Here are our top 10 tips to help you save energy AND money over winter ⛷️
When you get back to university in January, the last thing you want to find on your doorstep is a whopping energy bill. It's bad for the planet - and your pocket!
If you've got your bills sorted with UniHomes, you're lucky enough to not get charged based on your energy usage! Either way, it's still good practice to keep your usage as low as possible.
On average, the UK spends a total of £10bn every year on wasted energy. It's an absolutely staggering number, but we believe there are some simple steps every student can take to become a little bit more energy conscious. Getting into good energy saving habits early in life ensures more cash for your pocket in the long-term, plus you get to actively take part in the global effort to save the environment! 🌏
So, to give you a hand, here's what we recommend.
P.S. If you're heading home for winter, here's a list of our top tips to keep your student home safe and secure 🔐
⛔️ Turn off your appliances
Let’s face it, nearly everyone is guilty of leaving their whole house on standby. It's an easy habit to get into, but simply turning off the plug is an easy way to save money.
Before you go to bed at night, get into a routine of habitually switching off all the plugs at the wall and make sure it's the last thing you check before going home for the holidays.
Fact: On average, British homes typically spend between £52 - £86 per year leaving their TVs, games consoles and other household appliances on standby. That's a lot of pints 🤷♀️
👚 Clothes. More Clothes.
We hate to sound like your parents, but they’re right. Wearing a jumper, socks or even a hat on cold days and nights is a timeless way of keeping your winter energy bills down.
If you lower your thermostat down just 1˚C, you could on average save between £85-90 per year. Putting on some extra layers will keep you much warmer than 1˚C - just saying 🤷
Fact: The head, armpits and feet are the places your body loses the most heat from.
🤓 Get a smart metre (or remember to check it if you already have one!)
There is something oddly compelling (or horrifying) about watching a smart reader slowly record the energy you're using. Getting a smart meter, or checking it if you already have one, is a great first step to understanding energy usage in your household.
Fact: UniHomes don't charge students if they go over their monthly energy allowance 🙅
💨 Stop the draught
It's one of the simplest tricks in the energy saving book, but one of the biggest sources of energy wastage globally. Leaving windows open, doors ajar or cat flaps flailing will allow heat to escape and temperatures to drop.
This winter, make the pledge to stop the draught in your house or flat for good. Draught excluders and draught tape are affordable, long-term solutions to preventing losing the heat in your home.
Fact: If all of the houses and flats in the UK were draught-proofed to energy efficient standards, the people of this country could save almost £200 million a year in heating costs.
👨🍳 Your oven is your friend
When cooking a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner with your oven, don’t let all that warm energy go to waste. Ovens are excellent at heating up a kitchen and the home, as long as you prevent the heat from escaping.
So, next time you’ve got a bacon (or facon) sarnie cooking away - close the windows, close the doors and soak up that sweet residual heat. 🥓
Fact: The average cost of running a fan oven for one hour per day is between £80 - £120 per year.
🍽 Say no to the dishwasher
Dishwashers are divisive. They need careful maintenance, use quite a lot of energy and water and often become ineffective requiring you to wash up the plates after they have already been through a cleaning cycle.
Snub your dishwasher this winter and wash your dishes manually. You’ll save cash, help the environment and eat off a truly clean dish. Plus, you'll keep your hands warm...
Fact: Dishwashers can be more energy efficient than hand washing, but that depends on how you wash your dishes, and how efficient your dishwasher is. The average cost to run a dishwasher is between £40 - £80 per year.
🩳 Ghost your clothes dryer
Tumble dryers work overtime in student households. The constant stream of sports gear, day-to-day laundry, and nights-out outfits inevitably rack up considerable energy use for your dryer.
Continue your eco-conscious journey this winter by going old-school and hanging up your clothes on a rack. Not only do you dodge the risk of shrinking your clothes, but you save money and energy at the same time too. Just remember to plan enough drying time before you need an outfit, or you’ll find yourself blow-drying your favourite top in a hurry!
Fact: Clothes dryers vary on energy efficiency and can typically cost between £60 - £100 to run per year.
⚡️ Adjust the thermostat
It might be a little bit Ebenezer Scrooge to recommend you to turn your heating down in the winter, but the benefits to both your pockets and pipes is worth it.
Keeping your heating system on low all year round ensures good health for its infrastructure, and can help prevent against pipes bursting or mechanisms breaking down.
Fact: The average cost to get your heating pipes replaced ranges from between £200 - £400.
🚶♀️ Walk, cycle or bus
Energy saving tips don’t have to be reserved for the household. It goes without saying that planet earth could do with a lot less car usage in general.
They're expensive to run, bad for the environment, and can lead to lazy habits. We know it's tempting, but you don’t always have to drive to campus and pay for parking right next to the lecture hall.
Fact: The average car owner spends close to £1,000 every year on petrol alone. That’s an awful lot of clothes/takeaways or holidays you could have just by walking or taking public transport!
😋 Eat out to help yourself out
Okay, this one is a bit of a cheat - but it sure feels good when doing it. Save your precious mental energy, refuse to heat up your kitchen and either order in or eat out at a local pub or restaurant.
You support the local economy, get some delicious grub, and can relax safely in the knowledge that there is no washing up either! Just don’t make it an everyday thing 😉
Fact: Chinese food is the undisputed favourite of British takeaways, with Indian curry houses ranking 2nd, and Fish and Chips respectively 3rd.