Energy Saving Advice
There are lots of ways to make your home more energy efficient and comfortable. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) are the leading organisation in Ireland on sustainable energy thinking, research, understanding, and analysis. They provide a range of useful information on how to save energy and reduce your bills.
We’ve taken some of the key information that SEAI have for energy customers to inform you on how to make simple changes that will help you reduce the amount of energy you use.
The SEAI also provide energy grants for homeowners that want a more comfortable home and lower energy bills. There’s more information on Home Energy Grants below.
SEAI Energy Saving Tips
Below are some of the SEAI’s tips on how to reduce your energy consumption and lower your energy bills.
Turn the thermostat for your living areas down to 20°C. The temperature in hallways and bedrooms should be cooler, ideally between 15-18°C.
Use the radiator valve to turn the temperature down or off in rooms that you do not use a lot.
Set your hot water thermostat to between 60-65°C, to make sure that you do not overheat your water.
Most of the energy used by a dishwasher and washing machine is for water heating. Run them on a lower temperature setting and save on your energy costs. Wash clothes at 30°C if they aren’t particularly dirty.
Keep your fridge's temperature at between 2–3°C for the best performance. This keeps your food safe to eat and avoids freezing (and ruining) your fruit and veg. The freezer should be set to -15°C.
Set the times that your heating comes on and off so that it fits with your daily routine.
Smart heating controls
Many homeowners are investing in smarter heating controls. These are often offered by their energy supplier. They control both time and temperature and are easily programmable to your daily and weekly routines all from your smartphone.
An immersion timer can be really useful for ensuring you have hot water only when you need it. Then keep that hot water warm with insulation or a lagging jacket on the immersion.
Turn the heating off when you leave the house or if you go away. Remember, your radiators will continue to heat your home for some time after the heating has been turned off.
Switch off all your appliances at night and when you are not home. You should turn off your computer whenever you are not going to use it for more than an hour.
Use a power strip which means that at night or when you leave the house, you can easily unplug your devices at once.
Turn off lights when you are leaving a room or when you do not need them.
When your food is nearly cooked, turn off the rings/oven and use the built up heat to finish cooking your food.
Hold off switching on lights in the evening until absolutely necessary.
Position your furniture so you make the most of natural light.
Replace failed light bulbs with energy efficient options, in particular LED lights. Select the lowest wattage bulb needed to light the room/area and consider the size of the space and how much natural light the space gets.
Washing machine and dishwasher
Try to use the washing machine and dishwasher at times when there is lower energy demand and avoid turning it on between 7-9 in the morning and 5-7 at night. This may not save you money but will help avoid excessive CO2 emissions from power stations.
Tumble dryers are big energy guzzlers so dry clothes on a clothes horse or washing line.
Fridge / Freezer
Don’t leave the fridge door open for too long while getting food. For every 10–20 seconds the door is open it takes 45 minutes for the fridge to cool down to its original temperature.
Don’t put warm or hot food straight into the fridge or freezer. The fridge or freezer has to work extra hard and draw more energy to cool it down. Thawing food in the fridge is better for keeping your food safe to eat and keeps the fridge cool.
Listen to your mother
Close doors between rooms that are heated and unheated to keep the heat in.
Check windows, keyholes and doors for draughts of cold air and plug them. Unused fireplace? A chimney balloon will keep the draughts out and the heat in.
Close curtains to keep heat in, but open them in the morning to let the heat of the sun in.
A shower typically uses 20% of the energy compared to a full bath, so keep the bath as a treat.
Don’t leave the hot tap running - you are pouring energy and money down the drain.
See our Temperature tips for reducing your appliance and water heater temperatures.
Keep your oven door shut and use the space well. Batch cooking saves you time and energy, especially if you have a busy lifestyle.
Don’t let the heat escape by covering your pots and pans with a lid. The lid keeps the heat in and reduces condensation in the kitchen. Use the right sized hob for your pan - the closer the match, the less energy you use.
Don't boil full kettles for one cup of tea, but do make sure you have enough water to cover the element.
These devices tell you how much energy you are using in real time. If you switch on the shower or the kettle, you can see the numbers jump. Monitors are great for getting a handle on where you use the most energy. You can make decisions on your energy use based on real data.
If you want to learn more about the sustainable solutions provided by SEAI, you should visit the Energy Saving Tips page on their website.
Home Energy Grants
If you like what you are able to achieve with SEAI’s energy saving tips, then you might want to find out more about the home energy grants that are available from SEAI as they will help you save more!
SEAI have home energy grants available for homeowners and landlords that want to upgrade their home. There are also grants available to funds energy efficiency improvements to the homes of vulnerable people in, or at risk of, energy poverty. To find out more about the different grants available from SEAI, you can visit the Home Energy Grants page of their website.
The contact details for the SEAI head office are below, but you can also visit the Contact Us page on their website for more contact details, including the details of the different SEAI offices around the country.
Telephone: (01) 808 2100 / Lo-call 1850 376 666
Writing: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place,
Dublin 2, Co. Dublin, D02 T228.