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Energy Saving Tips

Using energy more efficiently in your daily life comes easily once you get started. This site lists many ways to save energy around the house, at work and on the road. Here, we list the overall top six:

  • Many people keep their thermostat too high. Check it and if its above 20ºC turn it down. Lowering your thermostat by just 1ºC will knock 10% off your heating bill.
  • Much of the heat loss from a house occurs through the windows, particularly if they are single glazed. So keep your curtains closed at night, even in empty rooms and also ensure that the curtains don’t hang over the radiators as that will just funnel all your heat out the window.
  • Close room doors to separate heated from unheated areas of your home, and minimise the area you are heating. There is no need to spend money heating rooms nobody is in.
  • Turn the lights off when leaving a room.
  • Switch appliances off rather than leaving them on standby. This will save up to 20% of your appliances’ energy use.
  • Make better use of the timers on your immersion or boiler so you can control when the heating comes on and goes off. This means you have heating and hot water when and where you want it.
Image of person turning their heating thermostat down

While all of the above are simple tips that won’t cost you anything, some people may want to go a little further and actually spend money to save money.

 

If you are interested in spending money on making your home more energy efficient you should consider the following:

 

  • Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs):These use a fraction of the electricity an ordinary light bulb would use and last up to 10 times longer.
  • Appliances: Be demanding when you buy. All appliances now need an energy label so check them for one. Purchase ‘A’ rated appliances whenever possible, the amount they will save you on electricity will be more than the cost of replacing the existing appliances you have. 
  • Electric Heaters: When buying heaters, make sure they are the right size for the rooms they are to heat. Remember that electric heaters consume electricity at the most expensive charge rate.
  • Insulation:  Insulating your attic and walls could save you 30-40% on your home heating bill. For information on the Home Energy Saving scheme grants that can help visit our grants section.
  • Heating System Upgrade: The Home Energy Saving scheme will also grant aid high efficiency boilers and heating control improvements.

    Insulation Tips

    • Insulate your attic well and save up to 20% on your home heating bill. If your attic insulation is currently less than 200 mm, then you should add further layers. There are a variety of suitable materials including mineral wool, rock wool, sheeps wool, polystyrene, cellulose fibre and multi-layered foil.
       
    • Wall insulation can be increased in a number of ways. The pay-back period is dependent on a number of factors including type, thickness and quality of existing insulation. The most popular types of insulation systems are, (i) insulated dry lining, (ii) blown mineral or cellulose fibre or polystyrene beads into the cavity, or (iii) rigid external insulation with render or brick finish. Specialist advice should be sought in all cases.
       
    • Choose double glazed units when replacing windows. Much of the heat loss from a house occurs through the windows particularly if they are single glazed. Significant energy savings can be achieved if double glazing has Argon fill and low-emissivity glass.
       
    • If replacing the hot water cylinder, a cylinder with factory applied insulation should be considered. Such insulation is more effective at retaining heat than a lagging jacket, is less easily damaged and cannot be pulled out of place.
       
    • A lagging jacket on your hot water cylinder will keep water hotter for longer and pay for itself in 2-3 months
       
    • Keep curtains closed at night and ensure that the curtains don’t hang over the radiators.
       
    • A reflective foil, backed by insulation if space permits should be fixed behind radiators mounted on external walls

Heating Tips

Heaters:

  • When buying heaters, make sure that they are the right size for the rooms they are to heat, and that they have thermostatic controls.
  • Remember that electric heaters other than storage heaters consume electricity at the most expensive charge rate.
  • Use a space or portable heater instead of the central heater, if only one room needs heating.
  • Choose heaters with thermostat controls and timers.
image of a conventional radiator

Central Heating:

  • Turn off the heating overnight and when you are out during the day.
  • Turn off the heating if you are going to be out of the house for more than a day.
  • Proper control and regular maintenance of your heating system can reduce fuel consumption by 10-20%
  • If you have gas heating, turn-off pilot lights during the warmer months.
  • Heat bedroom areas to less than 18oC
  • 20oC is an ideal room temperature. Turning down thermosats by 1oC can reduce annual space heating energy consumption by 10% with an equivalent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Heat Loss:

  • Open fires are wasteful of energy with more than 70% of the energy going up the chimney.
  • If the radiator is mounted below a window, a projecting window-board or shelf above the radiator will direct warm air into the room, reducing heat loss through the window.
  • Close doors to separate heated from unheated areas of your home, and minimise the area you are heating.
     

