Four ways to reduce your household energy use – proven by research

(The Conversation, 10 Oct 2022) A particularly cold September has given us a glimpse of the winter to come. The cold will bite hardest for the 13% of England’s households that are already in fuel poverty. As the energy crisis intensifies, this is expected to rise further.

European leaders have therefore rushed to implement measures to protect households. The UK’s Energy Price Guarantee caps the unit price of electricity and gas at 34p and 10p respectively. While this will ease some concerns over rising energy bills, many households will still be priced out of warming their home in the coming months.

So here are four ways research indicates households can reduce their energy use in time for the winter – and save money in the process.

1. Air dry laundry

Washing and drying clothing is responsible for around 12% of household electricity use in the UK.

Hand washing is frequently suggested as an energy-saving alternative to machine washing.

Yet modern washing machines are highly efficient, typically using 0.5 kilowatt hours for a 9kg wash. This is considerably less than the 0.82 kilowatt hours used on average by hand washing. Even inefficient washing machines tend to use less energy than hand washing as much less hot water is required.

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The Conversation, 10 Oct 2022: Four ways to reduce your household energy use – proven by research