Energy

Top energy tips to save money

One of the best ways to save money on your energy bills is by reducing your usage. Here’s all you need to know about energy efficiency with money-saving tips to cut your bills.

How to reduce use and cut your energy bills

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Ways to make your home more energy efficient

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Saving money

How to reduce energy and cut your bills

Why save energy?

The main benefit of reducing how much energy you use at home is you’ll save money on your gas and electricity bills, but making your home more energy efficient can also have huge environmental benefits.

Here are seven simple ways to reduce your use and improve your home’s energy efficiency.

1. Pull the plug

Home appliances left on standby use electricity, even when not in use. Turning your appliances off at the wall when you’re not using them could knock up to 20% off your electricity bills.

Consider pulling the plug instead of leaving these appliances on standby:

  • TVs
  • Laptops & desktop PCs
  • Games consoles
  • HiFi systems
  • Set-top boxes
  • HDR recorders
  • Digital radios
  • Mobile chargers

Which appliances in your home use the most power?

Heating & cooling

These figures are estimates and will depend on the efficiency of your appliance or system and unit charges which may vary.

  • Gas central heating for 6 hours = approx €9.00
  • Plug in electric heater for 1 hour = approx €1.00
  • Electric blanket for 3 hours = approx €0.15
  • Immersion heater for 2 hours = approx €2.60
  • Fridge freezer per day = approx €0.62

Eating & drinking

These figures are estimates and will depend on your appliance and unit charges which may vary.

  • Electric oven single use = approx €1.00
  • Microwave single use = approx €0.05
  • Slow cooker single use = approx €0.45
  • Gas hob single use = approx €0.30
  • Electric hob single use = approx €0.90
  • Kettle single use = approx €0.08

Washing, drying & cleaning

These figures are estimates and will depend on your appliance and unit charges which may vary.

  • Washing machine single use = approx €0.55
  • Tumble dryer single use = approx €1.95
  • Dishwasher single use = approx €1.00
  • Vacuum cleaner single use = approx €0.10
  • Iron single use = approx €0.80
  • Electric shower single use approx = €0.60

Working & playing

These figures are estimates and will depend on your appliance and unit charges which may vary.

  • TV for 2 hours = approx €0.15
  • Laptop or desktop PC for 8 hours = approx €0.40
  • Games console for 8 hours = approx €0.20
  • Wifi router per day = approx €0.09
  • Hairdryer single use = approx €0.15

2. Turn it down

A huge portion of our energy bills goes on heating and hot water, so tweaking the thermostat and conserving heat is an easy way to save money.

Here’s some simple things you can do:

  • Turn your heating down by one degree and knock 10% off your bills
  • Set your water heating to 65 degrees celsius on your immersion heating
  • Seal your windows and doors and close your curtains at night to retain heat
  • Keep curtains and blinds away from radiators to help heat circulate

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3. Take control

Don’t waste energy by heating your home while asleep or out and about. Set your heating and hot water on a schedule to fit your daily routine.

  • Use a heating timer- radiators heat your home for some time after the heating is turned off so turn on your heating 30 minutes before you need it and off 30 minutes before you go out
  • Consider a ‘smart heating system’ - they control time and temperature, and you can set them to your regular routines from your smartphone
  • Consider an electricity monitor to see what energy you’re using in real time. It could help you make changes and take control of your consumption

4. Cook with care

Much of our household energy is used in the kitchen, but you can make small changes to reduce energy use.

  • Only heat the water you need for cooking or making hot drinks
  • Use a microwave, air fryer or slow cooker instead of your oven when possible
  • Match your pan size to your burner on the hob and cover your food when it’s cooking
  • Steam your vegetables or use less water for boiling
  • Only pre-heat your oven when required and defrost food before cooking
  • Only use your dishwasher when it’s full

Switch and save up to €453 on your energy bills

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5. Take a shower

If you are fond of long, deep baths or power showers, you’ll use more energy to heat the water.

A shower uses only 20% of the energy needed to heat water for a full bath, so opt for a regular shower instead. If you have a power shower, shorten your shower time and dial down the pressure.

If you don’t have a shower, keep bath times short and shallow.

6. Keep it cool

Ensuring your fridge-freezer runs efficiently can be a big help when it comes to saving energy.

  • Set your fridge temperature between 3 and 5°C and your freezer at -18 °C
  • Place the fridge-freezer out of direct sunlight or appliances that generate heat
  • Keep the coils free from dust and 10cm away from the wall
  • Defrost your freezer regularly so there is no ice build-up
  • Make sure food is cool before putting it in the fridge

7. Hang it out

The tumble dryer is one of the most expensive appliances in our homes, using around 2.5 kilowatts per hour (kWh) per hour, so use it sparingly. In good weather, dry your clothes outside or on a clothes horse in a warm room on wet days.

