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// Hints & Tips

FirstPort reveals its top resident-led energy-saving tips

As more of us look at ways to reduce electricity and gas consumption in our homes, we’ve been checking in with our developments to reveal some resident-led changes being made at our developments.

We’re committed to working with residents to reduce costs where possible, and sometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest impact, not only to bills, but to our environmental impact as well.

All lit up

Ever heard the phase ‘It’s like Blackpool illuminations in here”? Well, that’s what our residents are keen to avoid by switching off lights when a room is empty. In some communal lounges, Development Managers are putting up a friendly note next to a light switch reminding people to consider switching lights off if they are the last to leave. In the same vein, some residents have suggested that the communal corridor heating is turned down, just by one or two degrees.

There are some more permanent solutions being initiated at some of our developments too, such as changing to LED lighting, putting sensors on stairwell and corridors lighting, or changing the main entrance outside night lights to dusk to dawn daylight sensor bulbs. Where this is appropriate for a development, we’re engaging with residents to look at the options before proceeding.

Sharing the load

Where there are communal laundry rooms, some residents are now ‘buddying up’ with neighbours to avoid running a washing machine cycle on only half a load. Residents are also making a conscious effort to switch off any washing machines or tumble dryers once a cycle has been finished and whilst it’s waiting to be emptied.

Some residents are also choosing to wash their clothes at 30 or 20 degrees -did you know this also helps prevent clothes from shrinking?

Off peak vs peak energy use in your home

Some energy companies are reminding customers that it’s worth considering the time of day they use bigger appliances – washing machines, dishwashers etc – because off-peak hours tend to be quieter periods when power demands are at their lowest (for example, between 10pm and 8am). If you do want to use appliances during off peak times, we strongly advise that, for fire safety reasons, you do not leave appliances unsupervised while in use.

According to Compare The Market, you will need to be on an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff to benefit from cheaper hours. A great option for those who use a lot of energy during the night, these will offer you seven or 10 hours of cheaper electricity. It’s worth knowing that daytime rates can be steep on these tariffs, so only switch if you will be using appliances more after hours.

Whether you have an off peak tariff will depend on your energy supplier but according to Compare The Market, this information should be displayed on your electricity bill or meter reading. Look out for two dials – one for peak and one for off-peak. You can also contact your provider if you are unsure if you have an off-peak tariff.

Several energy companies are also encouraging customers to sign up to a new a scheme which will give them money back on their bills to use appliances outside of high demand times. Under the National Grid announced service, people with a smart energy meter can opt-in. Households would receive a text message asking them to only use electricity when there is less demand – off peak. Energy providers will share details of the scheme with applicable customers.