Energy saving tips
The Chemical Engineering Sustainability Committee have been researching energy saving tips to help staff and students in the department reduce their energy consumption and save money, particularly during the colder months. In addition to the tips shared by Imperial Estates, they have pulled together the following guidance:
Space heating accounts for the largest energy consumption – cool down and heat smart
- Turning down the thermostat by 1°C could save 13% of space heating energy.
- Set a timer for your central heating system so that it only runs when needed e.g., morning and evening, and switch off overnight.
- Check if the radiators need bleeding i.e., remove air bubbles for efficient heating (see this handy YouTube video for more information on how to do this).
- Use the temperature valves on radiators to control individual room temperatures and lower the temperature in rooms not frequently used. Recommendations: Living spaces 20 °C, Bedrooms 18–20 °C, Entrance halls & stairwells 15–18 °C, Storage rooms 12 °C, garages 5 °C.
- Draught proof doors and windows with draught excluding tapes*; close doors, windows and curtains to keep heat from escaping; use a rug to trap heat.
- Add an extra layer of clothing, get a blanket and hot water bottle instead of turning up the thermostat.
Hot water is the second biggest culprit of steep energy bills – use less
- Cutting your shower time from ten minutes to four minutes could save 60% of energy usage. Trying taking a four-minute shower with a shower timer.
- Prevent water from overheating by setting your hot water tank to 60°C.
- Use an eco-shower head to reduce water usage; or install a faucet aerator to reduce hot water flow from the standard 2.2 gallons/min to 1.5 gallons/min*.
Use kitchen appliances efficiently
- Only fill the kettle with the amount of water needed. The average kettle uses 0.11 kWh to heat 1 L of water.
- Use a microwave instead of the oven for heating up small amount of food. Running a microwave for an hour each day consumes half of the energy needed for a gas oven.
- Use a microwave to cook food e.g., pasta, potatoes, fish and rice, which is much quicker! Consider checking out microwave rice cookers.
- Regularly defrost the freezer to remove ice build-up, the more ice builds the less efficiently the appliance performs!
Wash cold and air dry
- Washing clothes at 30°C or on a cold water setting (for example the bright colour cycle) can save up to 60% energy per wash, as 90% of energy use comes from heating the water in a wash cycle.
- Use your washing machine, dryer and dishwasher at full loads whenever possible.
- Air dry clothes instead of using a tumble dryer whenever possible.
Don’t let standby power eat away your money
- Install a home monitor or a smart meter to monitor and control electricity usage. Energy suppliers provide free smart meter upon request*
- Do not leave electronics on charge overnight
- Unplug electronics e.g., microwave, PCs when not in use.
- Use a power strip to turn off all electronics at once by just flipping a switch.
- Some tariffs offer cheaper electricity at night, so use high-power usage appliances like washing machines at night.
*Actions might require landlord’s approval in advance