12 ways to save on your energy bills
The average UK household overspends £200 a year on their energy bills, and most houses create around six tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. That’s the equivalent of driving a car more than 58,000 miles!
But fear not. We’ve put together our 12 top tips to save on your energy bills, so you can take care of the planet and save some serious dosh.
1. Turn off standby
You can save £30 a year just by turning your appliances off at the mains. And remember to unplug your phone, tablet, or laptop once they’re fully charged – that way, you avoid using unnecessary energy and your battery life will last longer.
2. Fit energy saving light bulbs
Lighting eats into 10-15% of our electricity use each year, so give your lights a makeover by switching to energy saving bulbs. They use only a quarter of the electricity that traditional bulbs do, and they last up to 12 times longer. LED bulbs are pretty cheap, but they could save you more than £10 a year on your energy bills.
You could also save £15 a year by switching off your lights when you leave a room. Adjust your curtains or blinds to let in as much light as possible during the day, so you’re not tempted to reach for the light switch too early.
3. Monitor your energy usage
Keep an eye on how much energy you use, so you can take steps to improve your energy efficiency. Installing a smart meter will help you track your energy usage in real time, helping you cut back and save money. You can read more about smart meters here.
4. Turn down your heating
Turning down your thermostat by just one degree could cut your heating bill by 10% – this could mean a saving of £75. You’ll still stay cosy if you keep the temperature of your living room around 20°C, and your bedrooms around 16°C.
Use a timer for your heating, so you don’t waste energy when you’re out of the house. And you save energy by turning down radiators in rooms you don’t use, like guest bedrooms.
5. Buy energy efficient appliances
When it’s time to replace your household appliances, check the energy rating and try to get the one that’s the most energy efficient.
Most white goods and kitchen appliances have a rating of A-G on their label – with A being the best, and G being the worst. All new fridges and freezers have to have a minimum rating of A+, but an A+++ fridge freezer will save you more money over its lifetime.
6. Install a new boiler
If your boiler’s more than 15 years old, you could be missing out on a 20% energy bill saving. Installing a condensing boiler could take that up to 32%, and some smart heating controls would give you a 40% saving.
You may even qualify for a government grant to cover the cost of a new boiler – you can check if you’re eligible on the Boiler Grants website.
7. Do laundry on a cool wash
Did you know you could save £52 a year, just by dropping to a 30°C wash? Plenty of washing detergents still clean just as well on a cool wash – you just might need to run a hotter cycle once in a while to keep your washing machine sparkling.
You could also hang your washing out to dry, or use a clothes horse instead of a tumble dryer. If you do use a tumble dryer, don’t overfill it with really soggy clothes – spin them first, and your clothes will dry faster and use less energy.
8. Don’t waste water
There are plenty of ways you can cut down the amount of water you use:
- Spend less time in the bath. Showers use just two fifths of the water needed to fill a bath. Plus, you’ll save time and money.
- Take smarter showers. Spending one minute less in the shower each day can save you £7 each year per person. And fitting a water-efficient shower head can save you money on both your heating and water bills.
- Ditch the dishwasher. Washing up uses less water and less energy than a dishwasher. Plus, you can use what’s left to water your plants once it’s cooled down.
- Repair leaky taps. Turn off taps properly and fix the ones that drip. A dripping tap can waste up to 1,400 litres of hot water a year.
- Don’t overfill your kettle. Only fill your kettle with the water you need. This’ll save on energy and water.
9. Draught proof
Roofs, floors, walls and windows all benefit from a bit of draught-proofing. Professional draught-proofing costs around £200, but you can do it yourself for much less – and you could save up to £20 a year.
Consider fitting draught excluders to your doors, installing a chimney draught excluder, and blocking gaps in your floors or skirting boards.
Fitting shelves above your radiators can help direct warm air into the room. And placing foil behind radiators on exterior walls can help reduce the heat lost outside.
10. Insulate your home
You can lose a quarter of your heat through an uninsulated roof, but getting your roof insulated could save you £175 a year.
Wall insulation is the most cost-effective way to save energy around your home – up to 33% of heat is lost through the walls.
Taping polythene across your window frames is a short-term alternative to double glazing. You can also buy an insulation jacket for your hot water tank for around £10, which could save you up to £15 a year.
11. Check your energy bills
Keeping a regular eye on your energy bills can help you understand when you use the most energy, and whether you could be on a cheaper tariff.
Giving regular meter readings can also help you save money, as you’ll be giving your supplier a more accurate picture of your energy usage.
Here’s more information on understanding your energy bill.
12. Generate your own renewable energy
If you own your own home, you could generate your own green energy with solar panels, a wind turbine, or other renewable energy sources.
You’ll get paid for any energy you generate, and you’ll also get additional payments for any energy you export back to the grid. You can find out more about getting paid to generate your own green electricity on our Microtricity page.