Every so often, you’ll notice that your utility bills have crept up compared with last year’s prices. In recent months, the UK’s wholesale electricity market has soared to record highs, meaning households could see an increase of up to £139 in energy bills – the highest since 1990. This has subsequently forced many smaller energy companies to collapse with many more on the cusp, forcing people to switch to larger and often more expensive suppliers.
However, there’s plenty of ways you can reduce the costs of your bills by just being more mindful around your home. Saving energy can not only help you be more energy-efficient and considerate of the environment, but it’s also a great way to save money!
With the Autumn/Winter months looming and colder climates on the way, your household will naturally use more energy while you spend more time behind closed doors.
We’re all about saving money here at NetVoucherCodes.co.uk, which is why we’ve come up with some great energy-saving tips that could help reduce your energy consumption.
You’ve probably heard of energy-efficient appliances – many well-known retailers like AO.com and Currys feature Energy Labels alongside their appliances like fridges and dishwashers. But what are the worst offending appliances and gadgets for consuming energy?
In most cases, your fridge will be the appliance that uses the most energy! In fact, it can consume up to a third of all the power in your home.
Minimising this consumption where possible could be considerably helpful in lowering your energy bills. To achieve this, your best bet is to invest in an energy-efficient fridge. Fridges with energy labels A+++ will consume up to 80% less than a rating D. This could save you hundreds of pounds in the long run, not to mention the reduction in Co2 emissions.
Another top tip is to never leave it open! If you’re guilty of gazing into the fridge waiting for something to catch your eye, your fridge will be working overtime trying to achieve its optimum temperature while doing so. This ultimately means it’s using more energy. Hungry? Keep the gazing to a minimum!
Defrost your fridge when prompted. A build-up of ice could seriously damage the efficiency of your fridge. Regular defrosting can help avoid this.
While it may not guzzle as much energy as your fridge, your TV still contributes to your home’s energy usage. The best way to reduce the amount of energy consumed is to not watch it at all. We know that this is impossible, but what you can ensure is that it is switched off and not just on standby. Switching the power off at the wall is the best way to avoid this energy munching mistake!
Secondly, opt for a LED TV. Televisions working on LED Technology consume far less energy than it’s LCD and Plasma counterparts.
While a complete blessing when you need your washing in a hurry, the tumble dryer is notorious for racking up your energy bills. Try to be more mindful when it comes to drying your clothes. Make the most of sunny days and hang out your washing or use maidens around your home.
When you do go to use your tumble dryer, make sure it’s full to maximise efficiency. The less you have to use it the better!
Whilst one of the least energy-consuming appliances, there are still ways you can improve the efficiency of your dishwasher! One simple way is to ensure it’s full to reduce the amount you need to switch it on.
Most modern dishwashers feature an energy-efficient setting. This may take longer as it uses less power at a lower temperature, but will still deliver the same gleaming results.
You probably never considered that each time you brew up, you could not only be wasting energy but spending more! A top tip to reduce power used is to only boil the right amount of water that you need.
Switching off lights when you leave a room is probably the most talked-about energy-saving tip. And while it may be the most simple way to save energy, it’s surprising how many of us forget!
Another great tip is to invest in energy-efficient LED light bulbs. These can be up to 80% more efficient than conventional bulbs.
If you’re using an electric cooker or hob to make dinner, this could be costing you up to £90 per year. Switch to the microwave or use the slow cooker to reduce the amount of energy consumed. This simple tip could save you up to £80 each year.
Unlike laptops, Desktop computers are energy-hungry! In fact, computers can cost up to £13 a year to run compared to just £4 for your portable laptop. Add a printer into the mix and you’re no doubt spending even more.
Make sure you’re using sleep mode when you leave your computer. If you simply let it sit idle, it will use the same amount of energy as when it’s working at maximum. Switch it off or put it in sleep mode!
If you’re not working on an LCD or LED monitor, be sure to turn the screen off when it’s not in use – this can reduce the energy usage by half. If possible, upgrade to a more efficient LED or LCD screen.
Charging and Cables
Not using your charger? Switch it off at the plug. This is such a simple way to save energy and cut the cost of your bills. While it may not equate to a huge amount per year, if you have various phones, tables or laptop chargers around the home, it can easily add up.
If you regularly use hairdryers, straighteners or other electrical equipment – make sure you’re switching these off at the plug too.
Even if the cable or hair equipment is not in use, they will still use electricity whilst switched on.
The best way to ensure you’re using less energy while washing your clothes is to wash at a lower temperature. Many modern machines can operate at 30 degrees and most detergents can now cope with washing at 30 degrees. Also, wash less by ensuring your machine is full each time.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Investing in a Smart Thermostat is a great way to control how much energy you’re using through your central heating. They work by only heating the rooms you are using and remember the time it takes to heat your home, so it can be at the right temperature every time. You can even control your Smart Thermostat from your phone meaning you can set the right temperature for when you get home.