You can save money by washing your clothes efficiently too. Avoid prewashing and wash your clothes at 30 degrees with a liquid detergent whenever possible.

If your washing machine has an eco programme, use it to save 30% on energy usage and fully load your drum to keep washes to a minimum.

Energy efficiency

Ways to make your home energy efficient

Insulate your home

Your home can lose up to 30% of its heat through poorly insulated walls and attics, but a well-insulated home will keep warmth in and reduce your energy bills.

Investing in effective insulation has a big impact on reducing heat loss and helping you save money on your energy bills.

Here are some of the different types:

  • Attic insulation keeps heat from escaping through the roof. This is the most cost-effective way to insulate and should cause minimal disruption.
  • Cavity wall insulation is suitable when your walls consist of two rows of bricks or concrete blocks with a cavity or space between them. The insulation is injected into the wall from the outside.
  • Internal wall insulation is also known as dry lining and is suitable if you have solid walls or other walls that aren’t suitable for cavity insulation. Insulation boards are applied to the inside of any external walls.

SEAI offers a range of home energy upgrade grants covering up to 50% of the cost. For attic and cavity wall insulation you may qualify for a grant that covers up to 80% of the cost.

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Energy-saving gadgets

Energy-saving gadgets can help you cut back on your energy bills. Here’s our pick:

  • Energy-efficient lightbulbs can save you up to €22 a year, depending on the bulb’s power
  • Radiator boosters ensure a consistent room temperature by circulating hot air away from windows
  • Draft excluders fixed to doors and letterboxes can make a noticeable impact on your heating bills
  • Chimney balloons stop heat from escaping into your chimney and the cold descending into your home
  • Lagging jackets and foam tubing added to pipes will keep your water hot for longer

Check your boiler is safe & efficient

Get your boiler serviced and checked regularly by a Registered Gas Installer (RGI). This will ensure your boiler is running safely and efficiently.

Older boilers are less energy efficient than modern ones, so consider whether it’s worth paying out for repairs when a new boiler may be more cost-effective. Here are the pros and cons of paying for repairs vs replacing your boiler.

A boiler care plan could help to spread the cost of servicing and repairs if your boiler breaks down. Our guide: How do boiler servicing plans work? explain what’s included and how to choose the right cover.

Switch and save up to €453 on your energy bills

It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper deal and start saving

Inspect your windows for damage

Draughty windows may cause significant heat loss due to minor damage, ageing sealant, weather stripping or windows not shutting properly.

Signs of heat loss are moisture or mould between the window frame and the wall, cracked seals and rooms that don’t stay warm. You can check for draughts by lighting a match and holding it close to the frame.

If you do spot an issue with your window sealant, repairs are relatively cheap and will help your house retain heat.

Upgrade your old appliances

All appliances sold in the EU have an energy rating from A+++ to G which can be found on the label.

Appliances with a lower rating cost much more to run than those with a high rating. The A+++ rating is the most energy efficient and G is the least efficient.

So, if you have a lot of white goods e.g. washing machine, fridge/freezer, or oven with a low rating, consider replacing them with more efficient models.

Install solar panels

Solar photovoltaic (PV) modules are solar panels that generate electricity when exposed to light. You can get these installed on the roof of your home and use the power generated to supply energy to your home.

Solar panels that produce hot water are known as solar thermal panels or solar hot water collectors, they can be a cheaper way to generate hot water.

Installing solar panels can generate clean, green renewable energy from daylight and any excess can be automatically used to heat your water. So, not only will you save on your energy bills, but you’ll also be doing your bit for the environment.

Consider a heat pump

Electrical heat pumps use a compressor to draw heat from external air or the ground to heat the home, and a heat pump produces around three to four units of heat for every unit of electricity consumed.

Most heat pump systems have integrated heating controls, so you can set them to match your lifestyle and routine. Using heating controls with your heat pump system will typically reduce your energy usage by up to 20%.

Grants of up to €3,500 are available to anyone with a home built before 2011 who installs a heat pump. More information is available from the SEAI website.

Switch your gas & electricity supplier

The best way to reduce your energy costs is to switch to a discounted deal using our free gas and electricity comparison service. If you haven’t changed your supplier in over a year, compare electricity suppliers and switch to a cheaper energy plan.

If you struggle to pay your energy bills, visit What help can you get paying your energy bills? and check if you qualify for support.

Switch and save up to €453 on your energy bills

It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper deal and start saving