First published: 21/06/2023 -

Last updated: 21/03/2024 -

Verified by our Editorial Panel

Energy Saving Tips

A little less tumble drying and a little adjustment to lower thermostat and radiator settings are low-cost, quick and easy ways to decrease our energy use. There are many simple actions that can help reduce gas and electricity bills, as well as the amount of harmful carbon emissions our homes produce.

The ways in which we heat and cool our homes can contribute to climate change. As a result of the cost of living crisis, many households are already doing what they can to reduce their home energy use while keeping the temperature to a comfortable level.

What can we do?

If you’re wondering how to reduce your energy bills, a good place to start is these top six ideas that won’t cost you a penny. Whether you rent or own your property, these steps should be doable for most of us with gas combi boilers.

Always bear in mind that you mustn’t underheat your home. Not only is it not good for your health or wellbeing to be too cold, it can also lead to damp in your home. Make sure your minimum indoor temperature is between 18°C and 21°C – your thermostat should show you the temperature.

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Wear warmer clothes and lower the thermostat

Setting your room thermostat 1°C lower than usual could cut your heating bills by up to 10%. You could add a thermal clothing layer to keep you warm.

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Reduce your boiler’s flow temperature

Many boilers are set to heat water to 75-80°C. If you have a combi boiler, 60°C should be warm enough. Doing this could save between 8 and 13% on your gas bill. You can turn this down yourself; Energy Saving Trust has a handy guide which shows you how.

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Lower settings on radiators

This could help you find the right balance of comfort and energy efficiency and save you up to £70 a year.

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Turn your preheat option off

Your combi boiler’s pre-heat function keeps water hot and ready to use when turning on the tap. Switching this off means you’ll have to wait a short time for the water to heat up every time you want to take a shower, but it will save you money. Check your manual to find out how to do this – if you don’t have the manual, you should be able to find it online or speak to a heating engineer or your energy company.

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Try air drying

Using an airer instead of a tumble dryer can significantly reduce your energy consumption, lower your bills, and even extend the life of your clothes. Make sure you don’t dry your clothes on radiators as this can cause mould, and only dry your clothes indoors if you’re able to open your windows. If you can dry your clothes on the line outside, this is the best option.

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Ensure adequate ventilation and shading

Open the windows, when possible, to allow fresh air to enter your home and consider natural shading options; you can grow trees or leafy plants near windows to avoid the use of fans and air conditioners in hot weather and create a pleasant environment. Curtains and blinds could also help you block direct sunlight and reduce heat.

Here are a few more steps you can take to reduce your energy consumption at home, from no-cost and affordable tips to bigger investments that could save you money in the long run:

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Don’t cover radiators

Avoid putting wet clothes or furniture too close to your radiator. This is important for safety reasons but will also let the heat from the radiators spread more quickly and your home will warm up faster.

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Use natural heat sources

When there’s sunlight, open the curtains to keep your home warm – but make sure you close them at night to keep warm air inside.

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Turn off the lights

Make sure you turn off the lights when you don’t need them and unplug any appliances when not in use. 

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Use less water

Heating water for showers and taps uses energy. Using less water can help reduce how much energy you use. 

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Make sure you’ve draught-proofed any gaps, for example in windows or under doors, to avoid heat escaping. Other affordable options to keep heat in during the colder months include adding insulation film to your windows, as well as using thermal-lined curtains and rugs.

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Keep it cool in summer

Insulation film and keeping your curtains closed can also help keep your property cool when it’s hot outside. Try not to use your oven on really hot days and open your windows at night (if it’s safe to do so) to let the cool air in. This can avoid the need for costly air conditioning.

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Delay the time of year that you turn on heating

This will help you save on your energy bills and reduce your environmental impact. Plus, it’ll give you more time to make sure your heating is well-maintained and runs efficiently.

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Pre-heat your home

So, what is pre-heating? If your home is insulated and has a programmable thermostat, you can pre-heat ahead of peak times to benefit from cheaper tariffs. To preheat your home, turn up your thermostat to a higher temperature before you need the heat.

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Use your smartphone

If you can afford it, buy smart appliances as they could help you benefit from new energy tariffs that are currently being trialled. You can also use your smart devices to programme your heating systems and save up to £60 per year – they’re a great way to regulate your home’s temperature and manage your energy consumption more efficiently. For example, you can remotely control your heating by setting automated actions.  

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Research installing renewable energy systems

Renewable energy systems, from heat pumps to solar panels, are large but important investments that help cut carbon emissions and reduce fuel bills. Find out if you’re eligible for help from the Welsh Government here. .

Why take action?

Wales’ energy system is producing record amounts of green energy each year. But how will adopting green energy habits help us and the planet?

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Reduce carbon emissions

To reduce our home carbon emissions, we need to change how we use energy and what type of energy we use. By making green home energy choices we can all lower our carbon emissions and help tackle climate change together. 


Save money

Using less energy will lower our fuel bills and save money. Even the smallest changes can add up and make a difference.

What is Wales doing?

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