Friday 20 September 2019

Change the way you use energy to save real money in the long term

We’d all like lower energy bills but the best way to save real money is to make real changes to the way you use electricity and gas. That means thinking about our usage and being smarter about the way we use energy.

 It also means embracing new technology and making long-term energy efficiency a priority in your home. Here are a few simple tips to help you make changes that can significantly lower your energy bills.

Get the basics right

Knowing the basics of energy efficiency is one thing – applying them is another. We all know that we should switch off electrical appliances at the socket when they’re not in use, but many of us still leave them on standby. Appliances still use 20pc of the electricity they normally do when they’re in standby mode so it’s an easy way to save.

You can also make a difference with energy efficient lightbulbs such as LED, which use just 10% of the electricity it takes to power standard bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. If you’re investing in new appliances, seek out energy efficient models. Buying “A” rated products will save you money over the long term, and make your home more environmentally friendly too.

During the winter, experiment with lowering the thermostat in your home by one degree to reduce the cost of your heating by up to 10pc. If you live in an older house, upgrading the insulation will make a big difference to energy bills and the overall comfort of your home. Initiatives such as SEAI Better Energy Homes and Energy Efficiency Incentive offer grants to make these upgrades more affordable.

Be smarter about your usage

Without adequate heating controls, you could be using 20pc more energy than you need. Smart technology like the Nest Thermostat lets you adjust your heating remotely and it refines your schedule over time to avoid waste whilst keeping you comfortable. Forget to turn heating off before leaving for work? No problem - Nest Thermostat can identify when the house is empty and adjust the heating to save you money.

During the colder winter months, whether you use smart home technology or a traditional timer, you should ensure heating is only scheduled to come on when you really need it. Establish a heating schedule that optimises your energy use and gives you comfort without the waste.


Know what you use

The best way to understand how you use electricity is to measure it. New technology makes this easier than ever. Electricity monitors, like smart plugs, show you exactly how much energy you are using at any given time, so you can see the numbers go up when you flick on the kettle. Being able to see your electricity usage in real time helps you to get a handle on where you use the most energy and how to reduce your usage. Depending on your provider, you may be able to get a package that includes electricity monitoring and gives you a range of energy insight and control at an affordable monthly cost.

Think about how you heat your water

25pc of your energy costs go on heating water so this is one area where you can address major inefficiencies with some simple changes. It turns out that all those fears about leaving the immersion on weren’t entirely without merit. Installing a remote immersion control allows you to set schedules or boost from anywhere so you avoid waste, and the inevitable questions about leaving it on.

Make sure to insulate your hot water tank to avoid waste and if you have a thermostat dial on the tank, set it to 60 degrees.

Embrace emerging technology

Energy efficient technology is becoming more accessible and making a major difference to the way we consume energy. For instance, heat pumps can reduce our energy consumption by 30pc. Electric heat pumps extract the heat from the air or the ground outside your home and use it to heat your home efficiently.

Solar panels are also starting to become more common in Irish homes and adding Solar PV panels to your roof will generate clean and free electricity for you to use. Don’t worry if you are not using electricity during the day when Solar PV panels are working, as any unused energy can be diverted to heat your hot water tank.

Be smarter and wiser with electricity

Saving money on your electricity is easier than you think. Think about where you could make savings, learn more about what drives up your bills, and look for ways that technology can make your energy usage more efficient in the long run. Once you start thinking about your usage from a long-term point of view, you’ll start to make real savings in the short term.

Save time and money by staying with the right energy provider. Electric Ireland customers get the best long-term savings on electricity and gas in the market year after year.

See the proof on the Electric Ireland Price Check.

Sponsored by: Electric Ireland

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