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Ryan Gill, Engineer

16 May : Updated 2 Jun ● 7 min read

Energy Habits Test

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Which household habits are costing you the most money?

Over £4 billion is being wasted by Brits leaving their lights on every year, a clear indicator that we are all guilty of wasting money and energy in our homes! 

With the UK’s cost of living crisis meaning that more of us than ever are looking for ways to reduce our energy use within the home, we have put together an interactive quiz that will determine which of your household habits are using the most energy. Based on your results, we will also provide you with some advice on how you can cut down on some of your costly household energy habits.

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Whilst some bills, such as gas and water, are unavoidable, many household habits waste money and energy without us even knowing. By reducing your  energy usage, you can save those all-important pennies at the same time as doing your bit to help the environment, as even the most eco-conscious boilers contribute to air pollution.

By doing something as simple as switching light bulbs, or adopting some more traditional methods of cleaning, you can drastically reduce the amount of electricity you use and this can have benefits both for your pocket and the environment.

How can you reduce the impact of bad energy habits?

1 - Charge your phone before going to bed

Although it is much more convenient to charge your phone all night and ensure that you have a full charge for the day ahead, this cost soon adds up. Instead of charging your phone all night, it would save energy and money to charge it for a couple of hours before bed instead. If you are worried about your phone losing power during the day, most smartphones have a ‘battery saving mode’ which can prolong your battery life by up to two extra hours!

If you work from home then another alternative to charging your phone at night could be to plug your phone into your laptop whilst you work so that it is getting plenty of charge whilst you are busy with other tasks. 

2 - Try air drying your clothes

If you are looking to cut down the cost of your energy bill, you should try and do anything you can to avoid using the tumble dryer because they are one of the most costly appliances in the house. Based on the average number of washes a person does per year, you could be paying upwards of £113.49 on tumble drying alone! Because of these high costs, many people use alternative methods, including clothes airers. 

You can buy heated or unheated clothes airers, with the heated versions being more energy and cost-efficient than a tumble dryer. In the warmer months, you could hang your clothes outside on a washing line which will completely cut the cost of using a tumble dryer.

3 - Set a sleep timer on your TV

So many people are guilty of leaving their TV on when they are in a different room or paying attention to something else - but most people don’t realise how much energy is being wasted. To put it into context, having your TV on for 10hrs costs the same amount of money as having it on standby for a whole year!

If you use your TV to help you fall asleep, then you should try setting a sleep timer on your device before going to bed. Most modern televisions have a button on the remote, but you can also find it in the settings of most TVs. This feature gives you the option to set a timer for hours in advance, allowing you to watch a couple of episodes of your favourite show before bed without feeling guilty. 

4 - Consider hand-washing your dishes

Whilst dishwashers are massive time savers and often do a good job of cleaning your pots and pans, they can cost a hefty sum of money to run regularly. If you are looking to cut the costs of some of your gas and electric bills then hand washing is a perfect alternative. 

An average 2hr dishwasher cycle costs around 4.56p to run, meaning that you can save lots of pennies (and probably do a much better job) by using a good old-fashioned bowl and sponge!

5 - Fill the kettle with less water

If you are looking for an easy way to save on your energy prices then you could start in the kitchen. When making a cuppa just for you, there is no need to boil 2 litres of water as it will just be left sitting around in the kettle. As well as this, it costs almost double the price than it would if you were to fill the kettle halfway, so by only using the amount of water you need, you can save on time, energy, and money!

6 - Switch to LED light bulbs

As well as being better for the environment, LED light bulbs cost less than half the price of non-LED alternatives to run for an hour. If you are unsure about what type of light bulb you are currently using then you can usually tell by looking at the wattage as LED bulbs are generally 10W or less. 

You could also consider reducing the amount of time you put the lights on by making sure to turn them off before going to bed or leaving the room.

7 - Tips for reducing your heating costs

It may sound obvious, but if you are looking to cut back on heating costs then you should only put your heating on when you need it. A lot of modern boilers have the option to set timers so that you can control when you want the heating to come on/off. By utilising this feature, you can save energy and money whilst still being able to come home to a warm house after a long day at work!

In addition to this, many people are guilty of heating rooms in their houses that aren’t being used. Whilst it is much easier to just heat the whole house, this tends to waste a lot of energy and money, especially if you have a house with lots of bedrooms. By only heating the rooms that you need, you will be doing the environment and your bank a favour!

Even though we can all agree that the current cost of living is way too high, it is evident that there are some bad habits that we are guilty of which are contributing unnecessarily to our monthly bills. By doing something as simple as switching light bulbs, or adopting some more traditional methods of cleaning, you can drastically reduce the amount of electricity you use and this can have benefits both for your pocket and the environment.

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We made a list of common household energy-based activities that use gas and electricity. We then used a range of online sources to find the amount of energy (kWh) and the cost (£) of each activity per use or per hour depending on which was most suitable.

We used Green Match to make a list of household devices that you can have on standby, and how much energy they produce when on standby per year.

Found on the GOV.UK website, we took the most recent price of gas and electricity per kWh and multiplied this by each activity’s energy use to calculate the cost of each household habit.

We used Checkatrade to find the cost of central heating for each main boiler source (Mains Gas, LPG, Oil Heating and Electric Heat). By multiplying the cost of heating per hour by the average boiler size, we were able to calculate how much energy and money it costs to heat a 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5-bedroom house.

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