We’ve put together some ideas to help you save energy in your home and reduce your fuel bills, as well as helping the environment. Many of the ideas below don’t cost anything at all or are one-off changes you can make at relatively low cost.

Follow the link for more suggestions on saving money on our Money Advice page, or get the best deal for your gas and electric by using the council’s price comparison energy switch site.

Water saving packs are available free to Portsmouth residents from Portsmouth Water.

Saving energy around the house

In the kitchen

  • boil the kettle with only as much water as you need
  • put lids on pots and pans when cooking – they will boil a lot quicker
  • regularly defrost your freezer, and avoid putting hot food into the freezer
  • to heat small amounts of food, use a microwave rather than your cooker
  • turn your microwave off at the plug until you need it – don’t pay just to run the clock
  • keep your fridge door closed as much as possible to avoid cold air escaping.

Use less water

  • washing clothes at 30ºC uses about 40% less electricity, and modern detergents work just as well
  • run washing machines and dishwashers only on full loads
  • save money by drying clothes outside or on indoor driers rather than use a tumble drier
  • a shower uses half the hot water of a bath
  • fit a shower attachment, such as those offered by Portsmouth Water
  • mend dripping taps – a dripping tap could fill a bath in one day
  • a Portsmouth Water save-a-flush hippo bag in your toilet can save a litre of water each time you flush!

Keeping warm

  • turning your thermostat down by 1 degree could cut your bill by 10% and programme your heating and hot water to come on only when you need it, not all the time
  • set your cylinder thermostat at 60ºC or below
  • close curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows, and to make sure gas boilers and room heaters work efficiently, have them serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. If you rent, your landlord must provide an annual gas appliance check
  • keep your water warm by insulating your hot water pipes, especially between the boiler and hot water cylinder, which should be insulated with a British Standard jacket at least 3 ins (7.5cm) thick
  • put reflective foil behind radiators on outside walls.

Stop draughts

  • fit a brush or PVC seal to front and back doors, and seal windows (but leave some ventilation if you have an open or gas fire or a boiler with a flue
  • use brush seals or spring flaps to draught proof letter boxes, and block keyholes with cover plates
  • fit a heavy curtain over the front door
  • make sure your curtains do not cover your radiators, shorten them or tuck them behind
  • fill gaps under skirting boards with newspaper, beading or sealant and put rugs over bare floor boards.


  • Turn the lights off when you leave a room
  • Do you really need a light on? If there’s enough natural light switch it off, or only light the area of the room you need
  • Use low energy light bulbs – they use a quarter of the energy and last ten times longer.


  • turn off appliances at the plug or power switch could save you £30 a year
  • turn off your mobile phone or laptop charger as soon as it’s charged. Chargers still use energy, even if the appliance is fully charged
  • buy energy efficient goods – read more from Which? – the consumer champion.