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30 Mar 2020

How to use less energy, while self isolating at home

There’s no getting around it: things are difficult right now. One of the biggest challenges for many will be the worry that more time at home means using more energy.

Boost, together with the energy industry and the government, is working hard to find the best way to help people – especially those who may struggle to top up or pay for their energy in the weeks ahead. We want you to know we’re here to support you.

Watch out for more updates in the coming days: we’re working as fast as we can to find solutions. And you find out what we’re doing so far to support people in our Coronavirus FAQs.

In the meantime, if you’d like some practical ways to save energy, we’ve put these together for you, taken from reliable sources. And we’re not including tips that involve buying anything new or leaving the house. Stay safe – we’re here for you!


Use the microwave to heat things up

Microwaves are an energy-efficient way to heat up food. This is because they concentrate power on a small space for a short period of time.

Open your oven door after using it

A little known tip: after you’ve cooked, switch off your oven, open its door and let the heat fill the rest of the house. It helps if you open the door to your kitchen too, while you’re doing this.

Don’t overfill the kettle

It will save money and energy if you only boil the water you need.

Use the correct sized hob when cooking

This is something we don’t often think about. If you’re using a hob that’s bigger than your pan when you cook, it will waste lots of energy. Make sure the ring you use is of a similar size to your pan. A pan that’s too small, for instance, will lose all that energy out the sides. Too big and it’ll take more energy (and time!) to cook your food.

Cook food in bulk to save energy

If you cook extra food to save for later, you’ll use less energy in the process.


Turn down the water temperature on your boiler

It’s a trick that not everyone is aware of. Check your hot water temperature when you’re taking a shower or washing up. If it’s too hot, try turning it down directly on the boiler. This means the boiler doesn’t have to work so hard to heat up the water in the first place – using less energy and saving money.

Move furniture away from radiators

If your furniture is in front of radiators, they won’t be able to heat rooms anywhere near as well. Try moving things out of the way and see if your home feels warmer. The same goes for laundry and towels: once something’s dry, take it off your radiators to make them more efficient.

Bleed your radiators

When your radiators are switched on, give the top of them a feel. If they’re cold, this means they probably need to be bled with a radiator key. Once all the air’s gone and water starts to drip, you’ve done it. After that, your home should feel warmer, quicker.

Check your boiler pressure

Boiler pressure should ideally be between bars 1 and 2 (though this varies from boiler to boiler, so also check your boiler manual for the correct information).


Rugs help to trap heat

Did you know: if you’ve got laminate, tiled, lino or wooden floors, you can use rugs to trap warmth more effectively. Otherwise, these types of flooring lose heat easily, unfortunately. A rug is a quick way to insulate them better.

Get rid of those draughts

Close all the doors inside your home, to keep the heat in more easily. You can also use draught excluders (if you don’t have any, you can use a DIY method with whatever you have to hand: blankets work just as well). Energy supplier OVO, part of our brand group, put together this blog on how to make your own!

Try a hot water bottle instead of electric blankets

If you have one, they’re a much cheaper way of staying warm. Or, you could go one step further in terms of saving energy and simply pile on the blankets instead.


Turn off appliances at the wall

Don’t leave appliances like TVs on standby, this wastes energy. Switch everything off at the wall instead.

Open curtains and blinds when the sun’s out

Make use of the daylight as much as possible, instead of turning on electric lights – which is easier now the days are getting longer. The sunshine could also help warm your home.


When you’re doing laundry...

Wash clothes at 30 and make sure it’s a full load (unless your laundry may have been exposed to Coronavirus, in which case 60 is the correct temperature). You can save even more energy by using a low spin cycle.

If you’ve got a tumble dryer, try to avoid using it if you can, as they consume lots of electricity. If you have a garden or any outside space and it’s warm enough, dry clothes here instead.

When you’re washing dishes…

Fill a washing up bowl, instead of letting the hot tap run. And if you do have a dishwasher, make sure you’re washing full loads.

Top 5 free apps to help you save energy

If you’ve got a smartphone then here are 5 really useful apps to try, from shower timers to cost calculators. They’re all designed to help you save energy at home.

Get the kids involved!

If you’ve got children, here’s a blog post on ways to get them involved too.