Saving Household Energy During a Lockdown

Lockdown in Italy - Image as seen in the New York Times taken by Claudio Furlan (this is not our image)
Image from the New York Times by Claudio Furlan shows Italian military during Lockdown in Italy.

By now you have heard about the Coronavirus.

Unfortunately, it is spreading rapidly and will continue to do so for some time. The likelihood of a lockdown is somewhat inevitable, and we all need to prepare ourselves for this outcome. Many utilities and telecommunications companies are waiving late fees to help accommodate consumers struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. You can also do your bit to help conserve energy within your household and here is how.

The Kitchen

  • Keeping consistent fridge and freezer temperatures ensures that you are not using more energy than you need to be. If your fridge has a thermostat set it to 38 ° Fahrenheit however if it works on a dial with numbers, it’s important to check the recommendations for your specific product. Alternatively, you can buy a cheap fridge thermometer and adjust the dial when it reads 38 ° Fahrenheit. Similarly, the freezer temperature should be 0 ° especially if it is a standalone.
  • If you are cooking something from frozen, allow time for the items to defrost – otherwise you will be wasting excess energy defrosting them in your microwave or oven.
  • A simple way to allow heat to seep through your home is to open the oven door once you have finished cooking.
  • You can also save energy by utilising the kettle if you need boiling water rather than heating water from the tap.

The Utility

  • As we approach Spring during this time of darkness and if you are fortunate enough to have a garden, make the most of a washing line on sunnier days. A full load on average costs around £0.44 when you could be having your clothes dried for free!
  • Alternatively dry your washing on a clothes rack which you can leave by the radiator but don’t dry your clothes on them because this makes them less efficient and attracts dust.
  • If you are on lockdown, this will reduce the amount of clothes you need to wear therefore there will be less washing to do. Try to limit yourself to 2-3 outfits per week.

The Rest of your home

There are so many ways you can save energy throughout your home and it’s important that with a full household under lockdown that you try to utilise them.

  • Fortunately, Spring will be upon us soon resulting in lighter and longer days. During the daytime, open your blinds and curtains to let the natural light into your home.
  • Investing in a smart power strip is one way that you can save on energy and money. They detect when a device is on standby mode and subsequently cut off the power to conserve energy.
  • Equally turn off the plugs when they are not in use. Phone chargers use 0.26 watts and laptop chargers around 4.42 kWh when they are plugged in but not in use.
  • With more bodies in the home and a greater number of electrical devices on during the daytime you can afford to turn the thermostat down a few degrees. Turning the thermostat down by just 1 degree can save you up to 3% on your heating bill.
  • Take showers instead of baths however don’t spend more time than you need. Spending one less minute under the shower each day could you save you £10 off your yearly bill.

Recreation

Not only can you save energy by being more resourceful, but you can also reduce the amount of energy you are producing in the first place.

  • Instead of switching on the TV, find a good book to read or maybe reread one of your favourites.
  • Use the time to draft the business that you have been dreaming of…
  • Find happiness in old habits like drawing, painting or writing.
  • Organise your life. This can mean tidying your room to sorting through all your paperwork. Lockdown gives you the opportunity to organise the things in your life that you otherwise might not have the time to.
  • Home workouts are a great way to release some endorphins and get you moving in your confined space. Do some yoga or create a workout circuit routine which is you can complete in your home.

Conclusion

There is certainly a long way to go until the coronavirus pandemic can become more controlled. Let’s appreciate that the planet has some time to heal and that the earth can breathe a little without all the extra pollution that we cause daily. This is a stressful time for us all and we hope that these tips can ease your worry surrounding household bills. Right now, we need to help one another and work together to get through this. Use this time for reflection of your contribution to the life you’re living.

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