Student Energy Saving Tips
Forget all about tariffs, energy suppliers and bills for a moment *Collective sigh of relief*. Believe it or not, there are loads of easy and cheap ways to optimise your energy efficiency through some small changes to your habits. WAHOO.
1. Rugs. Not got carpets? First of all, why?! They’re definitely something to look out for when viewing potential homes. But if your home doesn’t have carpets, rugs are the ideal solution to stop warmth escaping and just making your room a bit more cosy. Any excuse for a day out to Ikea!
2. Wait until winter hits. You’re a student, you’re not supposed to be living in luxury. You don’t need your heating on until November/whenever winter gets serious. Get the another layer on. Why else did you think your third year friends go home for the weekend ALL the time?
3. Don’t charge things overnight. We don’t care how quick your battery dies, this is the worst waste of electricity. Especially if everyone in the house is guilty. Realistically it only takes 1.5 hours for an iPhone 5 to charge fully – not a full nights sleep.
4. Turn down the thermostat, not the radiators. Turning down your radiator won’t actually save you any money as the thermostat will keep the heating on until it reaches its target temperature anyway. It will just take longer. You won’t save money unless you also turn your thermostat down! Hive, the energy remote app, reckon that you can save 10% off your heating bill just by turning your thermostat down by only one degree.
5. Thick curtains. Did you know about 10% of your heating escapes through your windows? Whether you’ve got dodgy single glazing or major draughts, make sure that your curtains are closed for those cold winter evenings. If you’re lacking decent curtains, dig out that Ikea blanket your Mum bought you in first year and throw it over your curtains. You’ll fall in love with your new makeshift insulating curtains.
6. Natural heat is free. Make sure open curtains in day to catch sunlight. Rare, but free, heating.
7. Dry your clothes naturally. As tempting as it is to dry your clothes on the radiator – don’t do it! Your clothes will absorb the heat from your radiators AND pour condensation in to your house. That’s a double whammy nightmare of cold and mould. Don’t do it. Drying racks are far cheaper than using a tumble drier and they won’t shrink your clothes.
8. Don’t leave your lights on. Yes, this sounds obvious and we’re definitely starting to sound like nagging parents BUT just don’t do it! It simply isn’t true that it takes more energy to turn them off and on again than leave them running if you leave the room quickly. Be kind to your student loan.
9. Buy energy saving light bulbs. Going green will save you £££.
10. Set timers! Most of you won’t be in the house all day so just set your heating to come on 45 minutes before you wake up and 45 minutes before you’ll all be home to get a comfortable temperature. You don’t need the heating on when you’re all cosy under your duvet so you only need it on for a couple of hours in the evening before you all crash out.
11. Tin Foil. Ok, bear us with this one. If you want the ultimate DIY heat-fix, buy some high quality kitchen foil (we’re not talking Tesco Value here) and place it behind your radiator. It will stop heating escaping in to you wall and will reflect it back into your house. YAY.
Finally, if you’re cold put a bleeding jumper on! Don’t turn up the thermostat up to a million degrees – it won’t get warmer any faster, the thermostat will just use more energy and stay on for longer. Not to mention you’ll get WAY too hot. Sweat is not cool.
So there we have it! You have all the tools to become the official dollar-saving officer in your student house.
Try the home energy savings calculator!……