to work, otherwise I guess we (he) might have to iron shirts, but seriously, the rest of it-leave it! By the time you get to work/school, the creases have either dropped out, or you are looking rumpled anyway from your commute
  • Switch to energy efficient lights-ideally LEDs-there is a whole post on this coming up if you can bear the wait
  • Switch things off standby. Some machines seem to not ‘allow’ you to do this, but there are gadgets you can get that mean that you can (more to come on this later in the week)
  • Turn the bl**dy lights off! That is my constant cry at the moment…
    Lights off
  • If like us you have solar panels, make the most of the sunshine, and try to use your appliances in the daylight (we were told by our supplier that one of their customers even goes as far as boiling their kettle when the sun is out, and then filling a thermos to make tea in the evening 🙂 )
  • Did you know that if you change the background colour of your mobile screen display from white to black it saves something like 50% of the energy (I have made that figure up as I can’t remember what I was told, but it was a significant amount). I know this because I was told by an ‘O2 guru’ who was sorting out something else on my phone. And he did it for me, so don’t ask me how you do this (try Settings…)
  • Unplug your phone charger from the wall when it has finished charging-hubby’s phone has a little alarm that sounds when it is charged, to remind you to unplug it
  • As and when old appliances break, replace them with A-rated ones (not sure how easy it is to find A-rated appliances secondhand, or whether their efficiency decreases over time..?)
  • Go au-naturel and let your hair dry naturally
  • If you have an older style freezer that frosts up, defrost it (and this is from someone who hates defrosting the freezer)
  • I read on the fabulous Moral Fibres blog, that reducing the brightness setting on your TV can save you up to £8 a month. That is insane. I mentioned this to hubby and his response was “yeah, I did that years ago, our TV is on the Eco-setting”. Our TV has an Eco-setting? News to me! Well done hubby 🙂 Worth checking if yours does too!

There must be loads more innovative ideas-I don’t care how ‘out there’ they are-hit me with them! (Do I need to remind you there is a Race to win here…?!)

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  • Reply Heather March 19, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    I love all these ideas but I experimented with the thermos flask idea today and I thought it was great! I boiled the kettle once at breakfast time, filled up the flask and then used the water for my hot drinks whilst working from home today. 🙂

    • Reply Jen March 20, 2014 at 11:26 am

      HURRAY!

  • Reply Electricity Saving Gadgets and Gizmos | My Make Do and Mend Year March 19, 2014 at 9:32 am

    […] Yesterday, if you missed it, there was a long (some might say fairly dry and dull…) post with hints and tips for general electricity saving. Today, we are looking at the gadgets and gizomes (of which there are many) that can help us to […]

  • Reply sandyfaithking March 18, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Hello. I am new to this blog. I found the link on Eco Thrifty Living. I love the thermos flask idea. We have several which I bought when I learned how bad for the environment buying water in bottles is. I will hunt them out tomorrow! My husband works from home so it’s a great solution to reducing energy but still being able to have the vital cuppa 🙂

    • Reply Jen March 18, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Welcome! I did a very scientific experiment with the kettle and the thermos, will reveal all in a blog post soon!

  • Reply smallholderwannabe March 18, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    My friend has solar panels and will cook several meals on her electric 2 ring gadget and her halogen oven (both bought to supplement her gas cooker which is in perfect working order and needed for the big oven for when the family descend) in order to utilise the electricity produced by their panels. Then she just needs to reheat in the (electric) microwave.

    We have a woodburner and keep a kettle on it all the time it is lit. We have 3 flasks and put the boiled water into those. If we need it at boiling point again for tea then less than 30 seconds in the electric kettle is all that is needed (having poured into the kettle the exact quantity of water). Instant coffee and hot water bottles and veg, gravy etc – we just use the water straight from the flasks. Over the winter, we’ve probably saved a few units of electricity but it all adds up : )

    • Reply Jen March 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      It does indeed all add up! Great tips-thankyou so much 🙂

  • Reply Hilary March 18, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Loved reading this today, we’ve never had a dryer either or a dishwasher so those not a problem, BUT I’m afraid I do iron!
    Not as much as my mum and gran did(everything) but shirts and trousers absolutely! I can’t I’m afraid not do them, otherwise feel like been dragged through hedge backwards as the saying goes. Hate to see unironed t-shirts too! Sorry!
    I’ve unplugged the laptop(it’s battery died so it’s not really a laptop anymore) and printer as I don’t use very often.
    Good luck with the competition sorry can’t come up with anymore ideas for you!

    • Reply Jen March 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks Hilary. Did your mum iron pants? I think my mum did hankies, and she hated ironing!

  • Reply Vivienne Downes March 18, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Freezers use more energy than fridges so when you replace buy one that is just the right size for your needs. Manual defrost is more energy efficient as long as regularly de-iced. Old ones appliances are defo not as efficient & may contain gas that’s not environmentally friendly now.
    When you buy food remember shops are open 24/7 most days you don’t need to buy huge quantities. When freezing homemade food cool 1st, then place ice packs round to fast freeze it in the freezer save energy by not switching to “fast freeze” which chills your whole freezer to minus 26 instead of -18 . Only need to use Fast freeze if you are putting in huge amounts of fresh food. Position your freezer we’ll away from heat sources but be aware that they do need minimum 10 Celsius or 50 Fahrenheit to function.

    • Reply Jen March 18, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      Wow, fast freeze must use lots of energy-good tips with the ice packs!
      Thanks for this 🙂

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