Improving energy efficiency in your home

Energy efficiency tips

Energy used in homes is responsible for over a quarter of all UK emissions of carbon dioxide. By reducing the amount of energy you use it is one of the most effective ways of reducing your fuel bills and helping to mitigate climate change. Here are some tips to save energy in your home:

Heat your home well

  • Turn the thermostat down by 1°C. It could cut your heating bills by up to 10%.
  • If your boiler is 15 years old or more, replacing it with a new high efficiency boiler can save you around a third on your heating bills.
  • Electric storage heaters work best with an Economy 7 electricity tariff as these work by storing heat during off-peak periods when electricity is cheaper, and releasing it into the room the following day and evening. You might have to adjust the input control to anticipate the following day’s weather, although some storage heaters have their own thermostats which do the job for you.
  • If your radiators are not heating up properly, or they have cold patches at the bottom, you may need to ‘bleed’ them. This is a relatively simple procedure and there are plenty of how-to guides online.
  • Try rearranging your furniture away from vents and radiators to allow warm air to circulate freely around your home.

Keep your heat in

  • Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and fit draught-proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors to stop heat escaping.
  • If your home has cavity walls, they can be insulated to reduce heat loss. Also, make sure you have at least 10 inches (270mm) of loft insulation.
  • Install a keyhole cover, brushed letterbox flap, and draught excluders to stop heat from escaping through your doors.
  • Installing an insulating jacket on your hot water cylinder will help keep your water hotter, for longer.

Make sensible choices

  • Always turn off the lights when you leave a room, and adjust your curtains or blinds to let in as much light as possible during the day.
  • Choose electrical appliances that are energy efficient and therefore will be cheaper to run. Find out about the EU Energy Label and how it can help you to choose the most energy and water efficient fridges, washing machines and dishwashers.
  • Do not leave the fridge door open for longer than necessary, as this will let cold air out. Avoid putting hot or warm food straight into the fridge; allow it to cool down first. Defrost your fridge regularly to keep it running efficiently and cheaply.
  • Choose the right size pan for the food and cooker (the base should just cover an electric cooking ring), and keep lids on when cooking. With gas the flames only need heat the bottom of the pan. If they lick up the side then you’re wasting heat.
  • Heat the amount of water you need in the kettle, and make sure you cover the element. Jug type kettles need less water as they have smaller elements.
  • To cut down on wasted energy, avoid leaving appliances such as TVs on standby and remember not to leave appliances on charge unnecessarily, such as mobile phones.
  • Always wash a full load in your washing machine, at 30°C, or use a half-load or economy setting.
  • Hang your washing on a line or dryer, instead of using a tumble dryer, which uses energy.
  • Set the cylinder thermostat at 60°C (140°F) which is fine for bathing and washing.
  • Find out about how smart meters will help you use less energy.
  • Get to know your oven! Learn how long it takes to preheat your oven to ensure you’re ready to start cooking as soon as it has reached the correct temperature.
  • Did you know a running tap wastes more than 6 litres of water per minute? Remember to turn off your taps whilst brushing your teeth, washing your face, or shaving.
  • Fitting a water-efficient showerhead could help reduce your hot water use. Visit the Northumbria Water website to check whether you’re eligible for a free Water Saving Kit. 
  • Did you know heating water accounts for 90% of your washing machines running costs? Washing your laundry on an economy programme could save you time, energy, and money. 
  • LED light bulbs are more energy efficient and last for longer than traditional light bulbs, saving you money in the long run.
  • Did you know slow cookers use a similar amount of energy as traditional light bulbs? Pop your dinner in the slow cooker to save time, energy, and money.

Safe and Healthy Homes Team

If your home is affecting your health, and you own or rent your property privately, the Safe and Healthy Homes team maybe able to help you.

Saving Energy in Social Housing within North Tyneside

As part of North Tyneside Council,s commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of the Authority and the Borough by 50% by 2023 and to become carbon neutral by 2050; we have been carrying out substantial energy efficiency improvements to our own stock:

  • Cavity wall and loft insulation is in place in all our homes
  • 93% of our homes have energy efficient condensing boilers
  • We successfully delivered one of the largest social housing Solar PV installation projects in the UK

We commit to:

  • Reducing the environmental impact of the delivery of maintenance work
  • Evaluating and maximising the potential of delivering improvement to homes that improve energy efficiency and reduce future running costs for our customers
  • Developing innovative solutions around the provision of heat and power in a sustainable way, maximising the use of renewable energy

Find out more by reading our Housing Asset Management Strategy.