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Hints and tips

Fridges and freezers

  • Site your fridge and freezer in a cool (but not very cold) position.
  • Don’t leave the fridge door open and make sure the seals are tight.
  • Keep your fridge temperature setting between 3°C and 5°C – settings lower than this are wasting energy.
  • Don’t overstock your fridge. Make sure it is no more than three quarters full, allowing cool air to circulate more easily.
  • Clean the condenser coils at the back of the fridge – if dust builds up it can waste up to 30% more energy.
  • If buying a new fridge or freezer choose a really energy efficient one – check Sust-it and the European Energy Label – A+++ is the best.

Home entertainment

  • Switch off machines at the mains when not in use, don’t leave them in standby mode.
  • Repair things when they break rather than throwing them away.
  • Check the energy consumption of any new products you are thinking of buying, including how much energy they use on standby, and choose the lowest.
  • Go for a smaller TV screen.
  • Invest in a wind-up radio.


  • Fix dripping taps – one dripping tap could fill a bath in a week!
  • Don’t leave taps running when brushing your teeth or washing your hands.
  • Install a water meter to help you monitor water use – free of charge from your water company.
  • Showers use much less water than a bath – typically 30 litres compared with 110 litres – but power showers can use as much as a bath.
  • Use a bowl if you only have a small amount of washing up.
  • Dishwashers use a lot of energy and water so only use them when they are full and use energy/water saving options if possible.
  • Wait until you have a full load before using the washing machine.
  • Use a cooler temperature when washing clothes – modern detergents are designed to be effective at 30°C or 40°C.
  • When buying a new washing machine or dishwater choose one that is both water-efficient and energy-efficient.
  • Get a water butt to collect rainwater for your garden.

Flooring, furniture and furnishings

  • Consider repairing and restoring items rather than replacing them.
  • Look for second-hand items in charity shops and auctions.
  • Join Freecycle.
  • Consider the environmental impact of new items before buying them.
  • If buying cork tiles make sure they are not PVC coated, or buy unsealed ones and seal them yourselves.
  • Ask suppliers and retailers about the environmental impact of their products and their policies regarding chemical pollutants, the environment and social responsibility generally.

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Energy Efficient Living — News, Hints & Tips