How To Save On Energy Bills In The Home
By making some smart decisions and cutting down on your gas or electric usage in everyday activities, you can start to save energy as you go. There are many ways to reduce energy use in the home and some adjustments are quick fixing ones and others may take some time but saving energy in the home is both beneficial to the environment and to your pocket.
Switch to energy saving LED bulbs
LED bulbs are much more efficient than standard bulbs, can provide a natural looking, cleaner light whilst also lasting longer. LED bulbs use typically 90% less energy than traditional incandescents and although may seem slightly more expensive to purchase (around £2.50) for one bulb, they can pay for themselves within a few months.
A standard bulb will last approx. 1,000 hours – less than 2 years.
An LED bulb will last approx. 25,000 hours – 25 years
Check or switch your energy supplier
If you haven’t switched your energy supplier for some time, there’s every chance that you could save money by switching. Often when taking out a new contract, a customer is tied in to a minimum contract which after that qualifying time, is automatically put onto the standard tariff. By shopping around, you will be able to find the latest offers or deals. Also, many utility companies offer discounts for dual-fuel packages, which is worth looking into.
Turn it off at the switch
May sound simple, but how many sockets are left on permanently in your home? Leaving electronics on standby in the home all day uses up constant electricity. By turning off the appliances and only switching on when needed will reduce energy.
Keep your fridge-freezer full
Did you know that a fuller fridge uses less energy to keep cold than an empty one? The items inside the fridge-freezer will help maintain the temperature. It doesn’t have to be full of food for this to be accomplished, you can store a jug of cold water in there to get the desired effect. Plus, you’ll always have cold water readily available to drink from!
The ideal fridge temperature is 4 or 5 degrees Celsius. Your ideal freezer temperature is minus 15 to minus 18 degrees.
If you need to defrost food from the freezer, leave it in the fridge to defrost. As well as being more hygienic, it will help keep the fridge cool.
If you have a second fridge or freezer, only turn it on when you need it.
Install smart switches
By installing a smart meter, you can receive accurate and up to date information about how much energy you are using, in real-time. This can be controlled from your smartphone or mobile device making it easier to save energy whilst on the go. Smart meter information can include:
- Your consumption: how much gas and electricity you have used in kilowatt hours in the last hour, week, and month.
- Your spending: the amount you’ve spent in pounds is visible and updated every half an hour, every day.
- Your energy goals: some Smart Meters come with budgeting functionality, which lets you set goals for reducing your energy consumption.
Install loft and wall insulation
In an uninsulated home, a quarter of the heat from the home is lost through the roof. Therefore, insulating the loft or roof space is a great way to improve the warmth of your home and help reduce the cost of energy heating the property. The cost of insulating will be returned in future energy bills. If you currently use the loft as living space, you will need to insulate the roof instead of the floors.
The same goes for cavity wall insulation which is used to reduce heat loss through a cavity wall by filling the air space with material that inhibits heat transfer. This immobilises the air within the cavity (air is still the actual insulator), preventing convection, and can substantially reduce space heating costs.
Catch the draughts
Stop heat from escaping through the gaps around your home.
If you’re not using the fireplace, use a pillow or cushion to block the chimney or fit a cap over the chimney pot.
You can use door wedges or cushions to line the doors to stop unnecessary draughts coming through. Or fix brush flaps to the bottom of the doors.
If you’re getting wind whistling from the windows, use draught-strips to line the window frames. You can also attach these to the loft hatch to prevent hot air escaping.
If you have a letterbox that constantly flaps with the wind, you can attach a curtain to the back of the door to stop the cold air coming into the house.
Also remember, that if you save money in the summer, it will help pay for the more energy you require in the winter months. If you think you are paying too much in your energy bills, always contact your provider to see if there is a problem and to check that you are on the correct tariff for your circumstances. Record meter readings every so often too so that you have record of what you are using.
Moving home? Contact your supplier to let them know and to ensure that your move will be a smooth one, ensuring you have energy when you move into your new home.