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The best energy saving devices for your home

Making your home energy efficient is an ideal way to help the planet and reduce the size of your heating bills at the same time

Making your home energy efficient is an ideal way to help the planet and reduce the size of your heating bills at the same time. There are a number of devices on the market that will minimise the energy consumed by your household appliances - and even some that will help you generate your own electricity. Below are just a few gadgets that will serve to give your home the environmental stamp of approval.

Solar Technology Freeloader

Converting the sun's rays into a valuable energy source couldn't be easier with this handy gadget. Simply pop the charger on your nearest windowsill and within five hours you have full battery life; ready to power up anything from an iPod to digital camera for 44 hours.

Thermostats

Installing thermostats to regulate temperatures within a home will ensure that you minimise energy wastage. According to the Energy Savings Trust, installing a thermostat in a room that didn't previously have one will shave £70 and 280kg of carbon dioxide off your heating bills on an annual basis. In addition, fitting a thermostat on your hot water tank will generate a yearly savings of £30 and a 130kg carbon dioxide saving.

Solar panels

Solar panels can generate savings and income of around £670 on an annual basis, according to the Energy Savings Trust, if your system is eligible for the Feed-In Tariff scheme. Any electricity that you don't use will be fed back to the national grid.

Energy saving light bulbs
Replacing ordinary bulbs around the home with energy saving ones could save you as much as £55 a year, or £3 a year per bulb. The EU Commission is already working to phase out energy inefficient filament 60 watt bulbs by September 2012

Double-glazing

Replacing all single-glazed windows with double glazing could save up to £165 on annual heating bills, according to the Energy Savings Trust. Double glazing works by leaving an insulating barrier between the two glass sheets to keep the heat in. Look for double glazing that bears the BFRC rating and Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo.

Energy saving appliances

Buying fridges, washing machines and dishwashers that are energy efficient will reduce energy wastage to an absolute minimum. Those that bear the Energy Saving Trust Recommended label are among the top 20% most efficient available.

Energy ratings should be used as a guideline for how energy efficient an appliance is. You should still use the premise that a smaller appliance equals smaller energy usage.

As an example, an A rated 22" LCD TV costs around £5 on an annual basis, in contrast to an A rated 56" TV which would cost £19.  

Automatic radiator bleeder

This works by removing the built-up air in your radiators, to leave only hot water. The result is lower heating bills and more energy efficient central heating.

Enviroplug

It can be easy to leave your phone charging all day, without being aware when the battery is full. Enviroplug will automatically cut off the power supply to your mobile when your phone is fully charged.