How to be more energy efficient in your rental home

Now’s the time to embrace low carbon living

You’ve heard the news: the wholesale cost of energy has risen significantly which unfortunately has meant energy providers across the board are also having to increase their prices. Result? Energy bills are rising. Households are now looking into lowering energy consumption, and it’s good to know that energy-saving practices will not only benefit your wallet, but also the planet.

Before we dive in, it is worth debunking a common misconception: you don’t have to choose between comfort and energy saving.

Contrary to popular opinion, energy-saving habits will not take hours of your day, do not require big upfront costs for long term ROI and won’t leave you freezing in a blanket. Instead, adopting these practices into your household routines can result in cleaner and healthier living conditions, with the bonus of keeping utility bills down.

Energy efficiency simply means using less energy to perform the same task – we like the sound of that! – so your comfort won’t be compromised, but rather improved.

Let’s get started…

1) Fighting energy vampires (no garlic required)

Vampire devices are household appliances that are consuming energy even on standby mode, and consequently, add up to your energy bill. Look around your home now and we bet you can spot at least five of these energy-suckers… we see you, Alexa. Phone chargers, TVs, alarm clocks, kitchen appliances like kettles and coffee machines, and the list goes on.

So, don’t live life on stand-by: make sure to turn off your appliances at the power socket or for more convenience, install smart plug sockets.

2) Switch to LED bulbs

Let us blow your mind with this fact: LED light bulbs are able to produce the same amount of light by using up to 80 per cent less electricity. According to Energy Saving Trust UK, switching all the bulbs in your home with LED bulbs can reduce carbon emission by up to 65 kilos a year which equals the same amount of emissions that you produce by driving your car around 220 miles!

You can change your current light bulb with an LED light bulb for as little as £3 per bulb. Have some fun with colour changing bulbs, or smart bulbs that connect to home devices.

3) Embrace mood lighting

When you come home after a long day, you simultaneously turn on the kettle, washing machine, hob, heating, lights and chargers all at the same time. It’s no surprise that people use the most energy between 6pm and 9pm.

All interior style lovers know how lighting is important to create an atmosphere in your room. So to save energy in your rental home, decorate your room with battery-powered fairy lights or LED strips. Your night in will be much more relaxing, and your eyes can take some rest from handling the bright light all day. Less light exposure helps prepare your body for much-needed sleep rest!

4) Draught-proof your home

If you are looking for a cost-effective way to save energy, draught-proofing is the fun way to do so. Buy or make yourself quirky draught excluder cushions you can use to stop the cold air coming from your doors, windows or even chimney. All you need is some material, a pair of old tights, some stuffing and sewing skills.

Good news for residents that rent with us: all of our homes are insulated and feature double glazed windows. Our windows are also equipped with a mechanical ventilation system which warms up fresh air as it enters your home.

It may sound like science fiction (Google MVHR if you want to know more of the techy details…) but it’s quite simple, and effective! The system warms up fresh air into your home while extracting stale and moist air, all while reusing the existing heat in your home.

Also, before you moved in, your flat was tested for airtightness –if you do notice any changes, chat to our maintenance team via our Resident App.

5) Turn down the thermostat

Heating your space and using hot water represents the overwhelming majority of operational emissions from housing. By some estimates, domestic emissions themselves make up 22% of the UK’s contribution to carbon emissions, so it’s an issue worth tackling. Simply lowering your thermostat down one degree can have a big impact.

Knowing how to control your heating is a good place to start. For Get Living residents you can find this in your home handbook.

If you need help to turn your thermostat down, phone your Relationship Manager who will be able to talk you through it or watch our short video!

 

6) Curtains are not just for style

A simple habit, like closing your blinds or curtains in the evening can prevent heat loss. During hot summer days, closing the blinds will keep your home cooler. Of course, in all those moderate days in between, opening them during the day will get you the much needed natural light and help you save electricity. It’s all about the timing!

Every little helps

Energy-efficient practices, when done right, can help you save on energy bills even when you rent. And the reality of the big picture is: the impact of your efforts combined with efforts from your friends, neighbours, and fellow citizens can result in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and help to achieve a global effort to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

And it all starts with these couple of quick wins you can do in your rental home today.