It’s January and after all the excess of Christmas I am looking for ways I can tighten our belts this coming year. This week is Big Energy Saving Week so with the help of the Energy Saving Trust I have been researching how to save money on your energy. Here are 10 easy ways you can cut your fuel bill this year.
Switch off standby
I am terrible at doing this! But you can save around £30 a year just by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode. Almost all electrical and electronic appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming. This is definitely something I am going to start to do.
Understand your bill
This is a big one! Energy bills can be confusing, but it’s so important to understand which tariff you are on and if another tariff or supplier can offer you a better deal. Check online using the Citizen’s Advice price comparison tool, and you could save up to £300 by switching to a cheaper tariff or supplier. It’s a no brainer!
Get a water efficient shower head
If you’ve got a shower that takes hot water straight from your boiler or hot water tank (rather than an electric shower), fit a water efficient shower head. This will reduce your hot water usage whilst still retaining the sensation of a powerful shower. A water efficient shower head could save a four person household (e.g. a family of four or even a shared student flat) as much as £75 a year on gas for water heating, as well as a further £120 on water bills if they have a water meter. Such an easy switch and what a saving!
Spend less time in the shower
Spending one minute less in the shower each day will save up to £7 off your energy bills each year, per person. With a water meter this could save a further £12 off annual water and sewerage bills. If everyone in a four person family did this it would lead to a total saving of £80 a year.
Switch to LEDs
You can now get LED spotlights that are bright enough to replace halogens, as well as regular energy saving bulbs (‘compact fluorescent lamps’ or CFLs). They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and fittings. If the average household replaced all of their bulbs with LEDs, it would cost about £100 and save about £35 a year on bills.
Turn off lights
Always turn your lights off when you are not using them. If you switch a light off for just a few seconds, you will save more energy than it takes for the light to start up again, regardless of the type of light. This will save you around £14 on your annual energy bills.
Careful in your kitchen
You can save around £37 a year from your energy bill just by using your kitchen appliances more carefully. Here a some examples.
• Use a bowl to wash up rather than a running tap and save £25 a year in energy bills.
• Only fill the kettle with the amount of water that you need and save around £7 a year.
• Cutback your washing machine use by just one cycle per week and save £5 a year on energy.
Take control of your heating
More than half the money spent on fuel bills goes towards providing heating and hot water. Installing a room thermostat, a programmer and thermostatic radiator valves and using these controls efficiently could save you around £75 a year. If you already have a full set of controls, turning down your room thermostat by just one degree can save around £80 a year. Whatever the age of your boiler the right controls will let you:
• Set your heating and hot water to come on and off when you need them
• Heat only the areas of your home that need heating
• Set the temperature for each area of your home
Get savvy with smart controls
Smart heating controls are the latest innovation to help you control your heating and understand your energy use. They allow you to control your heating remotely via a mobile app, meaning that you can manage the temperature of your home from wherever you are, at whatever time of day.
Unless your home is very new, you will lose some heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor, or through the chimney. Professional draught-proofing of windows, doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can cost around £200, but can save around £25 a year on energy bills. DIY draught proofing can be much cheaper. Installing a chimney draught excluder could save around £15 a year as well.
There you have it, lots of ways that you can save money on your energy bill. First thing on my to do list today is to switch energy suppliers.
Will you be trying any of these ways to save money?