Five Questions About: Saving energy


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The Independent Online

How can I cut my heating bills?

Reducing the room temperature in your home by just 1C could cut heating bills by a tenth, giving an average saving of £60 a year.

Installing thermostats to monitor and control the temperature throughout your home could cut bills by another £70.

Other ways to save energy include closing windows whenever possible, and checking for draughts. At dusk, it is also a good idea to close curtains to stop heat escaping.

How can I save energy while cooking?

When cooking on the hob, use the right-sized pan and ring for each job and keep the lids on to minimise heat loss.

Also, keep the oven door shut as much as you can while you cook.

You can also save energy by defrosting food overnight rather than microwaving it and ensuring warm foods cool before placing them in the fridge.

What about lighting?

Make sure lights are turned off when leaving a room, and use energy-saving light bulbs.

If you plan to decorate your garden, invest in solar-powered fairy lights, available from garden centres and DIY stores for about £30.

How else can I cut home energy expenditure?

The easiest way to cut gas and electricity bills is to switch to a better deal.

The cheapest online tariff at the moment is npower's Sign Online 24 with typical annual bills of £1,050. If you are concerned about future hikes, you may prefer npower's Go Fix 8 tariff with bills fixed at £1,087 until 3 February 2013.

Any other tips?

Set your water cylinder thermostat no higher than 60°C. You can also save about £40 a year by fitting a hot water tank insulation jacket.

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