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Ways to save on your heating and hot water
Turning your thermostat down by just 1°C can have a big impact on the cost of your energy bill. A comfortable temperature for a home is usually between 18 and 21°C.
Smart home technology is becoming more common and more affordable. Investing in a smart thermostat will give you more control over your heating, even while you’re not at home. Set a temperature as well as a time to ensure you’re only heating your home when you actually need it.
It’s true, wearing jumpers, socks and slippers around the house, as well as an extra blanket on the bed is not only cosy, it means you won’t be tempted to turn up the heating.
Ensure radiators are clear from clutter or furniture. This will allow the heat to radiate around the room making you feel warmer.
Cut the draughts – draught-proofing windows and doors could save you almost £30 a year and 46% of households still haven’t done this.
If your system has thermostatic radiator valves, you can keep a tighter control if the temperature in each room. They’re usually numbered from 1 to 6 – try setting bedroom radiators at 3 or 4, your kitchen at 4 and living rooms at 4 to 6.
Ways to reduce your fresh water consumption
Use a dishwasher. A modern dishwasher can use as little as 15 litres of water for each wash. Compare that to around 63 litres that hand washing uses each time, or 150 litres if the dishes are rinsed as well, and you can see just how much water and money you could save. Make sure you wait for a full load before you turn the dishwasher on though or you’ll end up wasting even more than hand washing.
Know how to turn off your water supply. If you don’t know where your main stop valve is, go and find it now. If a pipe does spring a leak you could save yourself the headache of a big clean-up operation as well as reducing the amount of wasted water.
You can save when using your washing machine too – remember that one full load uses less water and less energy than two half loads.
Watering cans and water butts. Using a garden sprinkler will make your water bill grow even faster than your lawn. They can use a 1,000 litres of water an hour. Using a watering can instead and collecting rainwater in a water butt to use on your plants and lawn to save litres of treated tap water. If you do use a sprinkler, try to do so in the morning or late in the evening when less of the water will evaporate before reaching the roots of your plants.
Cut the draughts – draught-proofing windows and doors could save you.
If your system has thermostatic radiator valves, you can keep a tighter control if the temperature in each room. They’re usually numbered from 1 to 6.
The benefits of saving water at work
In addition to helping reduce costs, decreasing water consumption can help your business comply with current and future environmental legislation, reduce its carbon footprint, improve your company’s environmental performance and generate positive PR. Water fittings in commercial multi-occupancy buildings often experience more frequent use than in dwellings, which means that payback times following investment can be excellent. Investment in water recycling schemes is also more viable in business settings than domestic settings. In addition to cost-savings from decreased water and energy bills, businesses investing in technologies and products that encourage sustainable water use may be eligible for tax savings though Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA). The ECA website details the scheme and the Water Technology List.
Educate your employees on the importance and practices of water efficiency. Try and set water usage targets and encourage widespread involvement to achieve this.
Know where your supply pipes run and where the shut off valves are. Check your meters at night or when no water is being used to monitor leakage. Make sure your pipes are protected against cold weather as leakage can increase after a burst due to frost.
Install water efficient devices in bathrooms and canteens such as:
Determine where your waste water is going and if or how you can recycle it in other areas of your business. Where possible use a water butt to harvest rainwater for use in your business.
Use water efficient settings on all kitchen appliances. Installing automatic taps or spray taps can help make a big difference to consumption levels.