Upgrade your Boiler
If you’re serious about cutting down on your utility bills and creating a more energy-efficient home, invest in a new A-rated condensing boiler. Not only do these new style boilers include a programmer but a room thermostat and thermostatic radiator controls. Upgrading to an A-rated boiler from a G-rated boiler could save you up to a huge £300 per year!
How to save money on your heating bills
Heating our home accounts for a huge chunk of our utility bills. With the Autumn/Winter months upcoming check out our top 10 tips for keeping warm while keeping your bills low!
1) Move your furniture around
Ensure your furniture is not covering your radiators – this can block heat from filling your home. A Sofa or bulky Chair will certainly trap that heat meaning you’re paying for the warmth but not feeling the benefit of it.
2) Put tin foil behind your radiators
This handy trick is so simple and effective. Cut sheets of tin foil and fit them behind your radiators. This works by reflecting the hot air from the radiator back into the room instead of drifting through cold walls giving you the extra warmth you need this winter.
3) Buy a rug
As simple as it sounds, covering your wooden or laminate floors with an insulating rug can make walking around the house feel a lot warmer. It’s easy to pick up affordable rugs online. In fact, you can grab rugs from as little as just £10 from home & garden specialists like Wayfair. Check out Dunelm, Matalan or even eBay and Amazon for competitve prices.
4) Wear a jumper!
Chucking an extra layer of clothing on when you get home from work is probably the most simple way to keep warm inside. The more clothes you wear, the less money spent on heating.
5) Turn the thermostat down
Each degree you lower your thermostat can save you several pounds per week! Experts recommend 18ºC as an ambient level, rather than a costly 20ºC to 25ºC.
6) Leave the oven or kitchen door open after cooking
If you’ve just cooked your tea and your oven is filled with 200C of toasty air, make use of it and keep the oven door open. The warm air is the perfect solution to stave off the cold in the evening time. You will need to ensure this is safe to do so. If you have young children running around, leave the kitchen door open instead to allow the warm air from your oven to infiltrate the rest of your home.
7) Draft-Proof your home
Make your home a draft-free zone! Plug all those little holes around the house – this can make a big difference to your heating bills. Simple gaffer tape can be used to seal cracks in floors and walls, whilst the bottom of doors could be blocked with old clothes, towels or draft excluders.
8) Get a hot water bottle
Snuggling up to a Hot Water Bottle at night can significantly reduce those overnight heating bills so it’s time to pull out your trusty old bottle.
9) Set Your Heater on a Timer
You’re cold, we know! But you also have to be savvy. Put your heater on a timer so you’re not overspending without even realising.
10) Take Regular Meter Readings
Energy suppliers base their bills on something, so giving them your accurate meter readings when asked will give them no choice but to estimate how much you’ve used.
Be smart, save water!
We’re all guilty of using more running water than we need. Ever stayed in the shower that extra bit longer because it’s warm or left the tap running while you clean your teeth? These thoughtless habits could be costing us a fortune every year – but there are ways you could rescue these costs.
Invest in a more energy-efficient shower head. This, along with a water meter, could help you save up to £20 per year. You can even purchase a shower timer to ensure you’re not spending too long with the water running! By cutting your shower by just one minute, you could save up to £7 per person every year.
As for your running taps – fill up your sink bowl instead of running your tap when washing the dishes! This simple tip could save you around £25 a year.
Invest in Double Glazed Windows
Most homes now come with double glazed windows as standard. But if your home is still running on entirely single glazed windows, you could be forking out as much as £100 extra in heating bills each year. Not only can double glazed windows insulate your home from the cold, but they’re also great for keeping noise out!
Insulate your Roof
If you want to stop heat escaping from your home, insulating your roof is a great way to combat this. Retaining the heat inside your home means you could shave up to £130 off your energy bills each year. This could cost several hundred pounds but could save you a fortune in the long term.
Switch to a Smart Meter
Start tracking your energy consumption with a smart meter! This can help you pinpoint where exactly you’re using the most energy and where you need to make changes. Keep a watchful eye over your energy usage in real-time with an affordable smart meter.
Compare Energy Prices
Finally, if you feel like you run an efficient home but your bills are still higher than you expect, you could always switch providers. Comparing energy quotes is often the best way to save on your utility bills. Comparison sites like USwitch and Money Supermarket can help you compare hundreds of quotes – all you need is your postcode, current supplier and payment details!
You will be able to see how much you could save compared with your current provider as well as monthly and annual costs. If you notice your bills are higher than normal, services like USwitch or Look After My Bills can help you switch at ease. They’ll notify you when a cheaper provider is available and will do all the switching for you.
How to beat the UK’s energy price rises
The UK is currently facing a huge energy crisis with the energy cap set to rise 12% per unit. According to Money Saving Expert, whether you’re on a price cap or soon to be rolling off a fixed rate, the public is advised to either stick with their current provider or switch to a fixed rate with prices as they stand.
It’s estimated that as of April next year, prices are set to increase yet again. However, that’s not to say that wholesale prices could potentially drop. Head over to MSE for live updates and find answers to all your queries regarding your utility bills.
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