If you’re using electricity without thinking of the costs you’ll find that your electricity bill will increase, which you definitely don’t want. Also being wasteful with your electricity is damaging to the environment, as it produces harmful emissions and contributes to global warming. Luckily, here at Glide we’ve listed plenty of ways to lower your energy usage and reduce your environmental impact. To give you some ideas, here are a few easy ways to save electricity on appliances:
Unplug everything from the wall
One of the easiest ways to reduce your energy usage is by making sure your electronics are switched off when they’re not in use. This includes your TVs, laptops, computer monitors, speakers, and game consoles. Get into the habit of checking that these items are switched off before you leave a room – the environment and your wallet will thank you!
It is not enough to simply turn the switch off as many appliances still use electricity when they are plugged in – this is known as standby electricity loss. Energy Saving Trust states that any charger that is plugged in will still use electricity, regardless of whether the device is attached or not. For that reason, you should make an effort to unplug all electronics from the wall, including phone chargers. This will help to prevent wasted electricity and reduce your student utility bills.
Only run your washing machine when full
Washing machines use huge amounts of water and electricity. Running your washing machine when it is half full is a massive waste of energy and can significantly increase your bills if you do it regularly.
You can easily make your laundry habits more efficient by only running your washing machine when it is full and washing at 30 degrees or less. And try not to forget about the load once finished, as you’ll likely end up rewashing it a few days later. Take it out to dry as soon as you can – fewer washes means less energy, and you won’t have to wait as long to wear your fave outfit on your next night out!
You should also try to wash items on the shortest cycle i.e. a quick wash. This will save energy and also help to increase the lifespan of your clothes – meaning you don’t have fork out more money to replace your jeans. If you have a single clothing item that you need to wash or a garment with specific washing instructions, then consider hand-washing it instead of running the washing machine. The same rules should apply to other appliances, like your dishwasher and dryer, if you’re lucky enough to have one.
Lower your screen brightness
Lowering the screen brightness on your phones and iPads is another quick way to reduce your electricity use. In fact, a study by Harvard University found that lowering your screen brightness by 100% to 70% can save up to 20% of the energy. You won’t actually notice much difference when reducing your brightness, so it’s always worth reducing it to the lowest level possible. You should also make sure that your devices are set to the most energy-efficient mode. For example, have your laptop set to automatically go into standby when it has not been used for five minutes or more.
Try activities that don’t use electricity
When you plan a night in with your housemates, Netflix or game nights usually come to mind. But there’s an endless variety of fun activities that don’t require the use of electricity. Choosing to do low-energy activities is a great way to reduce your electricity use and your carbon footprint.
Some popular activities that don’t require electricity include reading a book, playing a board game, or craft projects with your mates (homemade jewellery or making photo albums are always fun). You could even try scheduling one day a week when you try to avoid using electronic devices altogether. Taking advantage of low energy activities will help minimise environmental harm and save you money in the long-run.
Turn your thermostat down
Did you know that, according to experts at moneysupermarket.com, turning your thermostat down by just one degree can save you up to £80 a year?! Keep your curtains closed in the evenings and while you’re out during the day to prevent heat from escaping. You should also layer up during the colder months, rather than just automatically turning your heating up. Timing your heating to come on at scheduled intervals can be another simple way to reduce wasted energy and your costs. Being more careful with your thermostat and avoiding using heating where possible can have a big impact on your overall energy use and save you significant amounts of money over time.
Global warming is a hot topic and everyone should do their bit to help fight climate change. Reducing your energy usage is one of the easiest ways to lower carbon emissions and save money on your utility bills. Small changes can have a big impact, so everyone should make an effort to be more energy conscious. Use the tips above to save electricity, maximise your student loan and help save the environment!