Energy Saving Advice for Your Holiday Home

The world has finally started to realise that global warming and climate change is a real issue, and as a result people are attempting to live more efficiently, and more often than not people reduce their energy bills.

This includes reducing energy consumption, a massive contributor to the crisis. Making small changes in your day-to-day life can make a huge impact. Now, people are having smart meters installed, using energy saving bulbs and are being more conscious of how long their heating is on.

However, this eco-first attitude is easily forgotten when on holiday. The care free living that comes with a holiday seems to transcend to high energy use. Those that stay in a hotel or apartment owned by someone else can plead ignorance or pass the blame onto the owners, however, holiday home owners can do no such thing.

People that own more than one home have a responsibility to make sure both of their properties are as energy efficient as possible, ensuring they are playing their part in saving the planet.

Here are a few tips to help holiday home owners become eco-warriors.

Solar Panels

The number one thing that holiday home owners can do to save energy is by actually generating their own, we are not talking giant hamster wheels or TVs powered by bikes, but instead thinking of a higher power, the sun.

Although the UK doesn’t seem like the optimum place for generating solar energy, due to our intermittent weather, it’s actually the perfect solution for a home that isn’t inhabited all year round. Now, more than 800,000 Brits are using solar panels to reduce their energy bills.

There are two options for solar panels on your holiday home, either fixed or removable. Fixed are obviously a permanent feature. They are mounted to the roof of your holiday cottage, caravan or lodge and charge batteries. You would need a solar regulator though to prevent damage to your batteries through over voltage. Batteries are likely to become fully charged in your absence from the home and therefore this regulator would prevent them from being over charged.

Removable solar panels work on a day-to-day basis. You may set them up during the day to charge the batteries for the evening and following day. This option is still better than running off a generator alone, but on a cloudy day a backup generator would be required to ensure you are not left without power.

Turn Off Appliances

According to USwitch, the UK wastes £227m a year leaving appliances on standby, and the average household could save up to £80 a year just by turning plugs off. If you are a holiday home owner, you can double that.

Imagine leaving your holiday home for the winter with the TV and alarm clock on standby, or the sound system plugged in and switched on. Now imagine you are doing the same every night at your primary home as well – that’s a lot of wasted electricity.

Make it a habit to turn plugs off when you leave the house or stop using an appliance. That phone charger plugged into your bedside table is constantly using electricity while the switch is on. Of the total amount of energy wasted in the UK, phone chargers left on standby are responsible for £28.9m of it. This issue can be easily rectified by taking an extra two minutes before leaving your holiday home to make sure all plugs are turned off.

Energy Efficient Apps

Thanks to special plugs and apps holiday homes can easily become smart homes, controllable by your phone and in some cases, a watch. If you have a terrible memory you may be guilty of leaving the heating on in your holiday cottage or leaving plugs on in your static caravan, both of which waste energy.

There are apps available that sync your heating and electrical points to your phone so you can control them away from your property. For example, you leave your holiday home in a rush to beat the traffic and think you may have left your heating on, by checking the app you can guarantee it’s turned down to a level where it will only come on if the temperature drops below a certain point. Some apps, like Hive, even use your geolocation to remind you to turn your heating off when you are away from the property. According to British Gas, the Hive mobile app can save you £130 a year on heating bills.

Similarly, if you have left any lights on or think you have left your hair straighteners on, you can use an app to switch off these plugs too, saving electricity.

Invest in Cladding

If you are looking for a long-term solution to cut energy consumption, cladding could be the answer. This involves adding an extra layer to the outside of static caravans, usually either vinyl or wood.

Not only does this provide extra insulation to the holiday property, reducing the time and energy needed to heat it, but aesthetically, it transforms the look of a standard static caravan into a luxury lodge.

Vinyl cladding helps to weather proof your holiday home as well, reducing the risk of damage caused by high winds or excessive rainfall.

Line your Windows

A common issue with static caravans is they become cold during the winter months, mainly because there is no double glazing in most models. You may consider investing in energy efficient windows to replace the single PVC panes, however, this can be a costly venture.

A cheaper alternative involves weatherising using a plastic film which is applied to the inside of your windows. This insulating film acts as a second pane, giving the benefits of double glazing without the cost of replacing windows. Doing this not only saves energy from reducing heat loss, it also reduces humidity which can cause condensation, a common problem in static caravans and lodges.

Switch to Eco Appliances

A switch to eco appliances is advice that can be transferred to primary dwellings as well, but making the switch in a holiday home definitely a big advantage.

Kettles use masses of energy, sure, quick boil uses it in a shorter space of time but anyone with a smart meter will tell you the terrifying shade of red that comes with that cuppa. If you are someone who has a quick brew in the morning on holiday before heading out for the day, then an electric kettle may not be essential. Save energy altogether and instead use a stove top kettle.

There are also a lot of appliances that have eco alternatives, such as hair dryers and toasters. These small switches may only save a few pence with every use, but after a while these savings will add up and have an impact on your carbon footprint.

Energy Saving Bulbs

An oldie but a goody, energy saving bulbs are probably the first step many have taken to become more eco conscious. True they take a short time to warm up and emit a light that is bright enough to light a room, but patience is a small price to pay to save the planet.

Most hanging lights in apartments, cottages, static caravans and lodges can be changed to energy saving bulbs so there is no excuse not to make the switch. Not all bulbs will be able to be changed, lights under kitchen cupboards, some bathroom lights and spot lights may not be able to be switched, in these cases just keep these lights on for as little time as possible. Instead of leaving a bathroom light on all night, opt for a nightlight in the hallway, instead of leaving the kitchen lights on in your open plan living area, switch to a couple of cosy lamps when the cooking is done.

Food for Thought

If you are yet to buy a holiday home, like a static caravan, you may want to consider the eco friendliness of the park itself you purchase one in. For example, Away Resorts have introduced electric car charging points in their parks. So if you have thought about switching to electric, this is something you will have to consider.

These are just a few ideas to get you started on your path to being a more responsible and eco-friendly double property owner.

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.