Electricity dial meter with reading and 50 and 100 euro notes in front

8 easy ways to save electricity at home

Do you find it hard to keep a lid on your electricity bills? Switcher.ie’s top tips can help...

If you’re struggling with high energy bills, the best thing you can do is switch energy suppliers - it can save you up to €318 per year. But if you’re already on the best plan available, the following 8 tips should help:

Top Home Electricity-Saving Tips

  1. When you’re using the washing machine, turn the temperature down
  2. Use the tumble dryer sparingly, as it’s really expensive
  3. Turn off appliances completely, rather than leaving them on standby
  4. Only use the amount of water you need when boiling the kettle
  5. Cook in batches, to reduce the amount of time you have the oven on
  6. Switch from standard light bulbs to energy-efficient ones
  7. Use timers on your plugs for lamps and phone chargers
  8. Maintain your fridge-freezer to make sure it’s efficient

1. When you’re using the washing machine, turn the temperature down

As standard, most of us probably wash our clothes at 40°C. However, most detergents nowadays claim to be as effective at 30°C, so try turning down the temperature when you’re putting on a wash. You’ll use less electricity, which should have an impact on your bills.

2. Use the tumble dryer sparingly, as it’s really expensive

There’s no denying that tumble dryers are really convenient, but they are really expensive to run. Now that we’re coming into the summer, try hanging clothes outside when possible, or using a clothes airer if not.

3. Turn off appliances completely, rather than leaving them on standby

We’re all guilty of flicking the TV to standby and heading to bed in the evening. However, turning the TV off completely could save you up to 20% on its running costs - so try to turn it off completely when you can. Remember, though, that if you plug out your TV box, any recordings you have set up won’t work, so don’t get caught out!

4. Only use the amount of water you need when boiling the kettle

Try not to overfill the kettle when you’re boiling water for your tea or coffee - instead, fill up a cup with water and pour that in the kettle to boil. Boiling excess water is using excess electricity, so using the exact amount you need will help you cut down on your electricity use.

5. Cook in batches, to reduce the amount of time you have the oven on

Ovens are one of the most expensive appliances in the home, and the yearly costs can amount to hundreds of euro, depending on how much you use them. Try to avoid turning the oven on to cook small amounts of food - like a breast of chicken, for example. Instead, batch cook where possible, so you get the most out of the oven when you use it.

6. Switch from standard light bulbs to energy-efficient ones

Switching from regular bulbs to LED ones can represent an electricity saving of 80%. Obviously you will have the initial cost outlay to purchase the new bulbs, but you should more than make this back over time.

7. Use timers on your plugs for lamps and phone chargers

If you regularly fall asleep with the bedroom light on, or you’re one of those people who charges their phone all night, this tip could help you. Timer plugs cost about 5 euro, and they allow you to set the time when the item plugged into them comes on and off. See how long it takes you to charge your phone, and set the timer to turn off after this point - or time your bedroom lamp to turn off at the same time every night.

8. Maintain your fridge-freezer to make sure it’s efficient

Like the oven, the fridge-freezer is likely to be one of the largest - and more expensive - appliances in your home. In order to make sure it’s not using more electricity than needed, place it in a cool spot, out of direct sunlight, and leave space between the fridge/freezer and the wall. Allowing food to cool before putting it in the fridge will also help - placing hot food in the fridge uses up more energy as the fridge attempts to cool the food down.

Read more: Switcher.ie’s energy-saving guides