Like everyone else, I am slightly terrified that the energy companies keep putting up their prices. So how to save money on your energy bills? There are some simple steps that you can take to do just that.
Fortunately I took advice from Money Saving Expert and managed to freeze mine for a couple of years some time ago. I try to do as much as possible to keep my bills low and use as little gas and electricity as I can, but I think it is time for an audit.
I have been exploring various websites for advice and come up with the following checklist.
How to save money on 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.
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 Wii, the TV (which has no off button – go figure!!) and the DVD player. This we need to work on.
6) When you use the kettle, only boil the water you need. I do this, but I need to train the troops!
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!
8) Check the Internet to see if you can find a better deal on your energy provider and if you can fix your tariff. Again, I recommend starting with Money Saving Expert, which will help you avoid the pitfalls.
9) Train your family to turn off lights, TVs, etc. behind them!
10) Turn off laptops and PCs when they aren’t in use. Darling daughters, read and take note!
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. I had mine 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. I need a thick curtain at my front door.
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 stew?
Good sites to look at for advice on how to save money on your energy bills are:
Have you any tips on how to save money on your energy bills?