A Special Report is content that is edited and produced by the Special Reports unit within The Irish Times Content Studio. It is supported by advertisers who may contribute to the report, but who do not have editorial control.

Top tips for householders and businesses on how they can conserve energy

Bord Gáis Energy, Centrica Business Solutions and SSE Airtricity share their advice

Leaving a computer idle overnight wastes energy and reduces its lifespan. Photograph: iStock

Leaving a computer idle overnight wastes energy and reduces its lifespan. Photograph: iStock


Bord Gáis Energy offers smart home devices via its Hive Active Heating bundles to make it easy for you to do your bit for the environment and your pocket too. Below, it provides five simple ways householders can conserve energy:  

1 Install a thermostat to your heating system to better control energy.

2 Install thermostatic radiator valves to control the temperature of each room.

3 Upgrade your old boiler to a new highly-efficient boiler or heat pump.

4 Ensure your home is well insulated with adequate loft or cavity wall insulation.

5 Upgrade all lighting to LED bulbs.

Centrica Business Solutions offers energy management solutions that help businesses to remain in control of their energy, turning their energy footprint into a source of competitive advantage. Below, it gives five simple tips on how businesses can conserve energy:

1 Invest in more energy-efficient equipment such as printers, appliances, and boilers to substantially reduce energy use.

2 Ensure your employees are following mindful energy conservation practices such as turning off lights and office equipment at night.

3 Using more energy-efficient lighting such as LED and fluorescent lights.

4 Leaving a computer idle overnight wastes energy and reduces its lifespan.

5 An ageing cooling system is likely to draw a significant amount of energy during the summer months. By installing a high-efficiency unit in the autumn or winter, you can set up savings for the long term and cut down on your cooling costs.

Top tips for your home from SSE Airtricity

Turning your heating thermostat down by 1 degrees can save you 10 per cent on your heating energy use. Room thermostats should be set between 18 degrees and 21 degrees for best comfort levels.

Doing the laundry can also be an easy area to save energy. Run your washing machine on a cooler cycle and only with full loads to ensure fewer washes overall to reduce water and energy use. If you have to use a tumble dryer in the winter, fast spin your clothes in the washing machine first. When it comes to ironing, get organised. Plan your ironing so you do the low-temperature clothes first and finish with the high-temperature clothes.

Top tips for your business

Zombie appliances can be a real drain. The little standby light is your energy enemy. Turn off PCs, monitors and communal equipment at the end of the day. If you have 10 computers on standby every evening, weekend and through holidays it all adds up. Make sure to fully switch off appliances.

Avoid using supplementary electric heaters. These are one of the most expensive heat sources to run. Your office will heat up more efficiently if heaters and radiators are kept clear so, do not cover them or place furniture in front of them.

Equally, avoid unnecessary air con being used in areas that are not occupied. Empty communal areas and meeting rooms can be a constant source of energy waste – consider installing timers and occupancy sensors to avoid further waste.