Handy tricks to reduce your energy consumption

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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We all know how important it is to take an active role in reducing our energy consumption, as long gone are the days that we could feign ignorance! Now, we are bombarded with information via every media channel, imploring us to cut back on our frivolous ways and even if you don't have too much attachment to ecological concerns, we know that the fiscal rewards will appeal to you.

By reducing your energy consumption you could save hundreds of pounds a year, maybe even thousands if you include your mode of transport in your efforts. So, take a look at our tricks for creating a more eco-friendly home and see if you and the environment could both benefit.

1. Save every drop

Redesdaale Street Chelsea Basement Development Kitchen: modern Kitchen by Shape Architecture
Shape Architecture

Redesdaale Street Chelsea Basement Development Kitchen

Shape Architecture

A hugely wasted resource, water contributes significantly to the energy crisis and as such, we think you should think about how much you use a little more carefully. Simple things can make a huge difference, such as only using your dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load to do, turning the bathroom tap off while you brush your teeth and even installing water saving taps to create a more eco-friendly home.

We don't want to make you feel guilty about having fresh water readily available, but wasting it is such a shame and costs you a lot of money every year, so think about how you and your family can cut back!

2. Think about your lighting

One of the simplest ways to embrace a more eco-friendly home is to swap out your lighting bulbs for more efficient ones. We realise that these fabulous new bulbs may cost a little more, but they will also last a lot longer, meaning that over time, you will save money both via your initial outlay and the energy savings you will enjoy as you use them.

Don't think that you have to have special fixtures in place, as any lights, even these wonderfully modern examples, featured by Con Contenedores, can have their bulbs swapped out in the blink of an eye, making this a fantastically easy idea to realise!

3. No extraneous fittings

 Windows & doors  by Chivasso BV
Chivasso BV

Monsoon 2014

Chivasso BV

Eliminating extra fittings is a good way to ensure that your energy consumption is not above and beyond what it should reasonably be, so we like to think that a more minimal design scheme is not only beautiful, but also a practical way to bring a more eco-friendly home vibe into your surroundings.

If you have a main light, why not include dimmer switches, to negate the need for extra side lamps? Try not to put more lights and light switches into your home than you need, as even using energy saving bulbs will still have an impact. Also, minimise the amount of plug sockets you include, as this will act as a natural deterrent for wasteful electricity usage, with other items needing to be unplugged first!

5. Cut back on appliances

Transformed NW London Terrace : classic Kitchen by Model Projects Ltd
Model Projects Ltd

Transformed NW London Terrace

Model Projects Ltd

In a family home, it can be difficult to make everybody understand that you don't need a popcorn maker, a candy floss machine, a 10-slice toaster and everything else that has a plug attached, but do try, as it will dramatically reduce your energy consumption and lead to a far more eco-friendly home. 

When you are kitting out your kitchen, keep an eye out for appliances that are A-rated for energy efficiency, as many modern versions are, because this will help to save you money and reduce your impact on the environment. You would be surprised at just how inefficient older appliances were, so if you can, swap them out and see the benefits immediately!

4. Embrace technology

Pond House_Passive House (Passivhaus): modern Houses by Forrester Architects
Forrester Architects

Pond House_Passive House (Passivhaus)

Forrester Architects

An eco-friendly home will usually seek to make good use of cutting edge technology to help offset energy use and prevent waste. One great example, that has enjoyed enormous popularity, is home solar panels. 

Placed up on the roof, solar panels don't make an unattractive impact on your home, but do afford you the luxury of not having to pay for your energy, as well as feeling great for adding some back into the grid. Using only what you generate will naturally make you a little more conscious of your habits, with dishwashers and washing machines being set on timers to work at midday, when the sun is strongest and only when absolutely necessary. Solar panels can also earn you some welcome revenue, so be sure to look into the viability of your home!

6. Try to use alternative heating

Heath Cottage Living Room: modern Living room by Brown + Brown Architects
Brown + Brown Architects

Heath Cottage Living Room

Brown + Brown Architects

If you were asked to picture an eco-frienddly home, what key things would pop into your mind? We like to think that a woodburner would be high on the list, as it is the perfect way to keep your house toasty warm, without using expensive energy.

Of course, there is still an environmental impact made by burning wood, but it is far less damaging than wasting huge amounts of electricity or gas by using an artificial heating source and when coupled with other initiatives for eco-friendliness, will become negligible.

7. Include your transport

No eco-friendly home would be complete without an electric car! Perfect for significantly reducing the impact you have on the environment, they are a clean and green way to get about. Able to charge quickly and without using a lot of energy, these cars really do seem to be the future of eco-driving, but if you can't stretch to one just yet, why not start small and try to use your bicycle a little more often? Every little helps when it comes to reducing energy consumption, after all!

For more eco-friendly tips, take a look at this Ideabook: 6 Steps To A More Eco-Friendly Home.

Have you got any more good tips for reducing energy consumption? Share them with us, below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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