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Saving energy

Save money by saving energy

By reducing the amount of heat that escapes from your home you can reduce the amount of money you need to spend on keeping it warm. This not only helps you spend less money, but it also helps the environment. You can do this through many simple ways, detailed below.

Insulate your home:

  • Double glazing will save you money in the long term but a low cost, short term alternative would be to tape polythene across window frames
  • Close curtains and blinds at night to retain heat
  • To avoid wasted heat, use an easy to fix brush or PVC seal on your exterior doors
  • Stop draughts and heat escaping through floorboards and skirting boards by filling gaps with newspaper, beading or sealant

Heating and hot water:

  • Central heating - the optimum level to set your thermostat is 21°C (70°F). Remember that by turning your thermostat down by 1°C you could cut down on your heating bills by up to 10%. And if you are going away for winter, leave the thermostat on a low setting to provide protection from freezing at minimum cost
  • Hot water - for most people, setting the cylinder thermostat at 60°C/140°F is fine for bathing and washing
  • Always put the plug in your basin or sink. Leaving hot water running straight down the drain really is throwing money away

Electrical:

  • Lights - always turn them off when you leave a room and adjust your curtains or blinds to let in as much light as possible during the day. Energy saving lightbulbs seem expensive but will save you money in the longer term
  • Televisions, videos, stereos, computers and cordless phones - to cut down on wasted energy, avoid leaving appliances on standby and remember not to leave them on charge unnecessarily. However, please check the user manual first
  • Fridges - do not leave the door open for longer than necessary, cold air escapes. Make sure that it has a good magnetic seal. Allow hot or warm food to cool down before putting it in the fridge. Defrost your freezer regularly. If it tends to frost up quickly, check the door seal, and if you have your fridge next to a cooker or boiler, leave a good gap between them
  • Washing machines and tumble dryers - always wash a full load and if you cannot, use a half load or economy programme. Wring out or spin dry really wet clothes before putting them into a tumble dryer. If you are drying clothes indoors use a clotheshorse rather than a radiator
  • Dishwashers - try to use the low temperature programme, and ensure you wash a full load
  • Keep lids on saucepans when cooking and use a cooker ring that is the right size for the saucepan

Advice on keeping warm

Here are a few tips to keep warm in winter:

  • Do not economise unnecessarily on your heating. Heat the whole house, not just 1 room. Many health conditions can be made worse by moving from a warm room to a cold corridor. Do not risk your life by worrying about fuel bills over a few weeks of cold weather
  • If you are worried about how to pay for heating your home, talk to your energy supplier. They should be able to reassure you that you will not be cut off for turning up your central heating. Remember that it is more fuel efficient to keep a house at a stable warm temperature than it is to heat it from cold every day, and it lessens the risk of burst pipes
  • Take sensible precautions. Wrap up well if you are going out, and remember that several thin layers are better than a thick jumper. Eat hot meals and take plenty of hot drinks. Take a hot water bottle to bed with you
  • Be weather wise. Keep an eye on the long range weather forecast so you know in advance when the coldest weather is due. Make sure you have sufficient fuel and food to last a few days. Have a torch readily available in case of electricity blackouts

Useful contacts

For more information, the Manx Utilities produces energy efficiency advice leaflets. Information is also available from the Department of Economic Development website.

Another contact you may find useful is:

Energy Doctor

Department of Environment Food & Agriculture

Thie Slieau Whallian

Foxdale Road

St. John’s

IM4 3AS.

Telephone:+44 1624 685894

Fax:+44 1624 685773

Email:Send Email

 
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