With rising energy prices and colder weather, we need to prepare for higher energy bills. A lot more people are currently working or staying at home due to COVID-19, and with that, our bills will increase. From turning on the heating to boiling water for a cuppa, it’ll all add up.
That is why we have put together some energy saving tips, which can save money on your bills and help reduce carbon emissions this winter.
With most houses, you will lose some heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps in the floor, or up the chimney, if you have one. Start with looking for door and window leaks that let warm air out and cold air in.
The best way to tackle draught would be to install draught excluders on your doors and windows. However, there are cheap ways to help you keep your house draught free, including rolling up pieces of newspaper or blanket/towel under the doors.
Make sure you never cover air vents, as a covered air vent could increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Don’t leave appliances on standby
You can easily reduce the amount of energy you use by turning your appliances such as TVs, mobile chargers or microwaves off standby mode. If you leave them on standby, they are still switched on – which means they’re wasting energy.
But remember, if you have any ‘smart’ appliances, such as smart speakers and heating controls, leave them on.
Insulate your home
There are significant energy savings to be made if your home is well insulated. About a third of the heat lost in an uninsulated home escapes through the walls, so making sure you have proper insulation on your solid walls or cavity walls could help keep the heat in and lower your energy bills.
Insulating under your floorboards and your hot water tank and pipes can save you a lot of money too.
There are grants available that could help you with the cost of insulation – visit Simple Energy Advice to find out more.
Turn down your thermostat
Reducing your room temperature by just 1ºC can lower your heating bill by up to 10 per cent.
According to the NHS, if you’re not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, heat your home to at least 18C, but if you’re under 65, healthy and active, you can safely have your house cooler than 18C, as long as it’s comfortable. The NHS also suggest keeping the bedroom at 18C at night and using a hot water bottle to keep warm. Find out more here.
Switch to energy-saving LED bulbs
Replace your bulbs as and when you can with energy-efficient LEDs. We know that those bulbs are more expensive, but in a long run, they’re a great investment, as they last much longer than ordinary light bulbs. Prices of LED bulbs have gone down in price over the past few years, and it’s most likely that they will continue to drop.
You can also save money by switching lights off in rooms you’re not using. Even a few seconds can save you money.
Wash your clothes at 30°C
Most laundry detergents work perfectly fine at a temperature of 30C and lower, so unless there’s a specific reason why you have to do it at a higher temperature, you should avoid it. You should always make sure you use only do the washing when you have a full load.
If you are using a tumble dryer, try using a dryer ball, which works by lifting and separating your laundry when it’s drying, reducing drying time by up to 25%.
Service your boiler
You should make sure your boiler is working as efficiently as possible and by having it checked annually, you can prevent unexpected repair bills, and costly call-out fees should something go wrong.
If you need to get a new boiler, but can’t afford one, there’s help out there for you. Some householders can be eligible for a grant that can slash this to just £200-£400, or even get one installed for free. You can find out more here.
Get an Energy Monitor
Getting an energy monitor to keep an eye on your usage can be a good idea. You can even get a free one from some energy providers, but make sure you don’t go with the provider just because of the free energy monitor, as there might be better tariffs for you. These monitors can help you find out how much energy you are using, what time you see usage spikes, and what items in your home are the culprits of that ever-growing electricity bill.
Reflector panels on radiators
Radiator reflector panels can be a great, low-cost option to reduce your energy bills. You only need one panel per radiator, which you need to attach to the back of the radiator. The panel will then reflect heat from the radiator back into the room, instead of letting the heat out through an external wall. You can check out the options here.
Check your windows
Installing curtains to act as an extra layer of insulation can help with the cost of your bill. Using curtains or blinds at night can cut the heat loss. On the other hand, opening your curtains when the sun is out can help heat your home, decreasing the burden on your home’s heating system. The sunlight can help heat the inside of your house.
Keep an eye on the water
Using water wisely can make a big difference to your water and energy bills. It is one of the biggest wasters when it comes to energy. But changing just a few habits like taking showers instead of baths, using cold water instead of hot when you can and only boiling the water that you can not only reduce your energy bills but your water bills too.
Schemes and discounts
Warm Home Discount
You might be able to get £140 off your electricity bill or a £140 voucher for your prepayment meter. You can get this under the Warm Home Discount Scheme if you’re either getting the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit or are on a low income. Find out more here.
Winter Fuel Payment
If you were born on or before 26 September 1955 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’. Find out more here.
Cold Weather Payments
Cold Weather Payments are one-off payments to help you pay for extra heating costs when it’s very cold.
You’ll get a payment each time the temperature drops below a specific temperature for a set period of time. If you’re eligible, you’ll get paid automatically. Find out more here.