Students Energy Efficiency Tips

Written By Students For Students

What is Energy Efficiency?

Written by James Quean, Student of Economics at Lancaster University

In everyday life the term 'energy efficiency' is being used more and more, but many people use the term without an understanding of what it really means. Often, people know what it means but don't implement the efficient ideas in their daily lives. So, what is energy efficiency?

Energy efficiency is the different use of energy and behaviour towards a product or appliance in order to save energy, and in turn, money. Energy efficiency covers everything from something as little as using a power saving light bulb, to insulating an entire home to reduce heat loss so less heating is required. Anything that uses less energy to do the exact same job improves our energy efficiency no matter how small the task may seem.

How much can be saved
by being more Energy Efficient?

A common view amongst young people is, 'turning an appliance off at the mains instead of leaving it on standby doesn't really make a difference.' However, it absolutely does, up to £80 per year in fact. Can a student really afford to turn down an extra £80 per year?

Energy Efficiency Tips

Energy around the home can be very expensive, which is not good news for students who are living away from home and paying energy bills for the first time. So, we have put together a list of top tips to reduce energy costs in student’s homes:

  1. Instead of just running the hot tap to wash up – using a bowl could save a student household up to £25 per year.
  2. DIY draught-proofing the home could save up to £35 per year.
    It’s really easy to fit draught-proofing strips, keyhole covers and brushes at the bottom of doors that have gaps.
  3. Turning down the thermostat by 1 degree and putting a jumper on could save a student household £85 per year.
  4. Switching to energy efficient light bulbs could save £35 per year.
  5. Using an energy efficient shower head could save a student household up to £75 per year.
    This could also save a four-person household £120 per year on the water bill.

Adding up all these savings mean that students living together could save a whopping £335 per year (excluding the water bill saving) just by doing the simplest things around the home. Things that students might have previously thought wouldn't make a difference, really do.

Switching Energy Supplier

Students, for a number of reasons, might not be on the cheapest energy tariffs available. It could be that to save time they just haven’t checked, it might be that the previous tenant's tariff has carried over into their lease period, or even because they’re not sure what a good energy tariff is.

Whatever the situation, even though it might seem a little dull to search for the best energy tariff, it is worth the hassle if students shop around for their energy or look for an alternative energy supplier.

To help people out, Ofgem have approved a list of energy comparison sites to use.

If, like most, the student property is a year-long lease, and those living there are going to be there for most of the year, then switching onto a year's fixed tariff could be the best way to gain the cheapest prices as well as possibly changing energy supplier.

Accurate Meter Readings

If the students have found themselves a good energy tariff, then congratulations are in order! However, this won't save as much money if they don’t know how to read the meters properly.

It is essential to provide accurate meter readings to energy suppliers. This way, everyone pays for exactly what is being used. If accurate meter readings aren’t provided, it could result in money being owed to the supplier, which could have a negative impact upon credit scores; especially if students fail to repay any debit balance.

When taking meter readings, all the students need to provide are the numbers before the decimal point; ignore any numbers that are red or surrounded by a red box.

Many students will be on a prepayment meter and, if this is the case, call the energy supplier to check they aren't taking on the previous tenant's debt.

In addition, students must always remember to keep up-to-date with their payments because late payments can have a negative impact on credit scores.

For Further Information

As a student, every penny counts so, whether it's energy saving lightbulbs, turning electrical sockets off at the mains or turning down the thermostat, energy efficiency can save lots of money with very little hassle. Download PDF Guide

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