How to go green – and save money

Help the planet and your pocket with our energy-saving tips

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Turn your home green and you will not only do your bit to help the earth, but also save quite a bit of cash. With energy costs set to rise in the UK in coming years, now is the time to make some changes that will reduce waste, lower carbon emissions and help you keep those utility bills down.
Even better, going green is easier than you think: small improvements go a long way and just six simple tricks can save you hundreds of pounds instantly.

1. Watch that temperature
In summer, if you have air conditioning, keep the thermostat as high as you possibly can - not only will it save you money, but it is also healthier. In winter, turning your heating thermostat down by just one degree could cut your energy bills by up to 10%.

2. Draw your curtains
In summer, draw your curtains (or close your blinds) during the warmest hours of the day to prevent the heat coming in. In winter, do this during the evenings and nights to avoid the heat escaping through your windows. According to British Gas, removing all draughts around the house could save you up to £55 per year. Also, if you have radiators by the window, fit radiator foil behind the heaters to reflect heat back into the room.

3. Replace light bulbs
Move to energy-efficient bulbs, which last longer and can save you about £45 over the lifetime of the bulb. Always switch the light off when you leave a room, or if the light is not really needed.

4. Go LED in the garden
The latest generation of LED garden lights consume less energy than ever before.

5. Choose energy-efficient appliances
An A+ rated oven consumes 40% less energy than a B-rated one. An energy-efficient dishwasher will cost £12 a year less than an inefficient one, and it will use less water too. Also, avoid keeping appliances on standby; there are standby savers that allow you to switch off your appliances in one go - and unplug gadgets when fully charged.

6. Insulate
According to The Energy Saving Trust, insulating cavity walls in a mid-terrace house can save about £95 a year, loft insulation around £140 a year, lagging pipes and boilers about £45, double glazed windows roughly £70 to £105 and draught-proofing windows up to £50 a year!

For more energy saving tips visit British Gas