Managing energy in lockdown will be a prominent thought in the mind of most of the nation. As the second national lockdown begins we wanted to make a blog post that included some guidance regarding energy management at home. The country has learned from the last lockdown that our energy didn’t drastically change and our overall consumption decreased. However, this was during an unusually warm period in summer and spring, and the second lockdown will last for a month in Autumn.
Colder weather, darker nights means this lockdown will potentially have a much heavier energy consumption than the last even though the second is expected to be much shorter. Furthermore, some of us will be back to working from home increasing the chance that we will consume much more energy, from water to gas to electricity. So, it is vital that you dedicate time toward managing your energy in lockdown.
The next 3 weeks in lockdown will be difficult for a large amount of the country, so it is incredibly important to start efficiently managing your energy usage. If you follow the guidance in this post you will find managing energy in lockdown a lot easier, or at least have more of an idea of where to get started.
Tips and tricks to start managing energy in lockdown
The simple truth about reducing your energy use is to only use what you need and make sure that all of your appliances are unplugged or switched off at the wall when they are not being used. It has become very tempting to keep everything switched on all the time as technology has become ingrained in our every day lives, this is becoming a challenging habit to kick. A challenging habit that has become dangerous with Lock downs. However, starting with the little things will quickly help you break these habits. Turning lights off and switching plugs off when you leave a room are smallest but most effective ways to start reducing your usage.
Simple measures to start managing energy in lockdown and changing your behavior seems to be the most common method of reducing your energy use. On the other hand, drastically reducing your energy usage may require larger changes to your day to day habits. We can assume that gas usage will increase quite sharply in lockdown for most homes, so you could start by looking for draughts around your house, and blocking them.
What we would recommend next would be to contact your energy supplier and procure a smart meter, if you do not already have one. Once you have smart meter you can start effectively managing your heating controls. We recommend that you automate your heating and set it between 18 and 20 degrees during the colder parts of the day. This is something we would recommend even if we weren’t currently in a lockdown, the results are just that good.
We would also like to point out some behavior that you may want to avoid. For example, setting the temperature of your thermostat as high as possible will not warm your house faster, this is simply inefficient and could lead to increased consumption and higher costs. Instead, setting your temperature to a more comfortable lower temperature will typically warm your house faster and more evenly. We understand how tempting and often satisfying it is to hike up the temperature but this is one of the pitfalls that most households fall in to.
You may also want to take a closer look at most of your appliances for Eco settings or energy efficient settings. For example, most modern dishwashers and washing machines will have an Eco setting that uses less water and energy. Learn what your appliances can do and start taking advantage of it.
What’s consuming the most energy in your home?
The most energy intensive appliances
We thought it might also help if we listed some of the most energy intensive appliances that you will likely have in your home. Managing your energy in lockdown may very well rely on your taking note of these appliances. We hope that listing these will help you lowering your energy consumption:
The Fridge – let’s start with the big one! In most cases your refrigerator can make up for a third of your total energy usage for your entire household! You can maintain your fridge by making sure there is no ice build up, defrost it often and most importantly, don’t leave it open!
Lights – Lighting your house, especially in these dark cold nights, can quickly add up. Just make sure that you turn them off when leaving a room and check whether you have installed energy efficient bulbs.
Tumble Dryer – This one is a little trickier than the previous. I don’t know about you but our dryer seems to always be on this time of year. The simplest way to reduce reliance on your dryer is hanging your washing out. Poor weather means you’ll have to take advantage of having the heating on and use up your radiator space!
Electric Kettle – One of the most dangerous inventions for the British was the electric kettle! It’s more often very inefficient and the amount of tea we make quickly ramps up our energy consumption. For this, we suggest you boil the right amount of water each time, no more guesstimating!
Television – Last but not least, your television is a massive energy sink. Just make sure that your TV is completely off and not on standby, your energy prices should drop as a result.
We hope that this post has helped, in any way possible with managing energy in lockdown. We want to stress that If you or your loved ones are going to struggle with your energy bills in the second National lockdown please follow this link to see how the government can support you. We hope you all stay safe and well.