With college starting this month, we have some advice on how you can reduce the amount of energy you use every day. Helping you to stay warm, save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

For many students, first year in college means moving out of the family home, taking responsibility for your personal finances, and managing household bills for the first time. We hope the below tips will help you reduce the amount of enery you use and save your money for the stuff that matters more!

Turn the temperature down

Lowering your thermostat by just 1°C could knock as much as 10% off your heating bill. 20°C is an ideal temperature for the living areas in a home. Hallways and bedrooms should be cooler, ideally between 15°C and 18°C. Remember, turning up the thermostat will not heat your home up any quicker!

Use your heating controls

Use the heating timer to control your homes central heating. Everyone’s schedule is different at college so agree what time of the day you’ll all likely be there and turn on your central heating 30 minutes before you need it and turn it off 30 minutes before you don’t need it anymore.

Deal with draughts

Listen to your mother and close doors behind you when you leave a room. Use draft excluders at doors to keep heat in your house.

Use portable heaters 

If you’re the only one home use a space or portable heater instead of the central heating to heat only the room you are in. For free standing heaters, choose ones with thermostat controls and timers for more efficient heating.

Reduce your shower time

Showers are one of the biggest energy users in the home. By reducing your shower time you could save a lot of energy and water.

Make laundry ‘cool’

Most of the energy used by a washing machine is for water heating. Wash clothes at 30°C if they aren’t particularly dirty and only run the washing machine when you have a full load. Tumble dryers are also big energy users so dry clothes on a clothes horse or washing line.

Lighten up

Switch your light bulbs to LED lights. They last significantly longer than traditional light bulbs and use only a small fraction of the energy. Even if you're put off by the higher (slightly) upfront cost, you can simply unscrew them and take them with you when it's time to move.

Don’t fill the kettle

Only boil the amount of water you need but make sure to cover the element. Reducing the amount of extra water boiled by just four cups a day could knock up to €5 off your bill.

Batch cook

The oven is a big energy user, so use it sparingly. Batch cooking larger meals is a great way to save time and energy.

Get your housemates on board

It's probably worth having a conversation with your new housemates to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to saving energy around the house. Don’t wait until an expensive energy bill arrives to have a conversation on saving energy – agree what you can all live with at the start and then you have more time (and money) to enjoy your new-found independence!

More tips and advice