It’s fair to say we’re all getting much more conscious of how much energy we use these days. Most of us are proactive in saving here and there, whether it’s something as simple as only filling the kettle up for the right number of cups or turning your computer off when leaving the office rather than popping it on standby.

That same proactive nature is also on display when we head home. With bills always on the rise, tackling the way we think about energy use at home is not only a good thing for the environment, but it also helps your pocket too.

You’ll have thousands of articles out there that list all the same tips on how to save energy (lights off, wash at 30 degrees, get double glazing etc.), but there are smarter ways to save that you may not know about. To help get you in energy saving mode, we’re looking at four unique ways you might not have thought about saving energy at home before; from changing your meters to having a good look at your radiators.

Here are some tips that will hopefully see you saving energy around the home in no time at all.

Tip 1: Get a Smart Meter

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All the rage these days, smart meters are helping homes across the UK save more money than ever on their energy usage. Approaching the meter you have on the wall could currently be a bit of a challenge for even the most tech-savvy of us. You can often find yourself playing about with buttons you can’t make sense of just to get the heating on in the evening.

Luckily, some companies now make smart meters that let you control heat all day long and keep energy usage down. Smart meters keep a tab on your home’s electric and gas meter readings so they can automatically submit meter readings and let you know if your usage is average or high.

Make sure you get a SMETS 2 meter that definitely tells your supplier how much you’re using as some of the first generation smart meters  (SMET 1) can’t do it properly.

Where to get a smart meter?

Before you go shopping around, have a check on your supplier’s site to see if you can get one cheaply, or even for free. There may be some criteria you have to meet to get a free meter, but we’ve seen Scottish Power, SSE, E.on and British Gas all have the option for customers to request one.

Tip 2: Get a Smart power strip

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When everyone goes to bed at night, have they really turned off the TV, laptops, tablets and phones, or are they all still sitting plugged in while on standby?

You might all be asleep but keeping things on will keep the meter going all night long, especially if they have one little light on all the time. And because in spots around the TV in the living room, you might also have a set-top box or console plugged in as well, it’s creating a big waste of electric.

For any home where this is all too familiar, a smart power strip is the way to go. The way they work might look like magic, but it’s very simple. Let’s say you have a TV, printer, speakers and console all plugged into one power strip. They all have a certain level of electric running through while on standby. A smart power strip will notice when the current drops, and if it stays like that, it will cut the power to that device.

The same goes for when you turn the TV back on. If you have speakers and a set-top box hooked up to the TV, the strip will flip them all back on too.

Where to get a smart power strip?

Amazon is the easiest place to find a good deal for one online. We had a look at Argos but couldn’t find any smart strips on their site at the time of writing.

Tip 3: Get a new radiator

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When was the last time you stopped to look and see how your radiators are working? Sure a quick touch, when they’re on, will let you know they’re warm, but are they working efficiently?

Radiators, without a doubt, are where most of your energy will go throughout the year, especially with the turns in temperature we’ve had recently. Older radiators might still do the job of getting a room warm but take notice of how much energy they use up and whether they need to be on for a long time to get going.

If you’ve moved into a house and never even thought of changing the radiators that were installed when you first came, now might be the time to upgrade. Radiators are quite cheap, and new ones are miles more energy efficient with improved piping and thermostatic valves helping reduce the intensity needed.

Where to get a new radiator?

Don’t go to the big retail park stores if you’re after a new radiator. Like most things nowadays, you can head online and bag yourself a bargain with radiators for the entire house. Sites to check out include Trade Radiators, Victorian Plumbing and Bathstore.

By the way, if you did just get new radiators and think they look amazing, you can enter this competition at Trade Radiators. They’re asking folk to send in pictures of their best looking rooms, especially if they’ve just got new radiators, and they could win a tidy £250 by simply taking a quick snap.

Tip 4: Get new light bulbs

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LEDs have been taking over the last few years, and you probably haven’t noticed. You can buy a 4K LED TV because they look the best, new cars have LEDs lights and the small LED on the back of your phone has probably replaced the need for a torch.

But have you ever thought of swapping out your usual bulbs for something new? There are some new styles of bulbs coming out that use new technology to last longer and use less energy.

They include:

  • halogen incandescent bulbs
  • compact fluorescent lights (CFLs)
  • light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs

Many of us who’ve had the bathroom or kitchen done up in recent years will have halogen bulbs as they’re most commonly used in those little spotlights that are held in the ceiling, while CFLs are the tube-shaped bulbs you can pop in a lamp to make a room brighter.

For anyone who wants to get fancy, you could go all out on your bulbs (a phrase rarely said) with something like the Phillips Hue range which can be controlled by your phone or even your smart speaker. You just have to say “Alexa/Siri/Google, lights on” and you’ll never look at a switch the same way again.

Where to get new bulbs?

If you’re interested in smart bulbs for your home, the official Hue site is good but very expensive, while Argos and Currys sell a wide range

Bonus Tip: Check for apps

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On one last note, if you’re the kind of person who likes to keep an eye on how much energy is being used at home, see if your supplier has a mobile app you can install. It’ll help you start seeing trends like how much energy is on the go while no one is at home and help you see what things probably don’t need to be on all day long.

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