Is the cost of running your home creeping up? If you’re spending more money than you would like on gas & electricity, follow these easy, low-cost tips to reduce your energy usage and cut your energy bills.
Insulate your loft
If your loft isn’t well-insulated, you could be losing up to a quarter of your home’s heat through your roof! (according to the Energy saving Trust). Loft insulation is cheap and easy to install and will start saving you money right away.
Insulate your walls
Many houses in the UK built before the 1980s have empty cavity walls. Getting insulation retro-fitted can be done in a couple of hours without any mess or damage to your walls and can save you up to £145 per year. You will have to pay a professional company to do it, although there may be free schemes available in your area.
Seal skirting boards and draught proof your doors & windows
Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to make you home more energy efficient. You can do it yourself, you don’t need any expensive materials or equipment, and you will see the benefits immediately.
It’s not just your walls and roof that need insulating. Putting insulation under your floorboards on the ground floor can you save you around £40 a year in heating bills.
SWITCH TO ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHT BULBS
Admittedly they are a little more expensive to buy but converting to LED light bulbs is easy. And, they last longer and use less electricity.
Don’t leave your gadgets in standby mode
So-called ‘vampire-energy’ is the energy wasted by leaving electrical appliances on standby mode. You can save electricity by switching them off at the wall when not in use.
Switch to an A-rated fridge freezer
Time to get a new fridge or freezer? Pay attention to the energy efficiency sticker and look for one with an A-rating. Your fridge is always running, so it pays to have an efficient model. The same goes for your other appliances.
Ditch the tumble dryer
Tumble dryers eat up a huge amount of electricity – especially if you have a large family and you’re constantly washing clothes. Hang your clothes outside instead and you could save around £50 a year.
Turn down your thermostat
Just turning the temperature down by 1 degree can save you around £65 per year! If your boiler and/or thermostat has timers, learn how to use them so that the heating only comes on when you need it.
Upgrade your boiler
If you have an old, inefficient gas boiler you may be able to get it upgraded to an energy-efficient model for free – depending on where you live and if you meet the qualifying criteria. Contact a reputable, qualified heating engineer in your area.
Insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes
Modern hot water cylinders are already insulated, but if you have and older model you could save £20 a year by putting an 80mm insulating jacket around it.
Take it easy with the water
Take a shower instead of a bath, don’t boil more water than you need in the kettle, and don’t under-fill your washing machine or dishwasher. The savings will soon add up!
If you’re an avid gardener, leave the hosepipe alone and use a water butt to collect & re-use rain water. You can save around £10 a year in water bills.
Put a new head on your shower
If your shower draws hot water straight from your boiler (i.e. it’s not electric), fit it with a water-efficient shower head. It will reduce your water and gas use while maintaining the feeling of having a powerful shower.
Shop around for cheaper utilities
Don’t stick with the same gas and electricity company if they’re not offering you the best deal. With the help of the internet, finding the cheapest energy supplier is extremely quick and easy.
Get a smart meter
Smart meters are next-gen gas & electricity meters that send accurate readings directly to your energy supplier. They also come with an in-home display that will help you monitor and manage your energy usage. In the UK, your energy supplier should be able to fit a smart meter for free.
Put reflective panels behind your radiators
These panels send heat back into the room rather than letting it leave through your walls. You can pick up the panels from cheap and they only take minutes to install.
Get double or triple glazing
Getting your windows replaced isn’t cheap, but it can prevent a huge amount of heat loss if you upgrade your old windows to modern double or triple glazed. If you can’t afford to get them replaced, you can buy plastic secondary glazing kits as a low-cost alternative.
Get energy saving curtains and blinds
If you have draughty windows, and double glazing isn’t an option, you can buy specialist heavy-duty curtains that reduce heat loss. You can also get hollow blinds and sealed shutter that are designed to retain heat.
Generate your own energy
If you have a little more budget to spare, you may want to consider investing in solar panels. Your electricity bills will be reduced, and you can make money through feed-in and export tariffs. Be sure to find get a few different quotes from reputable installers.