Surprising ways to cut household bills
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Looking for ways to cut your household bills? We’ve got this guest post from Lily Harris, giving us some brilliant ways to reduce our energy costs this winter!
Lily Harris is a freelance writer who advocates for sustainable living to help the environment. Lily has been passionate about the environment from a young age, and hopes to bring attention to the small ways we can all work together to fight climate change effects. You can usually find her exploring local parks with her cocker spaniel, or getting stuck into a new recipe
Winter is always going to bring a somewhat bigger energy bill, and this may be truer than ever before with so many people still working from home or choosing to self-isolate.
Luckily, there are plenty of practical ways you can stay warm and cosy this winter without hiking up costs and exceeding your energy budget.
✅ How can we save energy at home?
Opt for energy-wise appliances
Energy regulator Ofgem claims that UK households spend more than £1200 a year on power and heating, but this figure can be lowered considerably by looking at any waste and efficiency around the home.
You may not feel like you’re being particularly wasteful, but what about your appliances?
A great way to save money without trying very hard is to replace energy-hungry appliances with more efficient ones – once they’re due for replacement, that is.
Fridges and freezers in particular can quietly guzzle energy without you even realising it.
Check your oil storage or water tanks
Something else many of us never spare a thought for: our heating or water storage systems.
Winter is the perfect time to check up on your oil or water tanks and make sure that they’re in good condition – leaks and corrosion can not only be costly, but outright dangerous if not properly
If you have an oil tank, just before your winter oil delivery is a great time to do some routine maintenance.
Be mindful of your daily energy usage
It’s easy to crank the thermostat on and forget about it, but this can slowly hike up energy bills, not
to mention it’s terrible for the environment.
Set your thermostat on a timer so it coincides with your family’s busiest times, and while you’re at it, do the same for your boiler, which also needn’t run
Another clever way to save is to make sure you wash clothing at lower temperatures. You can still get an effective clean while using far less energy, and save money in the process.
De-draught your home
Heating your home efficiently is one thing, but if your insulation is poor, all that warmth will only
leak out again.
As we move into the colder months, take a moment to examine potential draughts in your home – look at windows, under and around doors, chimneys, floorboards or draughty loft covers.
Invest in an insulating cover for your boiler, and don’t forget about other ways you can conserve heat once it’s generated: carpets, rugs, and heavy drapes can all help.
You may find it necessary to install brand-new double-glazed windows – though this is a
considerable investment, you can be guaranteed a draught-free winter and much lower energy bills
in the long run.
Consider switching energy providers
Homeowners are spoilt for choice, especially when it comes to sustainable and more environmentally friendly alternatives.
The great thing about going green is that it often costs a lot less. It certainly doesn’t hurt to seek out a few quotes and check whether switching may save you some money in the long run.
Be mindful of your devices and appliances
Many of us were taught to switch off lights when leaving a room, but how many of do the same for
other devices that use just as much energy?
Phones, tablets, laptops and PCs can all sap energy if you’re not careful, and other appliances can drain energy if they’re left on standby mode when not
Power down computers overnight and make sure that you don’t have appliances or devices plugged in and turned on when not in use. It seems like a small thing, but can save you up to £30 a year.
Timer plugs are an option for more frequently used devices.
Simply use less
Nobody wants to be cold over winter, but if we’re honest many of us could use a little less energy at
home without it compromising on our warmth and comfort.
Turning down the thermostat a few degrees and putting on an extra jumper could save plenty every year, as could using a hot water bottle and blankets rather than heating the entire bedroom or house.
Choose energy efficient space heaters when you can, and forego too many long, hot baths – lovely as they are!
It’s true that small changes like these don’t save much energy on their own, but over time, the savings do add up, and every little bit helps.
It may take a little forethought and planning, but just a few adjustments could save you hundreds of pounds every year, which is more than worth it.