Winter is coming and with the intensification of the energy crisis, gas and energy are rising in price and it becomes difficult to heat homes.
The cold will be even worse for the 13% of English families already living in fuel poverty. As the energy crisis deepens, this number is expected to rise further.
European leaders rushed to take measures to protect families, such as the UK energy price guarantee, which limits the unit price of electricity and gas to 34p and 10p respectively.
Although this measure relieve some of the worries Due to rising energy costs, many families will not be able to heat their homes in the coming months.
Science has stepped in and defined four ways that, according to recent research, prove that families are able to reduce their energy consumption in time for winter — and save money in the process.
Wash outside to dry
Washing and drying laundry accounts for around 12% of UK household electricity consumption. wash hands it is usually presented as an energy-saving alternative to using machines.
However, modern washing machines are highly efficient and typically use 0.5 kilowatt hours for a 9kg wash – well below the 0.82 kilowatt hours used on average for hand washing.
Even inefficient washing machines tend to use less energy than washing hands, because much less hot water is needed.
Instead, by limiting the use of the tumble dryer, a greater reduction in energy consumption can be achieved. Tumble dryers consume a lot of energy, with a single cycle up to 4.5 kilowatt hours.
Instead, by drying clothes outside, The Conversation calculates that a household can save not only energy, but also money.
Use less hot water
Faced with a gas shortage, the German city of Hanover cut off hot water in the bathrooms of all public buildings earlier this year.
While energy saving measures of this severity are unlikely, hot water production in the UK is a major energy consumer, accounting for approx. a quarter of the consumption energy household. There are several ways in which households can reduce their hot water consumption.
One is reducing the time spent in the bath. A nine-minute high-pressure shower uses approximately 4.3 kilowatt hours of gas. By reducing the time spent in the shower to six minutes, families can save on heating water and, again, energy.
If you have a hot water tank, it is important to make sure it is well insulated so as not to increase costs. This keeps the water warm for longer and reduce heating costs.
Another approach is to install a low-flow showerhead, which restricts water flow while maintaining the feel of a high-pressure showerhead.
At a lower flow rate, a shower uses less hot water. For families who shower for nine minutes on average twice a day, this measure reduces costs and energy consumption.
However, a low flow shower will only work well in areas where the water pressure is already high enough. Reducing the flow of an already low-pressure shower would turn the shower head into almost a dripper.
Better use heating
As the energy crisis deepens, it is important to ensure that heat is not wasted unnecessarily. Research shows that energy consumption can be reduced up to 30%reducing heating when residents are asleep or away.
This can be done by manually turning the thermostat or turning off the heating completely. For those who routinely forget to turn down the heating, a smart thermostat can prove to be a worthwhile investment.
These can be controlled remotely via mobile phone, or automatically via presence sensors and turn off the heating when the house is empty.
Energy is also wasted heating unused rooms. Thermostatic radiator valves are a way to regulate the temperature in different rooms — control the flow of hot water via radiators and can be programmed to regulate the temperature in each room.
Thermostatic valves for radiators can provide significant energy savings. One study found that they lead to a 10% to 18% reduction in energy consumption compared to homes without heating. However, it is important that doors between rooms remain closed to avoid wasting energy.
While we could use heating better, British homes are extreme energy inefficient — are among the worst insulated houses in Europe.
Maximizing insulation is one way to reduce energy consumption. For example, double glazing can halve the amount of heat lost through a single glazed window.
Closing blinds or curtains at night and during cold periods is also a cheaper way to retain heat. Recent studies show that blinds can reduce the amount of heat lost through windows by up to 38%.
Changes in habits and small investments can significantly reduce energy consumption. If applied on a large scale, they can alleviate the energy crisis. Although the Energy Price Guarantee offers temporary relief for many, the investment in energy efficiency measuressuch as insulation, should be a priority to reduce our energy burden in the long term.