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Thursday 28 September 2023 Dublin: 15°C
Hans von Nolde/AP/Press Association Images You don't quite have to go to these extremes.
# Household tips
'Leave the immersion on': Your tips for saving energy... and money
With rising gas and electricity prices we gave you a few tips to make savings last week. Now it’s your turn.

LAST WEEK WE offered you a few tips about how to conserve electricity and gas amid announcements of energy price increases from almost all of the major providers in Ireland in recent weeks.

This week there was further bad news from Bord Gáis which announced an increase in residential electricity prices.

While our compilation of guidance and tips was as thorough as we could make it, it was by no means definitive and in the comments section and emails you had plenty of tips of your own.

So we thought we’d collect some of them here today for wider viewing and if you have any more then by all means let us and the readers know in the comments section below.

Paul wrote about keeping out the cold wind and reducing your bills:

Using draft excluders and quality heavy curtains around doors and windows helps a lot. Test by putting a tea light near your windows and doors and see how much it flickers, that’s crap construction and insulation standards there letting your heat out and the cold wind in. Couldn’t believe how expensive curtains were but the reduction in gas bills over a couple of winters easily paid for them.

Darragh Ó Bradáin said that when leaving the house there should only ever be three things left on:

If I leave the house, the only things left powered on are the fridge, freezer and UPC box. Leaving anything else on is a waste. My bills have always been low as a result!

On the ever important and divisive issue of the immersion, Emma Challacombe had this useful tip:

i leave immersion on, on the “sink” setting, this actually saves money (have experimented) as the only electricity being used is when it initially heats up, by leaving on the thermostat kicks in and it stays warm but does not heat any more, always have hot water and it never as to use as much power by heating from cold, have tried both ways and it definitely works out cheaper for me, i have token meter so have to watch every penny.

Speaking of the immersion, Susan had an interesting thought:

I leave the immersion on most of the time. Reason being is it cost more to heat it from cold than it does to keep it warm, cos when it reaches a certain temperature it turns its self of anyway. And after it drops below a certain temperature is starts heating again. I’ve found it cost less.

On lighting your home, Pani had this advice:

LED bulbs. Expensive to buy but brighter, longer lasting and lower wattage than energy savers. 6w replaces a 50w. 9w replaces 100w. Do the maths. It’s roughly 18 cents per kw per hour. After shopping around I spent 350e on led bulbs earlier this year. It took 70e off a 2 month 200e bill. Have the money back over 1 year.

Owen Stafford had a good round-up of some useful tips:

only boil the amount of water you need for a cup of tea or coffee or fill a flask of hot water for the day. fit draught excluders and pull curtains. plug your laptop through a plug in timer to switch from mains to battery. replace outside sensor lights with 10w led flood lights . use remote control sockets to power off tv and all sitting room appliances. why give your money away ?

On Damien Kelly’s problems with his flatmate “who has no concept of energy saving” our users had a few interesting ideas to correct the situation. Among them was Paula Nolan who said:

Offer to reorganise the energy bills so he pays, say, 75%, you 25%. Make sure you have your percentages worked out based on actual bills.

For the kitchen, Eve Daly emailed in this interesting idea for when you’re cooking:

Residual heat on a ring and in your pots and pans is a hugely under used resource and always have a lid on.  With boiled eggs for example, just bring to boil, turn off ring and leave for 5 mins for a soft and 7 for hard. This is based on a gas hob, even less time needed on an electric hob.

Finally, Gaius Gracchus (not the real one, we assume) had a useful idea which is certainly food for thought:

I usually do a play for the missus instead of watching telly three evenings a week, or read her a story.

Bad news, consumers: Bord Gáis prices to increase from next month

Explainer: Why energy prices are rising and what you can do to save money

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