Save electricity Save electricity and save money
Find out how small changes around your home can save you money and help you cut your electricity usage.
Cutting the amount of electricity you use isn't just better for the environment – it will save you money, too.
Households could save around £250 a year by installing energy-efficient measures, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Keep reading to find out what you can do to save electricity and cut your energy bill.
The easiest way to cut your bill is to make sure you're on the best energy deal. Use our independent switching site, Which? Switch, to compare gas and electricity tariffs.
How much money can I save?
Even without buying new energy-efficient appliances, changing the way you use them can save you quite a lot. For example, tumble drying clothes can cost up to £139 a year if your machine isn't particularly efficient.
You can cut this by following our simple energy-saving tumble dryer tips.
In the UK we all pay, on average, an extra £30 a year through leaving appliances on standby or keeping them on when not using them, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Although new models are much more energy efficient, remember to unplug older inefficient products to cut this down.
Monitoring how much electricity you use and making sure you're getting the best deal are also effective ways to help you cut back.
Compare energy suppliers to save money
To make sure you're not losing money by paying more than you have to for gas and electricity, compare energy prices with our switching service Which? Switch.
- Saving: The average annual saving using Which? Switch is £369. This is an average figure, so many customers save a lot more.
(This figure is the estimated annual saving for customers who applied to switch suppliers through Which? Switch between 1 November 2015 and 30 May 2016.)
Save money with low-energy light bulbs
Changing traditional light bulbs to energy-saving equivalents can make a big difference to your bills.
Shops have been banned from selling traditional incandescent bulbs for household use since September 2012, but many homes still use them. Traditional bulbs last for an average of one year, but energy-saving bulbs can last up to 10 years. Some LED bulbs can even last 25 years.
You can use the results of our tough lab tests to discover the best and worst energy-saving light bulbs.
Traditional 40W, 60W and 100W bulbs have equivalent low-energy versions, which are rated approximately 8W, 10W and 15-20W respectively. By replacing a 40W traditional bulb with an 8W low-energy one, you have immediately cut your use by 20% for that bulb.
Lighting your home accounts for 18% of the average household's electricity bill, so it's easy to see how savings can add up. Remember to turn off lights in rooms you're not using.
- Saving: For each light bulb replaced with an energy-saving equivalent, you can save around £7 a year.
Monitor your electricity use
An energy monitor is a small, simple gadget that estimates in real time how much energy you're using in your home. It shows how different appliances affect your consumption.
The energy monitor will show where you could make savings, and lets you see the impact when you change your habits. The monitor itself won't save you electricity, but using it in the right way will. Read our expert advice on the top five ways to make the most of your energy monitor.
Generate your own electricity
Although it takes time to recoup the installation cost, if you want to go the extra mile for energy efficiency, you could try producing your own electricity.
Solar panels can generate electricity (solar PV panels). A financial incentive, the feed-in tariff, pays you to generate electricity in this way. You could make around £12,000 over 20 years (although you should take into account repaying the cost of buying the panels, which could be around £7,600).
For a much lower initial cost, solar thermal panels will help you heat water - this can slash your water-heating bill by a third.
Small domestic wind turbines cost around £2,000 (1kW roof-mounted turbine) to install. This means they have shorter payback periods than solar panels. The average wind speed around your house is key to how your small domestic turbine will perform. For most people in the UK, it won't be worth it. Find out more in our wind turbine guide.
- Saving: An average solar PV installation (3.5kWp costing £7,600), positioned on an optimum roof, could save £82 on energy bills annually and earn £518 in tariffs.
Other ways to save electricityUnplug your gadget chargers when you're not using them. If a charger feels warm when it's plugged in, it's still using energy, even if it's not attached to a device.
Buy energy-efficient appliances. The upfront cost should not be the only factor you consider when you choose a new TV, fridge or tumble dryer. The annual running cost of appliances varies a lot, and choosing the least efficient models could leave you hundreds of pounds poorer every year.
- Saving Choose appliances with low running costs. For example, our tests reveal that tumble dryers can vary between £39 and £139 to run for one year.