By The Loop Team • 12 December, 2019

Get, set, go... 5 energy saving measures you can take in 5 minutes

For every eco-hero with the perfect energy efficient home, there are many other mere mortals who’d like to be more eco-friendly but haven’t quite managed it.

If that’s you – if you’re anxious about reducing your household’s impact on the planet but are struggling – then don’t despair. Instead, soothe your eco-anxiety and slim down your energy bill with these super-quick energy saving measures. 

1. Turn your central heating thermostat down by 1 degree 

With such a small reduction in temperature, you simply won’t notice the difference. But you’ll cut your home carbon dioxide emissions by 320kg each year and make an annual financial saving of £80.

Time taken: 30 seconds

Next steps: if you’re feeling inspired to do more, then consider buying a smart thermostat, which will enable you to control your heating, and hot water, remotely using your smartphone. Models and prices vary, but you could pick one up for less than that £80 you’ve just saved.

5 energy saving measures 1

2. Move sofas away from radiators

If your sofa is jammed against a radiator, then it will be absorbing heat rather than letting it circulate properly. Simply pull any sofas away from the wall. It only takes a few seconds, and you’ll just have to remember to do it every now and then.

Time taken: 30 seconds

Next steps: set the exact temperature you want in your living room by using thermostatic radiator valves which reduce the flow of water through the radiator or when the temperature goes above a certain setting. A lower setting uses less energy and so will save you money. Some of these devices are ‘smart’, meaning you can control them remotely.

3. Reduce your phantom load

In less than a minute you’ll be able to understand this strange term, the phantom load, and also take your first steps to reducing it in your home. 

Phantom load is the always on; the devices and appliances that constantly use power in your home. That includes appliances like fridges and freezers, which you have no choice but to keep on all the time. And it also includes appliances or devices which are draining power because they are left on standby; these are the ones you can do something about. 

So have a quick dash around turning things off at the plug.

Time taken: 30 seconds

Next steps: read our guide to get to grips with the biggest standby culprits and get in the habit of turning things off.

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4. Order a new shower head

Some water suppliers, such as Thames Water, provide water-saving freebies, including efficient showerheads. If yours doesn’t, then you’ll need to spend around

You won’t be sacrificing the joy of a powerful blast of hot water. Water-efficient showerheads produce water flows that feel far higher than they actually are.

Save Water Save Money has a selection here.

Time taken: 3 minutes (or perhaps a tad more, but it’ll be worth it)

Next steps: if you’re prone to endlessly long showers, standing there day-dreaming, then add a cheap shower timer to your Save Water Save Money shopping basket.

5. Now go make a cuppa

Yes, your eyes don’t deceive you, time to make a cup of tea. Just be sure to only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need: fill up your mug and pour it in. Otherwise it’s so easy to overfill. 

By doing so you could save around £6 a year. It’s not much. But you can use each and every brew-up to reflect on the impact you can have by spending just five minutes on energy efficiency; and reflect on what else you could achieve by dedicating just a little more time.

Time taken: 30 seconds

Next steps: sit down with that cup of tea and switch your energy provider. This will take five minutes – but not much more than that – and you could save yourself as much as £300.

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