No need for me to go over too much old ground. You have all heard most of the common tips from most of the usual channels. What I want to do is expand on a few of the more common ones, and perhaps see if there are 'tweaks' that can help save even more energy that won't hurt your wallet either.
You are probably familiar with the 'turn your thermostat down 1°C and save around 10% on your heating bill'.
My stat is set to 16°C which is about the same sort of temperature as a nice spring day. As it happens, my house is a 19th century stone-built cottage with walls almost 30 inches thick. It has such a huge thermal mass that it stays at a fairly even temperature most of the year round. But I do need to give the oil-fired boiler a good workout in the winter months to keep it warm. The same would apply to a gas boiler, if I was on mains gas, which I'm not.
Anyway, 16°C is a temperature I've learned to work with, and it suits me. Her indoors, on the other hand, is a 20°C kinda gal, and we've had to make a few adjustments in order to make it work for her. The difference between 20°C and 16°C works out as an energy cost saving of around 30% which is not to be sniffed at.
So how can you make that sort of saving and still stay fairly comfy?
Well, schoolboy physics tells you hot air rises. Thus, your indoor temperature will always be cooler at floor level and warmer at ceiling level. With your stat in the usual position of around shoulder height, that 16°C you have set mid-room level could mean perhaps 14°C at floor level which your feet will tell you is a teensy bit on the cool side.
So, fool your feet into thinking it is warmer than it is down there. Put on an extra pair of socks, or much thicker socks. If your feet think they are plenty warm enough, your body won't argue too much. Thick socks and a nice pair of slippers and you can happily knock a degree off the heating and you will only notice the savings, not the temperature difference.
Physiological fact: The human body cannot measure absolute temperature. Your body can only detect relative temperature differences of around 2°C or so.
You've all got energy saving lightbulbs, right? Well, how about an energy saving energy saving lightbulb. Rather than using conventional LED bulbs, you can get lightbulbs that have sensors built into them. I don't mean WiFi enabled bulbs controlled via your phone, but if that's what lights your candle, then fill your boots. Sensor bulbs are either controlled by ambient light (dusk to dawn lights) or have integrated motion sensors. Think PIR motion sensor lights, but with the sensor integrated into the base of a conventional lightbulb. Thus, you can 'retro-fit' many standard fittings and fixtures with a bulb that contains the sensor.
In my last house, I had bog-standard 6W LED bulbs in the downstairs hallway and upstairs landing lights. If you were in and out of rooms or up and down stairs at night then you turned on the hall or landing lights...and then probably left them on until you remembered to turn 'em off again. 12 or 24 Watts of power doesn't sound like much, but those couple of hours they may have been on for would tot up to a good few units over a year. 12W x 2hr x maybe 300 days a year? 7.2kWh, or £2.50-ish in today's money. A motion sensor bulb doesn't cost too much more than a regular one, and over time will only save you even more money as prices increase. I now have them in my hall and landing at the new place. They are on if you need them, and turn themselves off again after a few minutes if the don't detect movement. There are even ones that dim down to a low level if you aren't around, and then brighten up when they spot you coming.
Likewise, light sensor or dusk to dawn bulbs are only a fraction more expensive than conventional LED bulbs, but in a porch light or outdoor light, turning themselves off in the morning if you forget to...savings can be made. I have them in my conservatory. If it's a gloomy old day, they come on and if it perks up a bit, they can turn themselves off if it brightens up, and as soon as the next raincloud passes by, on they come again. Saves a few pennies, which all adds up. Needless to day, a little more investment up front, but lights that can switch themselves on an off without you having to not only save money, but last a lot longer.
And the idiot box in the corner of your front room? Well, all very well having really vivid and bright pictures, but have a look to see if it has an 'eco mode'. If not, just reducing the brightness on an LCD below the 'default' 50% setting can save energy. I plugged my TV into a Watt Watcher energy monitor device, and with a bit of tweaking and adjustment, managed to get a very acceptable picture with a power saving of 15W off the 'default' settings 70W measurement. That soon mounts up when you binge that boxed-set.
With a less bright picture, it looks better with dimmer lighting too.
More to follow, and feel free to chip in with a few ideas of your own!
Last edited by DebF_EONNext; 17-01-23 at 19:01.
Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player. I DON'T work for or on behalf of EON.Next, but am willing to try and help if I can. Not on mains gas, mobile network or mains drainage. House heated almost entirely by baby dragons.