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Energy bills. They’re inescapable, often rising and especially recently it’s common to hear of people being hit with expensive bills or struggling to pay for their gas and electricity consumption. Some people are even finding they have to choose between paying for food or heating.
It can be hard, especially for those of us having to keep to a tight budget.
It can be tricky when you have kids too; trying to keep costs low can be a constant battle, things like getting my daughters to remember to switch off the bathroom light is nearly impossible!
Whilst we don’t take living frugally to the extreme, we do try our best to save money where ever possible, and one of the things we are actually pretty good at is keeping our energy costs reasonably low.
Here are some energy saving ideas to lower energy costs:
Throughout your home…
- Replace your lightbulbs
Switching conventional lightbulbs to LED bulbs will give you much more energy efficient lighting, and give you a significant saving per bulb over the course of its life.
- Unplug your appliances
Don’t leave things on standby, as you’ll still be using energy. Switch things off at the wall, including things like mobile phone chargers when you’re not using them.
- Turn down your thermostat
Turning your thermostat down by just 1 degree can save up to £75 a year!
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room
According to the Energy Saving Trust this alone will save around £15 a year on your energy costs.
- Air dry laundry
Drying clothes outside and not using the tumble drier can save lots. Obviously it’s harder in winter but good for those warmer or windier days.
- Only heat the areas you use
Turn off the radiators in rooms you’re not using.
- Use smart controls
Using a smart thermostat or thermostatic heating valves mean you much more easily control your heating, and can use timers to make sure you’re using your energy effectively.
In the kitchen/utility…
- Wash at a lower temperature
Washing at 30 degrees can make a significant difference as a lot of the energy used by washing machines is on heating up the water.
- Use a bowl to wash up rather than a running tap
This could shave £25 a year from your energy bill.
- Don’t boil more water than you need
If you’re making a cup of tea, only boil enough water for that cup.
- Leave your oven door open after cooking to save the heat.
- Use energy efficient appliances
I’m not saying rush out and change all appliances, but when it comes time to replace them, considering choosing appliances with a higher energy efficiency rating. When we moved house and needed to buy a fridge freezer and washing machine, we chose the highest energy rating we could get within our budget, and it has definitely helped make a difference.
In the bathroom…
- Take shorter showers
Taking showers is more efficient than having a bath, and shortening your shower time will also help use less water and energy. You could try using a shower timer to help. (Our bathroom light is set on a timer (for energy saving) so I always know if I’ve been too long because the lights go out!)
This will use less hot water while still giving you a powerful enough shower.
An easy way to save money on the price of your energy bills is to switch provider. When your contract is up, don’t just let it renew, shop around for a better deal. Energy companies often have great introductory rates for new customers; you can use comparison sites to find a good deal.
The cheapest deal might not always be the right choice for you, so it’s always worth reading reviews of energy suppliers on sites like energy-review.co.uk to find out more, such as what their customer service is like, or if their values align with yours.
Check for cashback as well – you can often find a great cashback deal on a cheaper tariff – win-win!