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Top 10 ways to save money going green

Top 10 ways to save money going green

Category: Ethical

Updated: 04/12/2009
First Published: 10/07/2007

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Going green around the house does not mean making life-altering changes; it's the simple things that will have the greatest impact. By saving energy not only will you help to save the planet, you'll save yourself a small fortune too. So let's get started with Moneyfacts' top 10 ways to slash those bills to help you start saving those pounds.

  1. Change your power supply
    • Generating electricity counts for around a third of the UK's carbon emissions, but only around 4% of electricity comes from renewable and green sources such as solar, water or wind power. Three years ago, switching to a green electricity supplier meant paying a significant price premium, but now many electricity companies are offering 'green' tariffs – although the quality, availability and price of these vary significantly.
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  2. Install a water meter
    • Water is a precious commodity, but if you fit a water meter not only will you help to save it, you'll save yourself a few pounds too. Water meters can be fitted for free by your water company, and once installed you'll only pay for what you use, rather than a standard charge based on the size of your house.
  3. Turn down those temperatures
    • By turning down your thermostat and reducing your home's temperature by one degree, you could cut your heating bills by around 10%, and save yourself around £40 a year. If you turn off your central heating in the summer and only use it for hot water, you'll save even more.
    • Turning your washing machine down to 30 degrees will mean you'll use 40% less electricity than if it was at 40.
  4. Check energy ratings
    • Before buying appliances such as washing machines, fridges, tumble dryers and freezers, make sure you look at the official energy rating - an "A" rating is the most energy efficient, and a "G" the least. An energy efficient washing machine for example, can help save you around £45 a year!
  5. Remember to switch off
    • Around 10-15% of a home's energy usage is through lighting. Use natural daylight wherever possible instead of artificial lighting.
    • When you are leaving a room, make sure you turn off the lights. What could be easier?
    • Leaving appliances on standby is also a huge drain on electricity. Recent research has shown that around 8-10% of all electricity used in the home is down to the standby function, meaning that the average UK household wastes £37 per year leaving appliances on standby.
  6. Only boil what you need
    • Keep your kettle energy efficient by only boiling what you need. It's simple - the longer it takes, the more energy and money you'll waste.
  7. Use energy saving lightbulbs
    • When you need to change a lightbulb, think about choosing an energy saving one instead.
    • Energy saving lightbulbs use up to 75% less energy than traditional bulbs, and although they cost a bit more, they also last up to 12 times longer. The Energy Savings Trust calculate that changing just one bulb reduce your lighting costs by £9 a year.
  8. Insulate your home
    • Up to a third of a home's heat can escape through the roof if it's badly insulated. It's estimated that loft and hot water cylinder insulation could save you up to £200 a year, while cavity wall insulation could save £130-£160 a year on fuel bills.
  9. Install a new boiler
    • Around 60% of all domestic carbon emissions come from old boilers. If you're thinking of installing a new one, go for a condensing boiler. Although it costs a bit more to install, The National Energy Foundation estimates you'll see the gain in four years.
  10. Sell or switch your car
    • If owning a car is essential, by switching to a smaller model will not only reduce your carbon emissions it could save you thousands of pounds a year in petrol, tax and insurance.
    • If a car is not essential, or you have more than one, why not think about selling it? You could invest the money in a green fund or put it away for a rainy day in a high interest savings account. Better still, you could use the proceeds to get cracking making your home more energy efficient.
    • If colleagues at work drive to work, perhaps you could arrange a lift-sharing scheme.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.