Hot Water Heating:

  • Use the timer on immersion heaters. This should supply you with enough hot water as and when you need.
  • Heating hot water account for 64% of energy consumption in the home: you should be thrifty in its use.
  • 90% of the energy consumption of washing machines goes on heating the water. Wash clothes whenever possible in cold or cool water.

Electricity Saving Tips

Some of the no-cost electricity saving tips recommended by SEAI are:

Lighting:

  • Turn the lights off when leaving a room.
  • Use "task" lighting rather than whole room lighting when a small amount of light is required.
  • Regularly clean light fittings, reflectors and lampshades.
Image of someone switching a light off

Timers:

  • Use the timer on your immersion heater. This should supply you with enough hot water as and when you need it.

Electric Shower:

  • Take a shower rather than a bath. A typical shower uses only one fifth of the energy of a full bath.

Computer:

  • Configure your computer to "energy saving" mode in which it will automatically change to the state of low consumption.
  • Switching off the screen can save even more than just letting the screen saver run.
  • Turning your computer off at night instead of leaving it on will save on average 25% of its annual energy bill. Remember you should turn off your computer whenever you are not going to use it for more than an hour.

Television:

  • A television in standby mode can use up to as much as half the electricity as when it is switched on.

 Fridge/Freezers:

  • Don't let frost build up in the freezer compartment as this increases energy consumption. Remember to defrost and clean the inside of your refrigerator and freezer at least every 6 months and make sure they are positioned in a cool place, not next to the cooker or boiler or where possible not in the path of direct sunlight.
  • Check that the door seals on the refrigerator and freezer are tight fitting - the seals hold a 5 euro note in place when the door is closed.
  • Don't put warm or hot food straight into the freezer - let it cool down first.

Cooking:

  • Put lids on pots and turn down the heat when the water starts to boil. The lids not only keep heat in the pot but also reduce condensation in the kitchen.
  • At a certain point in cooking, turn off electric rings and use their residual heat.
  • Lots of energy saving cooking devices are under used: like slow casseroles, insulated deep fat fryers, microwave ovens and pressure cookers. They can save both energy and time - with better results!

Microwaves:

  • In a microwave oven, arrange unevenly shaped items with the thickest portion to the outside. Stir or turn the food over to speed up cooking time. Remember a microwave is more efficient than a cooker for reheating food.  

Electric Ovens:

  • The oven is expensive to use - try to use it as sparingly and efficiently as possible. Where possible use it for more than just one item and remember you can cook at a higher temperature at the top of the oven, and simultaneously at a lower temperature at the bottom.
  • Do not open the oven door to check cooking - every time you do so you lose 20% of the accumulated heat.

Toasters & Kettles:

  • The toaster is more energy efficient than the grill for toasting bread.
  • When making tea or coffee, boil only the amount of water required (but make sure the heating elements of electric kettles are covered!)

 Tumble Dryers:

  • When drying clothes in a dryer, dry heavy articles separately from light articles and turn the dryer off as soon as the clothes are dry - don't over dry the clothes!
  • Dry clothes naturally out of doors whenever possible.

Washing Machines:

  • The washing cycle selected on a washing machine should have the lowest water temerature required for the items being washed. A full load of washing is more energy efficient that two half loads. Use a cold rinse for your clothes.

Dishwashers:

  • Stop the dishwasher before the drying cycle and open the door to let the dishes air dry and always use the economy button where possible.  

Electric Blankets:

  • Switch on electric blankets no more than half an hour before you go to bed and switch off just before you get into bed.

When purchasing, you should consider the following:

Appliances:

Be demanding when you buy, check the energy labels on appliances. Purchase ‘A’ rated appliances whenever possible, they can save their replacement cost over their lifetime and benefit the environment.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs):

These use a fraction of the electricity and last up to 10 times longer than ordinary light-bulbs - could you install more in your home?

Electric Heaters:

When buying heaters, make sure they are the right size for the rooms they are to heat. Remember that electric heaters consume electricity at the most expensive charge rate.

 

C&S Construction Services provide a vast array of Energy Efficient Services in the Construction Industry such as:

  • Oil & Gas High Efficiency Condensing Boilers plus Heating Controls
  • Attic Insulation
  • Cavity Wall Insulation
  • Dry-Lining Insulation
  • External Wall Insulation
  • Solar Panels
  • BER Assessments(Energy Audits)
  • Electrical Wiring (New Installations & Existing Dwelling Rewires
  • A- Rated Windows and Doors
  • Bathroom & Disability Suite Fitouts
  • Gas & Oil Boiler Servicing
  • Underfloor Heating
  • Plumbing Services (Sanitary Ware, Additional Taps, Waste etc)
  • Renewables (Heat Pumps etc)
  • Water Conservation