With energy bills going up and up, there’s never been a better time to look at ways to save you money, and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.
A typical household can reduce its annual heating bill by a quarter by insulating, improving the heating system and being energy efficient.
Follow the simple steps below to start saving money today:
1) Turn your thermostat down!
Reducing your temperature by just 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10% which could mean saving around £60 per year. Setting your heating and hot water to come on only when required rather than all the time could save even more.
Consider putting on a sweater before turning up your heating.
Is your water too hot?
Your hot water thermostat should be set at 60°C/140°F, any higher and you could be wasting energy and throwing money down the plug hole
You can reduce your heating bills by up to a quarter by replacing an old G-rated boiler with an A-rated condensing boiler and a full set of heating controls.
Fitting draught excluders to doors, windows and letterboxes can be easy and cheap to do and make your home more cosy and comfortable. Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows.
Energy saving light bulbs use between a fifth and a quarter of the electricity of ordinary bulbs to generate the same amount of light so where you’d normally use a 60W bulb, you’ll only need a 11-14W equivalent. They also last around 10 times longer so you won’t need to change your bulbs so often!
Switching just one energy-saving light bulb can save you about £3 a year – by swapping all the inefficient bulbs in your home you could save around £55 per year.
Modern lighting such can be just as bright as old high wattage incandescent bulbs but use far less energy. There are energy efficient alternatives to all types of lighting in the home, including halogens spotlights, where LED’s might be suitable.
Don’t forget to turn off the lights when you leave a room.
Try washing your clothes at 30° instead of higher temperatures uses around 40% less electricity.
Whenever possible, fill up the washing machine, tumble dryer: one full load uses less energy than two half loads (this applies to your dishwasher as well).
Use a fast spin cycle to remove as much water and speed up the drying time.
Give your tumble drier a break and enjoy softer, fresher smelling clothes by drying outside.
Hang or fold clothes up straight away after drying them so they will need less ironing.
5) Insulate – Stop the heat getting out
Probably the best way to save money and energy and keep your heating costs down. An un-insulated loft wastes 26% of the heat you produce, whilst un-insulated walls cavity walls waste 33%.
Cavity wall, loft insulation and external and internal insulation treatments on homes with solid walls save energy and CO2 emissions by reducing the amount of energy required to heat a home.
Most homes have some loft insulation but many don’t have the correct levels to keep the heat in – the recommended level is 270mm.
Don’t forget to insulate your hot water cylinder and lag pipes to help prevent heat loss.
6) Don’t leave appliances on standby
Things like laptops and mobile phones that are plugged in use almost as much energy whether charging or not.
7) Kettles and cooking
Using only as much water as you need will save you money every time you have a cuppa.
Using lids speeds up cooking, reduces energy and reduces condensation in your home.
A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough hot water to fill half a bath, so fix leaking taps and make sure they’re fully turned off!
9) Buy efficient appliances
A third of the average electricity bill is used on appliances, electronics and computer equipment. Try and buy the most efficient products you can. Check the EU energy label or buy ‘Energy Saving Trust’ recommended products – they may be a little more expensive, but will save you money every time you use them.
10) Check with your supplier to see you are getting the best deal
– Direct debit can save you 10%
– Social tariffs for those on certain benefits
– Switch to a cheaper supplier – use a price comparison website
– Check you’re on the right tariff – consider economy 7 / 10 to take advantage of cheaper off peak electricity
Save energy around your home
Some simple behavioural changes can add up to significant savings:
In your kitchen
Only boil the amount of water you need when using a kettle.
When cooking use the right size pan for the job and choose the appropriate size hob – don’t forget to use a lid!
Make the most of the space in your oven by cooking larger batches of food then freezing spare portions.
Defrost frozen food overnight in your fridge instead of microwaving it.
In your bedroom
- Match your duvet to the seasons – use a low tog in summer and high tog in winter to avoid having to use the heating unnecessarily.
- Enjoy toasty toes by wearing socks!
- During winter, if you set the heating to switch off just before you go to bed you won’t be using it unnecessarily once you’re tucked up.
- Set your heating to come on just long enough before you wake up for the house to be warm by the time you get out of bed. But you don’t need it to stay switched on all the way up to when you leave the house – the house will take a while to cool down again, so try setting the heating to turn off half an hour before you’re due to go out the door.