By James Lawson, Co-op Property

Last month our Co-op Power team gave you some handy tips on how you can save energy at home. You’ll have seen in the media how household energy bills are rising and energy bills are rising for our business too. If we want to reduce our energy bills at home and at Co-op, we have to reduce how much we use.

Why are energy bills rising?

A perfect storm of factors over the past six months has meant rising wholesale energy prices are being passed onto consumers.

The conflict in Ukraine is causing less gas flow into Europe and extreme weather conditions have shut down oil and gas plants reducing energy supplies. As we return to some degree of normality after COVID-19, a surge in energy demand has raised prices with the world seeing a supply and demand crisis causing pricing volatility.

What can I do to reduce our energy bills?

Here are five simple ideas for how to reduce energy bills at home and at work. Each small one adds up and by developing these tips into habits we can both save on our bills as well as do right by our planet.

At home you can:

  1. Fully load your washing machine and dishwasher – a full load uses less energy than two half loads and try and avoid using the tumble drier
  2. If you have a hot water tank, set the cylinder thermostat to 60 degrees Celsius
  3. Whilst it’s obvious, get into the habit of turning lights off in rooms you’re not using
  4. Only boil a kettle with the amount of water you need (this can be used at work too!)
  5. Close curtains and blinds when it gets starts to get dark to stop heat escaping through your windows

You should also take a gas and electricity meter reading on 31 March, regardless of what type of meter you have, and submit the reading to your energy provider. This’ll make sure you’re being charged the correct rates.

At work you can:

  1. Turn off any non-automatic lights and heaters when there aren’t any colleagues in the room
  2. Turn down or turn off any non-automatic heaters and radiators if a room is too hot instead of opening the windows and don’t bring in and/or use external heaters (these can cause electrical faults and even fires too). As the weather warms up, keep any air conditioning set to 21 degrees and in auto mode
  3. If you work in shops or depots, make sure cold-room and freezer room doors are only open when necessary and then closed as soon as possible. In shops leave energy curtains down (you can raise a work order if broken or missing)
  4. Colleagues in shops should unpin fridge doors as soon as merchandising is complete and pull down night blinds for fridges at night
  5. Make sure you’re on top of cleaning and no products, paperwork or debris are restricting any airflow around fridges, heaters or plant equipment

If you’ve got any other ideas on how we can save energy at home and at work, please email us at energyideas@coop.co.uk.

Let’s co-operate for a fairer world!