You can't make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, or so the saying goes… if you haven't got it, then you have to look at alternative options or innovative ways when it comes to saving money. Electricity has seen unprecedented price increases over the last year and it’s not getting any better.

John Lowe of MoneyDoctors.ie looks at best ways to start saving on your electricity costs with 18 no-cost changes in your home that could save you over €400 or more a year, depending on a number of factors including the size of your home.

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1. Turn off unnecessary lights

Two 100-watt incandescent bulbs switched off an extra two hours per day could save you €15 over a year. Better yet, switch to LED.

Save €15

2. Use natural light

A single south-facing window can illuminate 20 to 100 times its area. Turning off one 60-watt bulb for four hours a day is a €9 saving over a year.

Save €9

3. Use task lighting

Turn ceiling lights and use table lamps, track lighting and under-counter lights in work and hobby areas as well as in kitchens.

Save €6

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4. Take shorter showers

Hot water is expensive. If two people in your home cut their shower time by a minute each, you could save €30 over a year.

Save €30

5. Turn water off when shaving, washing hands, brushing teeth

Reduce your hot water usage by 5% to save about €19.

Save €19

6. Fix that leaky tap

Fixing a hot water leak in your tap can save up to €9 per year in energy costs.

Save €9

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7. Unplug unused electronics

Standby power can account for 10% of an average household's annual electricity use. Unplug unused electronics and save €50 a year.

Save €50

8. Ditch the desktop computer

If you're still using that old desktop (PC), recycle it and switch to your laptop. If you use your laptop two hours per day, you'll save €4 over a year.

Save €4

9. Recycle or donate that old TV

Recycle or donate your old TV. Even if you're just using it an hour a day, that 42-inch LCD is costing you six euro a year.

Save €6

10. Manage your thermostat

If you have electric heat, lower your thermostat by one degree to save 10% on your heating bill.

Save €90

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11. Reduce heat in the kitchen

Avoid using the oven in summer – try salads, smoothies or barbecue. You'll reduce the heat in your home and save on your home cooling costs. The opposite for winter!

Save €5

12. Run full wash loads

Cut one load of wash per week, even if you're already using cold water only, and you could save €18 a year on your laundry costs.

Save €18

13. Wash laundry in cold

By switching from hot to cold water for an average of three loads per week, you could save up to €22 per year on your energy bill.

Save €22

14. Hang dry your laundry

If you do eight loads of laundry a week and use your clothesline for 50% of those clothes, you could save €65 a year.

Save €65

15. Dry full loads of laundry

Aim for dryer that's about three-quarters full. It'll mean fewer loads over time and help your dryer work more efficiently.

Save €15

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16. Be efficient with refrigeration

Maintain clean, air-tight refrigerator door seals to keep the cold air in and warm air out.

Save €13

17. Skip the heat-dry setting for the dishwasher

That heat-dry setting is expensive. De-select it and based on one load of dishes a day, save up to €27 for the year.

Save €27

18. Use the microwave, crock pot or toaster oven (air-fry)

A microwave takes 15 minutes to do the same job as 1 hour in an oven. Use a microwave instead of your oven four times a week and save €13/year.

Save €13

Yes, you can – money is better in your back pocket!

For more information click on John Lowe's profile above or on his website.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent or reflect the views.