Top Ways to Save EnergyAround the HomeTaking steps to live “greener”, more environmentally-friendly lives is something we can all do. A few simple andstraightforward changes can go a long way towards reducing the amount of energy we use, reducing our carbonfootprints, conserving resources and reducing our utility bills.But with all the talk, not to mention government policy and regulation, surrounding saving energy it can be diﬃcultto know where to begin.The BasicsSome of the most eﬀective ways to save energy around the home arealso the simplest.We all know that turning lights oﬀ when leaving a room and not leavingthe tap running while brushing our teeth should be habits we don’teven have to think about. But do you realise that all those gadgets weown are sapping electricity even when not in use? Leaving chargersplugged in and TVs and computers on standby takes up power, so switchthem oﬀ at the plug when they’re not needed.By now most homeowners use energy-saving bulbs, which do not use asmuch electricity and last much longer than standard bulbs, but goround all your rooms and double-check that this is true in your home.When it comes to the chores, turn the temperature down on thewashing machine and try to use the tumble dryer less often. Pick your detergents andwashing soaps carefully so that you can use less each time.And don’t forget to check that thermostat. Lowering the temperature by one degreewon’t make much diﬀerence to the warmth in your home, but it can make a bigdiﬀerence to your bills over the year.Home ImprovementsThe next step to really ramp-up the energy eﬃciency of your home is tomake some bigger improvements and update the structure of the building.Wall cavity and loft insulation are two of the key things. The initial outlaycan be costly, but over the years you will save that money, and more,through lower heating bills. There are government grants available to helpfund such projects so it might not cost as much as you think.It is also worth considering more hi-tech options such as solar panels onyour roof, rainwater harvesting andunderﬂoor heating. All these systems can have huge beneﬁts, helping us touse less energy, make the most of renewable sources and save money.One option that is becoming more popular is an electric powered centralheating system. They use highly eﬃcient electric heaters to give accuratetemperature control and help homeowners reduce dependence ontraditional gas-ﬁred heating. Check out the options atwww.electricradiatorsdirect.co.uk.Remember: Turn it oﬀ whennot in use. This applies tolights, taps, gadgets andheating.Did you know: There are grantsand loans available forenergy-eﬃciency projects such asinsulation and solar panels.Contact the Energy Saving Trust fordetails of the ﬁnancial supportthat is available.Energy-Eﬃcient AppliancesMany home appliances now come with energy ratings. You will ﬁndstickers on new washing machines, fridges and freezers that detail howmuch electricity they use. Those with an A rating are the mosteﬃcient, so when the time comes to replace your white goods keep aneye out for this information.