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Top tips on achieving energy efficiency at home

Owners of new homes already benefit from energy efficient features that help keep their bills low, such as double-glazing, increased insulation, condensing boilers and solar panels. NHBC offers further tips on reducing energy consumption and saving money as the headlines continue to be dominated by news of increasing energy prices.

  • Don't leave electrical appliances on standby: televisions, stereos, computers and other items use electricity in standby mode, in some cases nearly half of what is used when actually in use.
  • Upgrade your boiler:  consider a modern condensing boiler; all new homes come with this type fitted as standard as they are substantially more efficient.
  • Regulate the use of your boiler: by using the timer and turning the thermostat down by just one degree, you can increase efficiency and gain substantial energy savings across the year.
  • Don't forget to insulate: more than half the heat lost in an uninsulated home escapes through the walls or the roof.  New homes have 270mm of insulation, so check that your home meets this modern standard.  Loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years, and will pay for itself over and over again in that time.
  • Use the fitted thermostat on radiators: these supplement the main boiler thermostat, and can also be installed on most older radiators by a competent plumber, helping to reduce excess heat in individual rooms.
  • Unplug gadgets: some of the largest energy consumers in the home are often the most easily overlooked; chargers for phones and other gadgets use a lot of electricity when plugged in, even if the device isn't connected.
  • Switch your energy supplier: in a competitive marketplace there are loads of deals on offer from the various gas and electricity suppliers that can give substantial savings over the course of a year - and consider switching to a green energy supplier if the environment is important to you.
  • Check out appliance energy ratings: A-rated white goods such as washing machines and fridges use less energy and can save money over time.
  • Change your washing habits: tumble dryers use a lot of electricity, so avoid where possible and run your washing machine on 30 degree cycles.

Simple housekeeping on energy consumption habits can have a significant impact on reducing your bills - and improve the environment.

News Date: 20/07/11