How can I reduce my energy bills?


Oct 23, 2013
How can I reduce my energy bills?

reduce energy billsWith the nation up in arms about soaring energy costs, one question surely must be praying on everyone’s mind; how can I reduce my energy bills?

 

 The obvious answer which I have talked about in a previous blog is to look for a better energy deal and switch  supplier. If you want to guarantee the price you pay for an agreed period with a fixed energy tariff, then now is the perfect time to switch. 

In addition to switching energy suppliers, there are a number of other ways you can save money by reducing your energy bills, other than the helpful advice some MPs have recently given about ‘putting a jumper on’. Talk about rubbing salt into wounds!

To help you get started, here are our top energy saving tips for you to think about. Even a small change over a period of time can save money so it’s well worth making the effort.

Heating and Water
• Time your heating and hot water so they only come on when you need them. A room thermostat is a way you can control heating in the most important rooms.
• Ensure your hot water thermostat is set at either 60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit
• Turn down your thermostat and reduce your room temperature slightly. Sorry, this point may involve the wearing of a jumper but a 1 degree difference could save as much as £65 a year!
• Insulate your hot water tank 
• Fix leaking taps and install a water efficient shower head. As well as reducing the amount of energy required to heat the water, this could also help with water bills

Appliances
• Don’t leave electrical appliances such as TVs on standby. This may mean turning some items off at the socket so make sure it doesn’t interrupt any programmes you have recording 
• Don’t leave items such as mobile phones and laptops on charge
• Choose energy efficient appliances that are not as expensive to run

In the Kitchen
• When cooking use the right size pan for the food and the hob and if possible use the pan lid as this will retain heat
• If you are making toast use a toaster as opposed to a grill
• Defrost fridges and freezers on a regular basis; it will improve their efficiency
• Don’t use the tumble drier, dishwasher or washing machine until they are full. It will also help to reduce the programme temperature on your washing machine to 30 degrees
• Don’t wash items with running water; always use a bowl so you can easily monitor the amount of hot water required
• Don’t over fill the kettle; only boil the amount of water you need

Insulation
• Make sure your home is adequately insulated. Installing cavity wall and loft insulation will cost but there are now government backed schemes that offer full or partial grants 
• Draft proof windows, doors and floorboards
• Stop heat escaping by closing curtains but not over radiators where the heat can escape out of the window

Lighting
• Only use energy saving light bulbs
• Turn the lights off when leaving the room 

As well as reducing energy bills, at the risk of sounding like my father, this final point will also stop the house looking like the ‘bloody Blackpool illuminations’ – childhood memories, don’t you just love them!

If you want to keep an eye on your usage, you can also get an energy monitor. It will cost you but you may save money in the long term once you have a greater appreciation of what is eating up those pound notes.


Ashley Shepherd is an Over 50s Personal Finance Expert

ashley shepherd

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