Most families would like to spend the last days of summer outside enjoying the sunshine before autumn officially arrives later this month. But, if the Great British weather is anything to go by, they’re more likely to end up indoors keeping themselves entertained!

Here, Newcastle-based Smart Energy Coach, Tony Sansom, from British Gas, provides his energy-saving tips to help families make the most of the final days of summer, come rain or shine.  

DIY

“Thinking of doing a spot of DIY? Making your home more energy efficient is easier than you think, with lots of small changes you can make. For example, swapping your lightbulbs to energy saving bulbs will help you use less energy, and they last longer, too.                                        

“Now is also a good time to do the jobs you’ve been putting off around the home, before the cold weather closes in. Clearing your gutters of sticks and leaves ensures they can take water away from your home effectively, which prevents damp. It’s also a good time to think about your loft insulation. Having a well-insulated house keeps your home cooler in hot weather as well as warmer in winter.”

Cooking

 “If you’re planning on cooking some big family meals, use the kettle to boil water for your pans as it uses less energy than heating it up on the hob. If you’re using the oven, you can also turn it off a couple of minutes before your food has finished cooking – ovens stay warm for a long time so the food will continue to cook for a few minutes 

“Another good tip for saving energy in the kitchen is not putting hot leftover food in the fridge. This wastes energy as your fridge has to work extra hard, so let food cool naturally first.

Entertaining the kids

“Now the kids are back at school it’s important that they don’t just sit on their games consoles or in front of the TV when they’re at home. Save power by dusting off that old board game that’s been sat in the back of your cupboard. It gets the whole family together and uses no energy. Win, win! 

“If your family is like mine, there are always lots of TVs, computers and tablets on in different rooms of the house. Agree on a programme you can all watch together – and give the other gadgets a rest!

Household jobs

“Drying your laundry outside is a great way to save energy while the sun is still shining. But you can also reduce your energy use when washing your clothes.

“Always try and do full loads rather than only half filling the machine, and using a cool or eco-function will also help to reduce energy. 

“Defrosting your freezer is another good job to do while it’s still warm. It stops ice building up so it runs more efficiently. Also, try and position your fridge and freezer so they aren’t next to your (hot!) oven.

 Smart meters

“Having a smart meter installed can help you keep your energy in check. They automatically send readings to your energy supplier which means you don’t have to.

“Smart meters also come with a smart energy monitor that shows you how much energy is being used, in pounds and pence, in near real-time, helping to put you in control of your energy.”

Join the millions of people already enjoying the benefits of smart meters. To find out more visit: www.britishgas.co.uk/smart

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