10 Energy Saving Tips for Uni StudentsSeptember 22, 2014
If you are a student living in rented accommodation and your energy bills are not included in the rent, you should consider these energy saving tips to reduce your expenditure, not to mention your carbon footprint.
Take a good look at the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) of the dwelling you might be renting
The landlord must legally provide you with one of these certificates. Although they aren’t fool-proof they do offer a guide to the insulation quality and heating method of the property, and therefore some indication as to the expense of adequately heating it to a comfortable ambient temperature.
Check the lights; are they the energy saving types?
It’s worth switching any old tungsten filament bulbs for energy saving bulbs or the newer LED type. The latter last longer and you can always put the old ones back, and take the bulbs with you when you leave.
Another really simple one is switching off lights when you’re not in the room. Admittedly this isn’t quite such a big deal with energy saving bulbs.
Keep the heating at the lowest bearable levels
You always have to ask yourself, is the heating absolutely necessary? Can you put on more layers of clothing to insulate from the cold?
Also, set the thermostat lower at night as (when you’re not partying) your bed should keep you warm.
Don’t overfill the kettle
Fill the kettle approximately to the amount of cups you require. It’s pretty obvious by the length of time the kettle takes to boil a full load, just how much energy is being used.
Don’t leave appliances on standby or chargers plugged in
Turn computers, monitors, TV’s, DVD players, etc and even microwaves off at the mains when not in use, monitors especially use quite a lot of power.
The same goes for chargers, if they are warm, that means they are using energy.
Don’t throw away food unless it is necessary
Supermarkets operate a strict policy regarding the use-by date on packaging – they need to protect the consumer and themselves from liability. (They also do well out of the policy themselves.) Exercise common sense though, if in doubt, chuck it. Remember, best before date is to do with quality not safety so you can eat items after their prescribed best before date – it just might not taste as good.
Use the hob wisely
Use saucepans with lids when cooking, and match the ring to the size of the saucepan.
The lid means that it takes less energy to heat the contents as it is harder for heat to escape, while the correct ring size means the flames aren’t licking the side of the pan rather than the bottom.
Shower instead of bath
Showering is more efficient than bathing, uses less water and energy, and is probably cleaner too, as the water flows over you rather than swishing around your body; a good all round tip.
Don’t use tumble dryers
Unless it is absolutely necessary, they use a lot of energy to run. Ideally, clothes can be dried outside whenever possible, and the clothes are probably a lot fresher for it. If the weather doesn’t permit outdoor airing, the £10-20 you spend on an indoor clothes drier will easily have paid for itself compared with using a tumble dryer for a few weeks.
Ditch the car
Perhaps not a household energy saving tip per se, but an important one nonetheless.
Is a car absolutely necessary? If you have one, you only get collared into giving your mates a lift; and the offer to buy you a drink if you give them one, isn’t really compensating for the cost and inconvenience of running a car. No university is located in the back of beyond, it is generally far cheaper to use public transport or get a push bike and keep yourself fit too.
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