Looking to save money? Then you’ve come to the right place! One of the easiest and most practical ways to make daily savings is to use less energy at home. By making a few small changes to the way you use water, electricity and heat in your household, you could cut costs instantly.
We’ve pulled together 9 tips for the savvy saver to set you on the path to energy efficiency – which could save you a massive £706 per year!
1. Compare gas and electricity prices
By doing some research into different energy providers and making a switch, you could see dramatic cuts to your energy costs. The best way to compare gas and electricity prices is to use comparison sites such as uSwitch. All you have to do is enter your postcode and answer a few short questions on your energy usage – you’ll then be shown a list of prices from a range of different providers.
One important trick to note is that comparison sites will often offer you two options when it comes to your switch – the first being the option to have the comparison site complete the switch for you, and the second being to make the switch yourself by speaking to the energy provider directly. Some of the cheapest energy deals don’t pay the comparison sites any commission, and hence often aren’t promoted. This means it’s important to always make sure your search is displaying all options, including those where it’s cheaper to make the switch yourself.
2. Install a more efficient shower head
According to Waterwise, your household could save roughly £120 per year, just by switching to a more water efficient shower head. You may think that by having a shower instead of a bath you’re saving water (and money), but this isn’t necessarily the case – the wrong shower head e.g. a power shower, which uses 12+ litres of water per minute, could mean you end up using more water in a few minutes than you do when running an entire bath.
Energy efficient shower heads control the rate of flow, keeping it between 6 and 8 litres per minute, so that you can enjoy your shower without denting the bank balance.
But, regardless of the type of shower head you have, you can still try to keep your shower time to a minimum. If you have no idea how long you’re spending in the shower, why not try setting an alarm for 4-minutes to work on cutting your shower time down? Not only will you save money, but you’ll also help the environment by reducing the amount of energy (and therefore carbon emissions) required to pump and heat water in our homes.
3. Turn your heating down
How warm is your house? If you find yourself sweating or walking around in shorts and a t-shirt, then the chances are your house is a little (or a lot) warmer than it needs to be. The World Health Organisation recommends that the ideal room temperature (for the average household) sits between 18 and 21 degrees.
Turning your heating down by just 1 degree could save you an estimated £75 a year (according to Energy Saving Trust). So the next time you reach for the thermostat, don’t turn it up any higher than 21 degrees – and if you’re feeling a bit chilly, try a jumper or blanket to save on heating costs!
4. Hang clothes up to dry whenever possible
By hanging up your wet clothes rather than drying them in the tumble dryer, you could make a saving of up to £70 per year (according to Ovo Energy).
During the winter, you can dry clothes on a clothing rack in a warm, well ventilated room – just be sure to keep the humidity in one room by shutting the door. In the summer, it’s best to hang clothes outside on a washing line, as they’ll dry quicker outside with exposure to sunshine and fresh air.
By allowing clothes to dry naturally, you’ll also prevent shrinkage and wear caused by the heat from the tumble dryer. This will help your clothes look better for longer, and you’ll spend less money replacing worn out items.
5. Use a washing up bowl
Rather than letting hot water trickle down the plug hole when you’re washing up, why not fill up a washing up bowl instead? They’re cheap to buy and will also stop small pieces of food waste from clogging up your sink.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that you could save £25 per year (per person) on your gas bill and £30 on your water bill (if you have a water meter) just by filling up – amazing!
6. Switch to energy efficient bulbs
By replacing all the bulbs in your house with energy efficient ones (LEDs), you could save around £35 per year (National Energy Trust). They have the same brightness as a standard bulb, but they use far less energy – up to 90%! You’ll find yourself with more money in your pocket and you’ll get the added satisfaction of knowing you’re reducing your carbon footprint.
But even if you do switch to LEDs, you should still be conscious of how many lights you turn on. Consider whether they all need to be on at the same time, and always remember to turn lights out when you leave a room. This may sound simple, but we all forget to do it and it adds up over the course of a year.
7. Switch appliances off
Think about how many gadgets you currently have in your household – how many of them do you regularly shut down completely?
We’ve all been guilty of leaving some of our favourite appliances on standby, especially ones we use often. But by making a little bit of extra effort to switch them off at the wall, you could save an estimated £30 a year (Energy Saving Trust). No one wants to accumulate running costs on appliances they aren’t even using, so think about that the next time you hit standby on the TV remote…
8. Choose your washing machine settings carefully
When it comes to washing your clothes, the settings you choose could make a big difference to your annual savings. Washing clothes at a cooler temperatures of 30-40 degrees, could reduce your electricity bill by £15 a year.
Cooler temperatures are also kinder on your clothes and will result in less wear and shrinkage. So not only will you save money on your electricity bills, but you’ll also be able to cut down on clothes shopping – complete bonus!
9. Only fill up the kettle with as much water as you need
Many people boil far more water than they need to make their morning brew, meaning the kettle has to boil for far longer and use more electricity than it actually needs to.
Because kettles are used so often (everyone loves a cuppa!), they can easily become one of the biggest offenders on your energy bill. So the next time you reach for the kettle, try to remember to fill up less and save more!
If you do happen to boil a little more water than you need, why not transfer it to a thermos flask to keep it warm for later?
We hope you found these ideas useful. Do you have any other tips to share? Email us at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!