- 10 Easy Ways to Cut Your Energy Bills
10 Easy Ways to Cut Your Energy Bills
Making some simple, small changes around your home could make a world of difference to the size of your wallet. But it can be a little confusing on how to begin. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of 10 easy ways to cut your energy bills.
Doing your laundry improperly can be a source of huge energy waste. Firstly, try wash your clothes at a lower temperature. By setting the washing machine to run at 30 degrees, instead of higher temperatures, around 40% less energy will be used – saving you around £50 per year. But, make sure you have a laundry detergent which works at lower temperatures.
When washing your clothes, remember to only put on full loads. By running the washing machine several times in a row on smaller loads, you are needlessly increasing your energy consumption. This also applies to the dishwasher – always ensure it is full before switching it on
Additionally, if possible, air dry your clothes. Do not use the tumble dryer unless absolutely necessary, and remember to fill it as much as possible
Avoid standby mode
Something we are all guilty of; leaving our devices on standby when not using them. The Energy Savings Trust states that up to £80 a year is wasted in the average home due to appliances left on standby. The most common electronic devices left on are radios/stereos, TVs and games consoles, desktop computers, and mobile phones. Remember, on average, a mobile phone only takes two hours to charge. But many people still leave them to charge overnight, wasting electricity in the process.
Turn off your lights
An easy introduction to making your home more energy efficient is to switch off unnecessary lights. Do not leave lights on in empty rooms and close doors to save heat.
Change your lights
Transition to energy-efficient light bulbs such as Halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. These offer longer lasting light and are much more energy-efficient that older incandescent bulbs. The average home uses around 40 lightbulbs, think of the potential energy savings if all these bulbs were energy efficient.
Or, for a small fee, you can replace your home’s traditional light switches with dimmers switches. This way, you will be able to light a room as much as you need – tailoring the amount of electricity you are using, to what you need. If this is too costly a purchase, try to use free, natural light where possible - sit by the window rather than using expensive, artificial light.
Defrosting your fridge and freezer
Regularly defrosting your fridge and freezer helps them run more efficiently; saving you money. One useful tip to use when defrosting your freezer is to take the frozen items and place them onto the shelves of your fridge. This ensures the food safely defrosts whilst reducing the temperature of the fridge’s environment, reducing the work of the fridge’s compressor, therefore reducing your energy consumption once more.
Also, if possible, pack your fridge and freezer full. The more empty space, the longer it takes for the fridge and freezer to remain cool, upping your energy consumption. If you have a lot of empty space in your freezer and nothing to fill it, fill it with bottles of tap water.
When washing yourself, make sure you shower rather than have a bath. Secondly, don’t spend too long in the shower. An 8-minute shower uses 136 litres of water, and costs around 63p. Therefore, one shower per day for a year costs £230. That’s an awful lot of money straight down the plug hole.
We suggest using a less powerful setting on your shower, i.e. the ‘eco’ option, and investing in a water-saving shower head. Another idea is to install a shower timer which notifies you when you have used more than 35 litres.
One easy tip is to regulate tap-usage. Small actions such as turning off the tap whilst brushing your teeth and only filling the kettle to the level needed (rather than filling it to maximum every time), can reduce energy consumption.
Cooking can be one of the greatest drains on your energy bills - particularly if you are using the wrong ring on your hob.
When cooking, make sure to use the correct ring for your pot or pan’s size. A bigger burner will waste energy and a pan that is too big for the ring will take longer to heat to the right temperature.
If you want to avoid using the hob and oven as much as possible, try use the microwave more often. Generally speaking, the microwave is the most energy efficient method of heating and cooking food because of the heating power it holds relative to its physically small size.
With more of us working at home because of covid-19, our homes’ energy consumption has naturally increased. But there are methods of fighting back. Turning down your thermostat is an easy solution. This doesn’t have to be a dramatic drop in temperature, but a 2012 paper published by the Department of Energy & Climate Change revealed that a reduction from 20 degrees to 18 degrees was the top-recommended energy-saving tactic.
Or, install a smart thermostat. These devices, which can be controlled by your smart phone, can learn your home’s heating routines. This means that the smart thermostat can keep the house at the lowest temperature (approved by the homeowner) for as long as possible, reducing your energy consumption and saving you money.
Also, if you use portable home-heaters, make sure they are as energy-efficient as possible. Or, consider layering clothing, closing your curtains to reduce heat escaping, or investing in blankets, instead of boosting your thermostat.
Compare energy suppliers
If, after trying all of these tips, you think you are still paying too much for your energy do not be afraid to search for a better deal. Remember, each provider will offer a different tariff and payment structure, and a potential joining bonus - make sure you get the best deal for your needs.
We have provided a handy guide to electricity suppliers here.