Monday, 20 October 2008

Energy Saving Week – Saving energy around the office & home

Today Katharine Robinson aims to give you some Energy Saving tips to reduce energy usage, save money and needless CO2 emissions. This post is part of a series for The Energy Saving Trust’s Energy Saving Week, running from October 20th – 26th.


It’s very easy to be complacent about using Energy, especially in the office where those using the energy are not the ones paying for it.

Today I have been looking for things that we can all try either at home or in the office to cut our CO2 emissions.

Image by Christopher Hall

At home:

  1. When was the last time you defrosted the freezer? If you can’t remember then Energy Saving Week is just the reminder you need. Defrosting our fridges and freezers keeps them working at peak efficiency.

  2. Next time you go to switch on the light and the bulb goes, replace it with an energy saving one. An energy saving light bulb lasts 10 times as long as a regular one and uses just 20% of the energy. Get some when you go shopping this week so next time you are prepared.

  3. Whether you are washing clothes or dishes, make sure you have a full load. This will cut down on the number of times your machine runs a cycle, extending its life and cutting your energy usage.

  4. Dry your washing outside on the line instead of using a tumble dryer. This gets more difficult as winter draws in, so get some dryer balls to cut down on the length of time clothes need to be in the dryer.

  5. Consider switching to a green energy tariff. If this is too expensive an option, most utility providers will offer you a paperless or online service. You get your bills and do your metre readings via the internet, saving on paper and the travel cost of a metre reader visiting your home. This can sometimes be a cheaper option too.

In the office:

  1. When leaving the office, make sure you have not only fully shut down your computer but that monitors and printers are switched off too. This can be easy to forget, but quickly adds up to big savings.

  2. Keep an eye on the lighting in the office. If everyone in a particular department is in a meeting today – do they need their desk area lit up? Could blinds be opened to make the most of natural light?

At home and in the office:

  1. Turn down your thermostat by just one degree. This is hardly noticeable in temperature and could save up to 10% on heating bills. Even better – wear a big fluffy jumper!

  2. Boiling Water! When making hot drinks, only boil the water you need. When cooking, if you can boil water in the kettle first, then transfers it to the pan, this will save energy. The heat transfer in a kettle is more efficient as the element is in direct contact with the water.

  3. When charging mobile devices like phones, PDAs and portable games consoles, make sure you don’t leave the charges plugged in and switched on 24/7. Most will keep using energy even when your device if fully charged. If you need reminding, set an alarm on your phone when you plug it in

Tune in the rest of this week as I will be offering some green driving and green shopping tips as well.


  1. These are two minor ones, but they do help:
    1. If a clothesline is out of the question, get some wire drying racks. You can wash your clothes last thing before you go to bed, put up the rack, hang the clothes on it, and wake up to nice dry clothes in the morning. When not in use, the racks fold up and can be hung on a door-hook. I wash my dark clothes like this all year 'round and love it.

    2. Get some nice warm sweaters and turn the heat down. I know, it sounds like something your elderly relative who still lives like the war's on would say, but it works. Besides, you get to feel all snuggly in your nice warm sweater. I find cardigans more convenient to wear around the house, but whatever works for you. Bonus energy savings if you knit for yourself and use locally-raised fibres.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts, Katherine.

    I do love to knit. Perhaps I could make some jumpers as Christmas gifts this year.

    I use drying racks in my conservatory, I don't use the room as much in winter so I can just shut them out there and they don't get in the way.