EXTENDED: You've got another week to add your travel & holiday deals questions for expert MSE Oli as part of the latest Ask An Expert event.

MSE Guide: Energy Saving Tips

edited 2 December 2021 at 5:31PM in Energy
35 replies 9.2K views


  • k_mank_man Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    1,000 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Flash32 said:
    It might sound absurd, but baking your own cakes and bread, cooking a roast dinner, etc., can save a lot of cash.  Why?  In almost every case, cooking your own food is far cheaper than eating out or a takeaway, it's more satisfying and nutritious.  But it doesn't stop there.  The waste heat from your oven or hob will keep your kitchen warm and will filter into the rest of the house.  We tried a little experiment a few days ago with the cold easterly wind blowing.  Having baked a couple of loaves of bread in the late afternoon and cooked an evening meal, all of our radiators were stone cold for the rest of the evening.

    Now, look at the economics.  Each loaf of bread (900g) costs about 90p in ingredients (we use very high-quality flour - you could do it much cheaper) and at 7p/kWh (gas) both loaves cost around 21p (pessimistic) to cook, so a really nice loaf of bread (far better than the supermarket stuff) costs about £1.05 including the yeast, etc.  The roast dinner cost around £4.50 for the meat and about £1.50 for enough veggies for the meal and for the two of us to have the next day as bubble and squeak with the leftover cold meat.  Add around 30p gas cost to cook the meal and rounding up, say £6.50 for four meals - so around £1.60 per meal - AND - we saved on running the heating that evening.

    The numbers don't look so good if the oven is electric, especially after April.
  • Benmyers1795Benmyers1795 Forumite
    1 Post
    First Post
    Energy Saving Trust has some of the best Energy Saving products that are verifired. www.est.org 
  • Mikemoreton36Mikemoreton36 Forumite
    2 Posts
    First Post
    Octopus suggest a combi boiler radiator water temp of 50°. Most of the advice from boiler companies suggest a temp of 70°. The lower the temp, the longer it will take to heat a space so, other than improving the efficiency of the boiler, the saving on gas is marginal. Lower temps means the room temp will take longer to reach the set temp and your boiler will be on longer thus consuming more gas. Remember the old adage"there's no such thing as a free lunch". 
  • suzienixsuzienix Forumite
    2 Posts
    First Post
    Can anyone give me some advice on how to save money when heating with electric only underfloor heating? Most of the tips on here refer to gas central heating, which works in a very different way. Should I heat the floors up during the cheap rate and just ‘top up’ if needed during the day, or should I set it to 18 degrees and leave on constantly? You can’t just turn it on when you need it as it takes hours to feel the benefit when heating the floors from cold. Any ideas how to be as fuel efficient as possible?
  • Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
    8.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    suzienix said:
    Can anyone give me some advice on how to save money when heating with electric only underfloor heating?
    Not being funny, but the best solution might well be to replace it with something better.  It will waste a lot of heat overnight when it's not needed, there's no output control and its thermal mass may not be sufficient to last until late evening using only E7.
    Without knowing all the details (WFH/Retiree or commuter, property type, thermal mass of UFH, insulation etc) it's not really possible to offer much advice.
    Your best method to minimise UFH running costs might be empirical, set the thermostat or control high enough to remain comfortable through the evening, read the meter kWh at the start and end of the E7 cheap rate.  Do this for a week when the weather is relatively stable.
    Then try another week without E7, topping up during the day as necessary, and compare the results, adjusting for peak / cheap kWh prices.  You could alternate each week to minimise any the effect of any weather changes.  There may also be a 'halfway house', e.g. start the E7 charging relatively late so that it's warm until early afternoon, then use day rate from when it gets starts to get chilly and then switch it off an hour or two before bedtime.
    If you own the property, plan to stay a fair time and it's impossible to get gas, oil, LPG, heatpump etc then High Heat Retention Night Storage Heaters (e.g. Dimplex Quantum) might the the least worst solution.  Not cheap to buy and install, but more cost effective in operation and much more controllable.  Also makes the property more saleable, electric UFH will be a red line for many potential buyers.
  • miff_2miff_2 Forumite
    4 Posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    Bluemouse said:
    When you’ve boiled a kettle, put any leftover hot water into a thermos flask so you have something to kickstart the washing up
    Or another cuppa later. Thermos flasks keep water hot for 6 to 8 hours. Did you know you can cook in a food type thermos?
    Ive tried pasta ,rice, porridge and eggs! Might take a little longer but discovered this no energy cooking randomly on the tube. 
  • TitasTitas Forumite
    5 Posts
    Third Anniversary First Post
    Before having a shower, pre apply shampoo also soap yourself  before hand, then turn on the shower go in and be out in under a minute.
  • Lots of new energy saving tips here that you won't find anywhere else.  But this forum won't let me post links with a new account.

  • newsgroupmonkey_newsgroupmonkey_ Forumite
    893 Posts
    500 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    We have a hive system on the boiler.
    You can micromanage your boiler with the free app (never found a reason to pay for the subscription one in the 3 years we've had it).
    But the added benefit is (and it touches on it in the guide) is putting thermostatic valves on each radiator.

    Whilst yes, for most people who go out to work every day, it'll save you a few pounds, for those of us who work from home, this literally saved its own money in the first year! We bought 7 (we have 7 radiators).
    During the winter, we shut every door in the house and literally only heat the room we're in. Yes, it means that the toilet is freezing and the kitchen, but the amount of gas we used halved overnight. We warm the bedroom in the evening, set the lounge to come on at 6pm etc.

    Some good tips here about showers. Also, we only wash up once a day now.

    Our next one is to work out if it's worth our while putting a battery system on our solar panels in the house we're buying. They are not cheap - start at around £3.5k, however, a friend of ours spent over £10k on his and he's not pulled any electric from the grid in over a year - in fairness, he has the largest panels you can buy too. Both he and his wife work from home.

    Originally, it would have taken him around 10 years to claw back the investment, but because of the horrendous electric prices, it'll cover itself in the next 4!
  • GinginneeeGinginneee Forumite
    2 Posts
    Third Anniversary First Post
    Do you have a conservatory? 
    Is it heated?
    1- turn off the heating in it this winter.
    2- install an external door between the room adjacent to the conservatory if there isn’t one already.

    careful about letting the space freeze depending what’s in it. 

Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Energy Price Cap change

Martin Lewis on what it means for you

MSE News

Best £1 you've ever spent?

Share your most impressive bargains

MSE Forum