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Reducing electricity bills

In the current climate of rising power rates, a review of some basic settings can give you savings. Heating is the biggest consumer of domestic power. One way to reduce your electricity bills is to fit devices that regulate the heating in your home to suit your life style, maintaining comfortable but economic temperatures.

Fitting thermostats

Most modern heating has some form of thermostatic control - a device that will switch power off when surroundings reach a certain temperature. Many thermostats are marked out simple to increase or decrease the temperature, in which case you have to experiment with various settings to find the one that suits you best. If the thermostat settings are more precise , try 18 degrees (C) for every day use, although elderly people are more comfortable at about 21 degrees.

Time switches

Even when it's thermostatically controlled, heating is expensive if run continuously - but you can install an automatic time switch to turn it on and off at preset times, so you getup in the morning and arrive home in the evening to a warm house. Set it to turn off the heating about half an hour before you leave home got o bed, as the house will take time to cold down.

Monitoring consumption

Keep a record of your energy saving by taking weekly readings. Note the dates of any measures taken to cut power consumption, ad compare the corresponding drop in meter readings.

A check on the rates can point to faulty appliances, like water heaters or fridges which are using power excessively.

Appliance Typical Usage No units*
Cooker Cooks 1 day's meal for 4 people 2.5
Microwave Cooks 2 joints of meat 1
Slow cooker Cooks for 8 hours 1
Storage heater Provides 1 days heating 11
Fan heater Provides heat for 1 hour 2
Immersion heater Supplies 1 days hot water for a family of four` 9
Instant water heater Heats 2 or 3 bowls of washing up water 1
Instant shower Gives 1 or 2 showers 1
Dishwasher Washes one full load 2
Washing Machine Washes 1 full load 2.5
Tumble dryer Dries 1 full load 2.5
Refrigerator Keeps food fresh for 1 weeks 12
Freezer Maintains required temperature for a weeks 9
Heater towel rail Maintains temperature for a week 1
Electric kettle boils 40 cups of tea 1
Coffee percolator Makes 75 cups of coffee 1
Toaster Toasts 70 slices of bread 1
Iron In use for 2 hours 1
Vacuum cleaner Works for 1.5 to 2 hours 1
Cooker hood Runs for 24 hours 1
Extractor fan Runs for 24 hours 1
Hairdryer Runs for 2 hours 1
Shaver Gives 1800 shaves 1
Power drill Works for 4 hours 1
Hedge trimmer Runs for 2 hours 1
Lawn mower Cuts grass for 3 hours 1
Stereo system Plays for 8 hours 1
Colour TV On for 6 hours 1
VCR Records for 10 hours 1
100W bulb Gives 10 hours lighting 1
40W fluorescent Provides 20 hours of light 1
PC On from 9am to 5pm 3.5
Dehumidifier Dehumidifies for a week 8

*Values are indicative and will vary with specific power rates and appliances



Additional ways to save on your houses energy bills

The facts:

Every household in the UK creates around six tonnes of carbon dioxide every year enough to fill six hot air balloons 10 meters in diameter. In fact, the average home emits more harmful carbon dioxide gas than the average car every year.

The solutions:

The average household could save around 200 a year by taking energy efficiency measures. This is equivalent to a saving of around 2 tonnes of CO2.

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