With bills on the increase and the weather beginning to turn, we’ve taken a look at 10 easy and inexpensive steps you can take at home to help reduce your energy bill
With energy bills projected to rise by as much 30% by next April (according to new research by the Financial Times), the prospect of heating your home this winter is a daunting one for some. And in the face of energy uncertainty and ever-increasing bills, switching energy providers or replacing your boiler might seem the only options for realistically impacting the price of your energy bill, but this is not the case.
By following a few simple tips, significant savings can be found on your gas and electric and water bills without spending a penny. Read on for our simple and achievable tips and tricks that should help to tangibly reduce your gas and electric expenditure this winter. Find out more about saving money on your energy bill through the Energy Saving Trust here.
Don’t leave appliances on standby
Perhaps the most obvious tip on this list, but no less worth mentioning, leaving appliances on standby can be a massive drain on household energy. Lots of wasted energy in the home comes from plugged-in devices that aren’t being used, even unused phone chargers plugged in at the wall contribute to your energy bill. Being mindful of turning off devices and appliances you aren’t using can help save you up to £30 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Draught proof your windows and doors
Home heat-loss is one of the single largest reasons for high heating bills, so reducing this is key to managing costs at home. And while insulation and glazing are the most effective ways of reducing heat loss, it’s much less costly to draught exclude your property. This means using heavy curtains and draught excluders around windows, doors and chimneys, a cheap and fast way to drastically reduce heat loss in the colder months.
Install a smart meter
Understanding where your energy expenditure is going is half the battle when it comes to reducing your bills, so installing a smart meter is essential. By monitoring where you are using the most energy you can more easily take steps to curtail this usage. Even better, most energy providers will now offer these free of charge.
Be mindful of water usage
There are lots of ways being mindful of the water we use around the home can be helpful when it comes to reducing bills. Whether it’s only boiling the water in the kettle you actually need, re-using grey water for plants, taking shorter showers or simply turning off the tap while brushing your teeth. Small changes can go a long way to lowering your utility bill. Click here for a full Boundless guide to saving water around the home.
Use your oven wisely
Ovens are inherently energy hungry and consequently there are lots of ways they can be used carefully to ensure you’re getting the most out of them while keeping cost low. Firstly, use your microwave as much as possible, it’s a much more energy efficient appliance when it comes to heating food and therefore much less electricity is wasted when cooking. When you do require your oven however try to use ceramic dishes where possible, these retain heat better than traditional metal trays making for a more energy efficient option.
Leave the oven door open
When you’ve finished using the oven on to cook, (if it’s safe to do so in your household) leave the door open, the heat from your oven which would otherwise be wasted will help to warm up your kitchen in the coldest months of the year without you having to touch the thermostat.
Don’t waste energy on your hob
There are also a few things you can do to ensure you’re always using your hob as efficiently as possible. For starters, using the right size pan is essential to cooking on the hob efficiently; using big pans on the large rings and small pans on the smaller rings is a good rule of thumb to ensure you aren’t heating the room instead of your cooking. It’s also useful to keep hob rings clean to make sure heat isn’t lost through being absorbed by any grime left behind on them.
Use your washing machine at a low temperature
Useful for two reasons, washing clothes at a lower temperature in modern washing machines is a win-win. Surprisingly 90% of a washing machine’s energy use is spent on heating the water (according to the energy saving trust) so not only are you protecting your clothes from shrinking by washing at thirty, but you’re protecting your pockets too. Most detergents are now designed to be used at lower temperatures too, so there’s no excuse for boiling your laundry anymore!
Use energy-saving lightbulbs
Gone are the days of squinting by the feeble light of an energy-saving bulb, most energy-saving lightbulbs today are as bright, if not brighter than their incandescent counterparts, plus they tend to last much longer. It’s also always good practice to ensure lights are off when not in use and, where possible, to install dimmer switches, which help to keep bills down too.
Wear a jumper
The oldest trick in the book, but always good advice. When the weather gets colder reach for a fleece or jumper before reaching for the thermostat, if you can avoid turning up the temperature by just one degree this winter you could be saving yourself as much as £80 annually, enough to buy a very warm jumper in time for winter next year!
Do more with Boundless
As a member of Boundless, you can make year-round savings on everything from home insurance to holidays, food to fashion. To find out how to join, visit our dedicated membership page.