The cost of living shows no sign of decreasing anytime soon. For many households, a large percentage of regular, monthly outgoings are around meeting the cost of utility bills to ensure an ongoing supply of electricity and gas. Ofcom reports that the average household spends around £1,254 on heating and power consumption every year. The good news is, there are many ways to help lower your energy bills and save money while still accessing enough power to meet your domestic and commercial needs without reaching deeper into your pockets. Here are ten tips for energy savings and ways to save money and reduce your electricity bills.
Shop around for the best deal
Energy price comparison websites have made it easier than ever to look at multiple energy suppliers to compare energy prices, services and deals. Don’t settle for your existing supplier’s charges without seeing what else is out there – you can often find extremely good deals as a new customer switching suppliers. Websites such as Pure Energy Solutions can help you track down the best suppliers and most lucrative deals on the market for your individual domestic or business electricity needs. Use the information you find to switch suppliers or networks, or to start a conversation with your existing provider to see what reductions might be possible.
Think ‘thermostat’ to save money
A smart thermostat can enable you to only heat certain rooms or parts of your house, stopping unused areas being heated or powered for no reason. The smart technology learns your energy usage patterns over time and adapts accordingly. You can control them with your phone so that you can turn heaters or lights on or off wherever you are. Even if you do not have a smart thermostat, take time to get to know how your model works and how to programme it to avoid periods of wasted heat or light, such as when you are asleep or away from home for longer periods of time. Turn it down by one or two degrees to help save money on your electricity bills and lower your energy use.
In the same spirit as the first tip, planning how and when you are going to use your electrical appliances can help you save money. Only adding enough water to your kettle for your immediate needs, for example, will stop you heating too much water that will only cool down again without being used. Running enough bath water for your needs will help keep your heating costs down – more so if you can arrange to double up and share the water with someone else. Switch electric fires and heaters off when you are going out or are way on holiday and stop leaving appliances on stand-by overnight – these are also good habits to get into for safety reasons.
Invest in solar power
While the initial financial outlay may often be substantial when it comes to having solar panels installed, evidence shows that the majority of households recoup these costs over time and go on to enjoy lower electricity bills and a more economical and sustainable green energy method of electricity production. Excess energy generated can be stored and used during periods where the panels are less effective, or unable to operate, such as overnight or on especially cloudy or dull days.
Check your electric appliances
It may not be cost-effective to switch all of your electrical appliances at once, especially those with plenty of working life left in them, but whenever it is time to upgrade to a newer model or to replace a broken item, make sure to check the energy efficiency information closely to see how much energy efficiency they generate and to ensure you have the most cost-effective model. Appliances listed as A+++, for example, will save more money and use less kwh of energy than others with an A-, B or even lower ratings. Switch to energy saving lightbulbs too for even greater energy savings and efficiency around the home.
It is surprising how much heat is lost through poorly-insulated areas of your home, such as the roof, garage, doors and windows. Take time now to inspect these areas and plan how to add insulation as required. Grants and financial assistance schemes are often available for lower-income consumers and there are many different kinds of insulation to choose from, from fibreglass and foam to wool and loose-fill. Don’t forget to insulate any external pipes to avoid them bursting and causing an unexpected repair bill when the temperatures outside drop below freezing.
Get rid of those draughts
Talking of windows and doors, these are often tricky areas where draughts can get into your home, lowering the efficacy of your heating systems and causing you to feel the cold more readily. Do a thorough inspection of your home to find these areas and take steps to plug the gaps, adding foam, repairing any cracks and placing draught excluders down. Do this before reaching for the thermostat controls and see how to save electricity at home and cut down your energy bills simply and instantly.
Wrap up warm
It goes without saying, really, but another way to save money on your energy costs is to simply put on another layer of clothing if you feel cold. Add heavier bedding to your bed during colder periods and keep a blanket or throw in the living room to place over yourself if you start to feel chilly while watching TV. This is especially important if you are past retirement age and less able to conserve body heat without adding an extra layer. Always wear socks and/or slippers in the house to stop the heat leaving your body through your bare feet and wrap yourself up in a fluffy dressing gown when you first get out of the shower or bath to help keep yourself warm.
Pull the curtains
Finally, always keep your curtains or blinds shut at night when the temperature drops to keep the heat inside the house and to stop any of it escaping through any gaps in the window frames. You might like to install a curtain rail and thick curtain that reaches right down to the ground over your front and back doors too, to help keep the overnight draughts at bay.