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7 easy projects to cut your energy bills - even if you don't own your home

It’s possible even if you have a strict lease.
May 10th 2017, 3:44 PM 68 0

REDUCING ENERGY COSTS at home is pretty straightforward if you own your own place: you could consider installing solar panels, insulating your attic or upgrading to double-glazed windows.

As a renter, it’s a little trickier to implement large-scale energy-saving projects, but there are some simpler tasks you can undertake to make your home a more sustainable place, while saving on bills too. If your landlord is happy to get involved, all the better.

Read on for our energy efficiency checklist.

Source: Unsplash

In the kitchen…

Be smarter with your oven use
Pre-heating an oven is a massive electricity waster, and if you’re baking or roasting food every evening, it’ll show on your energy bills. Mark out a few hours at the weekend and again mid-week to cook two or three night’s worth of food at once. Keep in mind too that opening the oven door while cooking can cause up to 20% of heat to be lost each time.

Only heat the water you need
Use smaller saucepans, and if you’re making tea, add in just enough water to the kettle for each cup. The more water you use, the more energy it takes to raise the temperature, so it pays to be a bit stingy.

shutterstock_562055542 Source: Shutterstock/B Brown

In the bathroom…

Install tap aerators
A standard tap has a flow of around 15 litres of water per minute. Tap aerators, which use a mixture of water and air to produce a lighter flow, will save around ten litres per minute, so they’re well worth the couple of minutes they take to install. Not only will you cut down on water heating costs, you’ll be helping to protect the environment too.

Turn off automatic fans
Flicking on your bathroom light will often trigger the bathroom fan to switch on too, and many models are programmed to stay on for at least a few minutes after you turn the light off. Set your fan to manual mode so that it only turns on when you need it, and leave the door open after showers to allow steam to circulate out of the room.

Source: Unsplash

Around the house…

Get smart with your home heating
Having radiators blazing all evening is a surefire way to send your energy bills shooting up, so take control of your heating costs by being more strategic with how and when you heat your home. Time your heating to turn on shortly before you arrive home to warm the house up, and again in the mornings just before you get out of bed.

Close doors and curtains
Keep doors closed, fit draft excluders around windows, and shut curtains to prevent heat from escaping. If you have a radiator that sits under a window, consider fitting a shelf over it to help heat circulate more efficiently.

Stop leaving appliances on standby
The energy-efficient advantages of that LED TV will be lost if you keep it on standby all night long. Plug out or fully switch off appliances when you’re going to bed or work – it only takes a few seconds and you’ll reap the cost-saving benefits.

Take control of your energy costs with Hive, now available in Ireland from Bord Gáis Energy. Control your heat, hot water and lighting systems at the touch of a button, even when you’re out of the house. For just €299, you’ll get the Hive system, professional installation, and smartphone app, all from Bord Gáis Energy.

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