Top tips for saving energy over Christmas – room by room

Christmas can be an expensive time of year when it comes to buying presents and stocking up (pun intended!) with festive food and drink – but saving energy could help pay for it.
December is traditionally the most costly month in which to heat your home given the cold weather outside and the long list of visitors too.
However energy provider ENGIE, the largest company to enter the UK domestic energy market for more than 15 years, has issued some top tips to save on fuel bills when the sleigh bells start to ring.
It means Father Christmas can still enjoy a warm welcome on 25th December whatever the weather – and there will be no credit freeze in January to pay for it!
Here are ENGIE’s recommendations:
In the living room
  • Give up on those old Christmas tree lights and install LED ones which use up to 90 per cent less energy. Fibre optic decorations are also more efficient than traditional lights.
  • Install a chimney balloon to prevent wind whistling through your chimney (once Father Christmas has been and gone of course!).
  • Turn all televisions, games consoles and laptops off standby to save money. Don’t keep the television on in the background if nobody is watching.
  • We all need extra seating at Christmas but avoid putting chairs and sofas in front of radiators if you can – they block heat spreading to the rest of the room.
  • Close curtains when darkness falls to keep heat in – and consider lining them to contain more heat.
  • Choose Christmas presents which don’t use electricity – and remember to recycle that wrapping paper!
In the kitchen
  • Keep the lid on pans as they boil, use the right sized hob (no small pans on a big cooker ring) and bake as many things together as possible to reduce energy used.
  • Fill up the fridge – an empty fridge wastes far more energy than a full one because it has to work harder to keep contents cold.
  • Once dinner is over use the warmth of the kitchen / dining room to dry clothes rather than using the tumble dryer.
  • Wash clothes at 30 degrees which can use around 40 per cent less energy than washing at high temperatures, according to the UK’s Energy Saving Trust.
In the hall way
  • Seal the gaps around the front door, letter box, windows, floors and skirting boards. This helps prevent cold draughts getting into the home – and prevents heat escaping. Using simple draught excluders can help too.
  • Bleed all radiators. This will improve heat efficiency especially if you also install a shelf above the radiator to stop heat escaping upwards.
In the bedroom
  • Turn the thermostat down overnight to save on heating costs. Turning down the temperature by just 1 degree in the entire home could save you up to 10 per cent on energy bills.
  • Insulate the attic to help trap heat inside the home and prevent it escaping. This can save up to £225 a year for a detached home according to the Energy Saving Trust.
In the garden
  • Glitzy outdoor light displays can cost more than £100 in electricity over Christmas, says Energy Saving Trust, so don’t go overboard or consider solar-powered lighting.
In the garage
  • With all those extra journeys at Christmas, keep car tyres fully inflated to help save money on fuel.
  • Don’t fill up more than you need to – as even though at a low level, fuel does evaporate.
  • Clear out the boot – never travel with more weight in the car than you need to.
  • Try to accelerate steadily and reduce the need to brake sharply on journeys – not only will this reduce fuel consumption, it’s also a safer way of driving.
* References to energy savings above have been sourced from Energy Saving Trust.
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