Seven cosy winter energy saving tips
Winter is the season of woolly scarves, freshly baked treats and frosty mornings. It’s a great time to stream that series you’ve been meaning to watch and explore how you could be more energy efficient, to save energy and help to keep your energy costs down.
Here are some energy-saving tips, from sunrise to bedtime, to help you heat your home and potentially save on your energy bills this winter.
1. Warm up gently
Cold winter mornings can make it hard to get out of bed. If you can, set your heating to switch on an hour before you get out of bed.
We recommend that you heat your home to 18°C as this will warm your home to a comfortable temperature (compared with the cold conditions outside) and means your heating system doesn’t need to work harder than necessary for you to be comfortable.
It’s tempting to crank the heat up on cold mornings, but for every degree over 18°C you set the thermostat in winter, you could be adding up to 10% to your heating costs.
2. Win your winter mornings
If you have maxed out your snooze button and it’s time to get up, start by opening any blinds or curtains which face north or east. This will allow the sun to naturally warm your home.
When it’s time for your tea, coffee or hot drink of choice, only boil the amount of water you need. If you fill the kettle, it will take longer to bring to a boil, which will use more energy than just boiling the amount you need.
Consider how you can warm up in the mornings with your favourite kind of exercise. Go for a run, rug up and take your dog for a walk or find an online yoga class if that’s more your thing.
3. Watch your hot water use
There’s nothing like a hot shower on a cold morning. Just remember that water is a precious resource - and the more hot water you use, the more energy you’re likely to be using.
To help keep your water heating to a minimum, set a timer for your showers and consider using a water-saving shower head. When you’re running a load in your washing machine, try to use cold water rather than hot water to help save on your hot water costs - just check your clothing labels for care instructions.
4. Work from home on your heating costs
Whether you’re working from home or enjoying a pyjama day inside on the weekend, make sure you only heat the rooms you need. Close the doors of any unused rooms to keep the warm air in your working and/or living spaces.
Throughout the day, the best way to keep your home warm while keeping your heating costs in mind is to try to maintain an even temperature. If you switch your heating system on, setting your thermostat between 18 to 20 degrees Celsius can make your house feel warm but not stuffy.
If you have ceiling fans, make sure they are switched to 'winter mode' (if applicable). Warm air rises and ceiling fans in winter mode spin in reverse, which pushes the warm air back downwards.
5. Put that WA sun to work
Solar panels could help you to save money on your electricity cost by using the sun’s energy to help power your home during the day. If you already have solar power at home, the best time to make the most of your solar energy production is generally between 10am and 2pm.
Use the winter sunshine to light up your home as much as you can during the day, rather than switching your lights on. Whenever you can, dry your clothes outside in the sun or during windy conditions instead of using a dryer to help reduce your energy usage.
6. Cook up a storm
Winter is a great time to try out some new recipes. At dinner time, you can make the most of your energy efficient appliances, for example by using an air fryer instead of an oven, if you have one.
Since an air fryer is compact and doesn’t need a lot of preheating time, it’s likely to use less electricity than your oven. If you’re organised enough to do a weekly meal plan, work out in advance what you can cook in your air fryer instead of using another less energy efficient appliance.
If a traditional oven is your best bet, keep in mind that it will warm your kitchen while it’s preheating, cooking and cooling down. Make the most of this warm air and consider turning your heating system off for a while.
7. Embrace your fluffy socks and dressing gown
When you’re relaxing at night, pop on your fluffy socks and not-for-the-outside-world dressing gown. Get cosy under a throw blanket, rather than switching the heating on to warm your home.
If you’re double-screening, look up winter decor trends for some easy ways that could help you keep warm and save energy. You might find some inspiration for energy-efficient lighting, or floor coverings and window treatments to make your space warm and cosy.
At night, it’s also worth watching out for heat loss from uncovered windows. By using heavy block out curtains that extend below the window frame, you can help insulate your home and prevent warm air from escaping.
Make the most of these winter energy saving tips
Taking small steps now can make a difference across the year – so it’s worth planning ahead. For even more energy-saving ideas and calculators to help you run the figures, try our Energy Tool.