Save energy and keep warm in your home

With energy prices increasing, many of us are looking for ways to reduce our expenses. This guidance includes advice on how to reduce your energy use, how to stay warm and highlights grants to make your home energy efficient.

The way you use energy in your home can have a significant impact on your bills. There are lots of ways we can all save money, from simple behaviour changes or investing in home “retrofit” measures.

Energy use in homes makes up 40% of carbon emissions in Lambeth. So, saving money can also help our planet.

Simple, low-cost tips

Electrical appliances

Avoid leaving electrical items on standby or charging laptops and mobile phones after they reach 100% to save electricity.


Double-glazed windows keep more heat in the home than single-paned windows. To improve single-paned windows cheaply you can:

  • Make a second layer using cling-film
  • Buy low-cost secondary glazing made from Perspex and attach it to your window with magnetic strips. To find out more, internet search: secondary glazing Perspex
  • Open curtains during the day to allow light and warmth into the home and close curtains when the sun goes down to keep the warmth in.


  • Replace traditional light bulbs with LED bulbs.
  • Use appropriate lighting when necessary: e.g. low lighting to watch television, bright focused light for reading and studying.


  • Turning down your thermostat to 21°C could reduce your heating bills by up to 10% and save more than £50 a year. Though this can save you money, you should still make sure that elderly people and the young stay warm.
  • Adjust the flow temperature of your combi boiler to between 55 and 60 degrees, saving the average household around £112 per year. Instructions on how to do this:
  • Prevent drafts using curtains, rugs and draft-excluders and keep internal doors closed. You can also fit draught-proofing strips around door frames and windows. Make sure that any open flues, fires, kitchens, and bathrooms are well ventilated Keep internal doors closed. See Transition Brixton’s guide to “draft busting”.
  • Make sure radiators are working efficiently by dusting the insides, regularly bleeding them and moving furniture away to ensure heat can circulate
  • For radiators on outside walls, put radiator panels or aluminium foil behind them to reduce the amount of heat escaping. Programme your boiler and heating to come on only when you need it.  
  • Stay active - exercise will help keep you healthy and warm.

Smart meters

Use smart meters to help you manage your energy usage by tracking and changing your energy consumption in the home. Suppliers are installing smart meters as part of a government programme – you can request one for free.


  • Take showers rather than baths and fit your shower with a water efficient showerhead. See Which?’s guide.
  • Set your hot water tank to 60°C to prevent water from being overheated. 
  • Wash your clothes at 30°C, with a full load each time.
  • Insulate your hot water pipes and your hot water tank with an insulating jacket to stop heat escaping.


  • Defrosting frozen food overnight in the fridge reduces the time needed to cook it.
  • Save water by washing dishes in a plastic bowl rather than running the tap.
  • Save time and money by using a lid and right-sized pan when cooking food on the stove.
  • Only fill the kettle with the water you need.

Switching energy Supplier

Usually when energy bills go up, the best advice is to shop around for a better deal. Unfortunately, right now, it is best to do nothing as switching your energy supplier could further increase your bills. But keep an eye out as prices change.

Another important thing to be aware of is that some energy firms may try to promote "fixed deals" and say it will save you money in the long run but for most people, this isn't currently the case. The best thing to do now is absolutely nothing, as the price cap protects you. Read more from Money Saving Expert.