Information Now

Energy saving tips

There are a number of practical steps you can take to save energy and money.

Energy Services, Newcastle City Council can offer advice to residents in Newcastle on their helpline about energy use in the home, how to reduce fuel bills, and how to keep warm.

1. Monitor your gas and electricity use

Your gas or electricity meter records how much energy you’ve used. Your energy supplier will need this when working out your bill. If you don’t give them regular readings of your meter they will estimate how much energy you have used, which may mean your bill might be too high.

It is your responsibility to take regular meter readings, not your energy supplier. Many people only ever submit a meter reading when they move in or out of a new home, but it is a good idea to give your supplier regular meter readings, for example four times a year.

You can then call your supplier and give them the meter reading so they don’t have to make an estimate for your bill.

For more information on how to read different types of energy meters visit the Citizens Advice website.

Smart meters

Smart meters are new energy meters that are gradually being introduced around the country. Existing gas and electricity meters only record how much energy you have used in total.  As well as doing that, smart meters also identify when you used the energy, which can help you understand how much you’re using at different times.

Smart meters also send accurate meter readings to your energy supplier, so you won’t receive any more estimated bills or need manual meter readings.

Visit our Gas and electricity article for more information on smart meters.

2. Electricity

  • Replace your light bulbs with energy saving lightbulbs – called ‘compact fluorescent lamps’ (CFLs) or LED spotlights. They use 20% of the energy of regular light bulbs and last 10 times longer.
  • Turn off lights when you don’t need them.
  • Only fill the kettle with the amount of water that is needed. Always switch electrical items off, don’t leave them on stand-by.
  • Always put a full load in the washing machine and try not to use a tumble dryer.

The following articles on Which?  might be helpful:

3. Energy switch

You could switch your gas and electricity supplier.  Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, has estimated that 35% of households have never switched their supplier and could be missing out on average savings of £300 a year.

The Council has a price comparison and switching service.  If you switch using their service you will also be helping to tackle fuel poverty in the city as each switch generates a small income which  can be used to help vulnerable residents.

If you have a Smart meter it may not function as before but you can still switch supplier and access readings for them.

4. Heating and hot water

  • More than half the money spent on fuel bills goes towards providing heating and hot water. Installing a room thermostat, a programmer and thermostatic radiator valves and using these controls efficiently could save you around £75 a year.
  • If you already have a full set of controls, turning down your room thermostat by just one degree can save around £80 a year.
  • Make sure you maintain 21C in the living room if an older person or someone with a disability spends a lot of time there
  • Insulate your hot water tank and pipes.
  • Install loft insulation to reduce your home’s heat loss by 25% and save you up to £180* per year.
  • Installing cavity wall insulation can reduce heat loss by 35% and save up to £140* per year. Solid wall insulation could save up to £490* per year.
  • Turn down radiators in rooms that are not being used.
  • Do not obstruct radiators with furniture.
  • Close doors and windows while the heating is on to stop your money going out of the window.
  • Fix dripping taps.
*Figures taken from The Energy Saving Trust website.

5. Other Useful Information

You may find these other articles on Information NOW useful

6. Other Useful Organisations

Simple Energy Advice offers impartial and independent advice to help you reduce your energy bills, make your home warmer, plan home improvements and make your home greener.

Newcastle City Council Energy Services provides energy advice and develops projects to help domestic homes reduce their energy use. Services available include: an information pack, face to face advice, talks to community groups, access to grants towards cavity wall and loft insulation, central heating and other energy efficiency measures.

RiCD (Research Institute for Disabled Consumers) provide consumer advice and have a helpful section on their website about:

Last updated: July 22, 2020