Easing the pain of rising electricity prices

If you live in a new – or newish – house, it may already be fitted out with many of the latest energy-saving technologies. In which case, lucky you! But if yours is an older property, there are steps you can take, and practices you can adopt, to reduce your energy consumption.

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Easing the pain of rising electricity prices

 

The UK has the oldest housing stock in Europe, and this puts us at a serious disadvantage when it comes to making energy savings.

 

If you live in a new – or newish – house, it may already be fitted out with many of the latest energy-saving technologies. In which case, lucky you! But if yours is an older property, there are steps you can take, and practices you can adopt, to reduce your energy consumption.

 

 

Buy energy-efficient appliances

 

It can’t have escaped your notice that new white goods – fridges, washing machines and so on – carry energy-efficiency ratings. Energy labels were first introduced back in the 1990s, and a new set of standards was introduced in 2020. These use a more comprehensive spread of criteria, and provide a much more accurate assessment of how energy-efficient your appliances are.

 

Generally, the more energy-efficient your appliance is, the more expensive it will be to buy – so we wouldn’t recommend replacing everything right off the bat. (There are environmental and scrappage costs to consider too.) But if your tumble dryer is headed for the tip, and you’re looking to replace it, buy the best you can afford, with the best possible energy-efficiency rating.

 

 

Turn things off

 

Be honest. Do you really need to fire up the TV at a second’s notice? Do you really need the oven to tell you the time, when the kitchen clock is doing the same job? Turning mains-powered appliances off at the wall could save you, on average, £80 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust. So when you’re turning in for the night, or if you’re away for the weekend – switch things off. Properly off. OFF, off.

 

 

When in doubt, automate

 

We all do it. Wander from room to room, leaving lights on and the heating running in spaces that are unoccupied for extended periods of time. It doesn’t have to be that way – and automation is your friend here.

 

There are motion-sensitive devices on the market which will turn the lights on when a room is occupied, and off when it isn’t. Easy-to-use timers can be set to turn the heating on and off in particular rooms. The key, as far as possible, is to automate these processes. Excel Electrical will be happy to advise you on what’s available, carry out your installation, and instruct you on how to get the best from your new money-saving gadgetry.

 

 

Batch-cook – and keep the freezer full

 

Whether you’re a reluctant chef or an overlooked culinary maestro, there are savings to be made from cooking in bulk. First, you’re powering up the oven once, not several times. Second, a well-stocked freezer uses less energy.

 

Conversely, when it comes to tonight’s dinner, think ahead. If you’re planning on eating some of that delicious chilli con carne you made a couple of weeks ago, get it out of the freezer in the morning and let it defrost naturally at room temperature – rather than on the hob or in the oven or microwave.

 

These are just some of the things we should all be doing. But how can Excel Electrical help you to reduce your electricity bills even further?

 

 

Energy-efficient lighting

 

Standard incandescent lightbulbs are extremely inefficient. Less than 10% of the electrical energy they use is converted to light, while the remaining 90% becomes heat.

 

Halogen lightbulbs look similar, but the filament is encased in a pocket of halogen gas. These bulbs burn brighter, use less electricity, and last up to twice as long as a standard bulb.

 

LED bulbs have been around for some time, but only recently have improvements in efficiency, cost and output made them viable for widespread – including domestic – use.

 

These environmentally-friendly bulbs can work for up to 50,000 hours (within the specified temperature range) and use around ten watts of power to produce 60 (incandescent) watts-worth of light. This provides efficiency gains of up to 80%.

 

Excel Electrical will work with you to design, supply, and install a low-voltage lighting system tailored to the needs of your home.

 

 

Reducing the voltage

 

Typically, the voltage coming into your home is 245v – but it doesn’t need to be.

 

A voltage regulator linked to the fuse box will reduce the voltage and maintain it at a constant 220v. In terms of the performance of your various appliances, you won’t notice the difference – until you see your electricity bill! Typically, whole-house savings are around 10%.

 

And it’s likely to help your appliances last longer, too.

 

Any add-on device installed alongside your fuse box must be installed by a qualified electrician. At Excel Electrical, all our engineers are experienced, qualified and certified to install voltage regulators, with the minimum of disruption and at an affordable price. There are numerous regulators available, and our electricians can offer advice on the best choice for you, your home, and your budget.

 

 

Heat recovery units

 

If you live in a modern house, your home may well have many of the devices and gadgets you need to reduce your energy consumption while living comfortably. But your new-build has one invisible weakness: modern, well insulated, centrally heated homes suffer air pollution levels up to ten times higher than outside.

 

Heat recovery systems are designed to change the air within a property, continually replacing stale, damp air with fresh, warmed, clean, and filtered air.

 

A typical heat recovery ventilation unit recovers 60-70% of the heat normally lost through conventional trickle vents, extractor fans, and other breakout points in the building structure. The unit takes out the stale air, removing the warmth from it as it does so, and uses that heat to warm the fresh air as it comes in.

 

Heat recovery units are not for the faint-hearted – good ones are not cheap, and there will inevitably be some disturbance and inconvenience during the installation process. Excel Electrical will advise on what will suit you, and your pocket, best. Our experienced, qualified engineers will keep the disruption to a minimum, and over time the system will pay for itself many times over.

 

 

Contact us

 

For more information and a quotation on any of these technology options, all of which will help bring down your energy bills, give us a call on 01508 488007.

 

Excel Electrical: the power’s in your hands.

 

 

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