Top tips to save energy at home

Charis Fowler, Enviromental Practices Adviser Charis Fowler Enviromental Practices Adviser
The Dining Room Fireplace

Like every organisation and home, the National Trust depend on energy. We are committed to an overall reduction in our energy use to help our environment and save money. Here are some top tips to help you at home.

Here at the National Trust we are dedicated to cutting our energy use and generating more of our heat and power from renewable sources, which in turn will help to protect our environment and allow us to spend more on conserving and protecting properties, countryside and wildlife for future generations to enjoy.

We use sustainable biomass pellets wherever possible
Hands in a bowl of wooden biomass pellets
We use sustainable biomass pellets wherever possible

In the Midlands, since 2013/14 we have invested over £432k on energy reduction measures and 19% of our energy now comes from renewable sources (compared to just 4% in 2009). 

Here are some no cost and low cost measures you could try at home:

Switch off standby 

It’s very tempting and convenient to leave appliances on standby, but with the number of electronic gadgets that we now all have at home, each small electricity use can soon add up.  A typical family home could cut their electricity bill by around £30/year by making sure everything is off when not needed, rather than left on standby.

Turn your heating down by 1 degree

Most of us won’t notice this small drop in temperature at home, but it will typically save us £80/year off our heating bills.

Your heating may not quite match the ground source system at Croome
plant room for ground source heating at Croome, Worcestershire
Your heating may not quite match the ground source system at Croome

Give your central heating a little TLC

Bleed your radiators, it's recommended you do this once a year at the start of the heating season to help make sure your boiler is delivering heat into each room most efficiently.

LED lights 

These now come in all shapes and sizes and are bright enough to replace halogen bulbs. Replacing all the light bulbs in a typical house would cost around £100, but will save around £35/year in electricity. The LEDs will pay for themselves in 2.5 years, but they will generally last for at least 5 years.

Don't forget your lids

When cooking, use saucepan lids to keep the heat in the pan and don’t be tempted to keep opening the oven door unnecessarily, as it can take several minutes to get back up to temperature each time, as well as extending the cooking time.

Copper saucepans at Shugborough
A photograph showing copper saucepans on shelves
Copper saucepans at Shugborough

Make your hot water tank cosy

More than half of your energy bills at home are from heating and providing hot water. If you have a hot water tank insulate it with a jacket, which should only cost about £30, but could save you a lot over the years.

Insulate your loft

If you haven’t already, reduce heat loss from your home by insulating the loft (current recommendation is for 270mm of loft insulation) and reducing draughts at doors and windows with draught strips and using thick/ thermal lined curtains. You'll notice an instant change in temperature and won't need the heating on so high.

Eco showerhead

Reduce water and heat by fitting an Eco showerhead as they use less water while you shower, so less water to be heated in the first place - double win. [Not suitable with power showers].

Hopefully your shower is a bit more modern than this one!
Visitor looking at a mid-nineteenth century shower at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire.
Hopefully your shower is a bit more modern than this one!