Like everyone else, I am slightly terrified that the energy companies keep putting up their prices. Gas and electricity combined make up one of our biggest monthly bills. But how can you reduce your energy bills? There are some simple steps that you can take if you want to save money and benefit the environment. Why not do it now, before the weather changes and it gets really cold?
We choose to use a green energy tariff, which is slightly more expensive than a standard tariff. However, it is important to us that our energy is from an eco-friendly source as possible. We can’t afford solar panels at the moment to make our own! Paying more for our green energy means that it is even more important not to waste any.
We use Good Energy and have been extremely happy with the service they provide. This is my referral link. If you use it to sign up with them we will both earn a £50 credit. You can read my review of Good Energy here.
I have been scouring the internet for advice on how you can reduce your energy bills and have come up with the following checklist.
Reduce your energy bills
1# Use energy saving bulbs (I am guessing we are all doing this, since it is difficult to buy the old kind now).
2# Try a cooler wash when doing the laundry – 30 degrees. I tend to use 40 degrees for everything, and a quick wash when most items aren’t too grubby. I will try a 30 degree wash from now.
3# Tumble dryers? Forget them! Use airers or hang outside on a sunny day. We invested in a heated airer and also a Meaco dehumidifier to help dry the laundry in the winter. They are both brilliant and cost much less to run than a tumble dryer. We actually purchased the dehumidifier to relieve the issues we were having with condensation and damp – the laundry drying feature was an unexpected bonus.
4# Don’t run the dishwasher unless it is full. I use mine loads. I am sure there is an argument that it uses less energy to wash dishes by hand, but ours never runs unless it is full up and saves me lots of time. I can’t afford to buy another one if this one breaks down, so at that point I will revert back to hand washing.
Turn it off
5# Go round the house and turn off everything at the plug that is left on standby. Culprits in my house are the phone chargers and the TV (which has no off button – go figure!!). This we need to work on.
6# When you use the kettle, only boil the water you need. If you do boil more, stick it in a thermos and use it later.
7# Buy energy saving appliances. This is tricky if you have to buy second-hand, but not impossible if you do some research in advance. The last appliance I purchased was a large fridge freezer which is triple A rated for energy efficiency. This is worthwhile as it is on all the time!
Condensing boilers have a high energy efficiency rate of over 90%, which can lower your energy bills by £200 yearly if your current boiler is non-condensing.
8# Check the Internet to see if you can find a better deal on your energy provider and if you can fix your tariff. I recommend starting with Money Saving Expert, which will help you avoid the pitfalls.
9# Train your family to turn off lights, TVs, etc!
10# Turn off laptops and PCs when they aren’t in use. D
Take a shower
11# Have a shower rather than a bath – it will use a lot less hot water, which means you can adjust your timer and heat the boiler for less time. We are having more showers nowadays.
12# You could also consider turning down the water temperature by adjusting the thermostat on your boiler. I did this by 1 degree and nobody noticed the difference.
13# Turn down your general thermostat to no more that 21 degrees. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that just one degree lower could save £65 a year. Mine is at 20 degrees.
14# If you are lucky enough to have a spare room, turn off the radiator when you have no guests and close the door.
15# Insulate your loft and wall cavities. We had ours done for free with British Gas. Check with your energy supplier to see what they offer. If you are in receipt of certain benefits you may be entitled to insulation and a new boiler, even if you don’t own your property.
16# Use draught excluders at the bottom of your doors and fit extra linings to your curtains.
17# Consider fitting reflective radiator foil behind your radiators. We have done this in a few rooms and really noticed the difference.
18# If you have your oven on, can you cook something else at the same time? How about flapjacks for the lunchboxes whilst you are doing tonight’s casserole?
Good sites to look at for advice on how to reduce your energy bills are:
Have you any tips on how to reduce your energy bills?
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