As we move towards the end of summer and the days become slightly shorter, it’s inevitable that our minds turn to winter and how our energy bills will creep up. If you worry about how you’re going to manage the bills this winter, here are some tips for reducing the cost:
It may sound obvious, but you can save a lot of money by changing energy supplier. Have a look on comparison websites to see how much you could save. Switching to the cheapest supplier could cut your bills by half.
Make sure you check out comparison websites regularly and switch whenever you can get a better deal.
Get the whole family involved
If no one is watching the TV, make sure it goes off. Switch off lights when nobody’s in the room. Take care is taken with water use.
Young children can be taught to be careful with the energy they use. For example, when brushing their teeth, ask them to turn the tap off. When they leave the room, keep reminding them to turn off the lights and TV until it becomes second nature to them.
Sitting down together and making a plan on how to save energy as a family will greatly help to reduce those bills.
Put a jumper on
Most people wander round their houses in winter wearing a thin shirt with the thermostat cranked up to 20 degrees. Your first port of call could be to put on more layers before the heating goes on.
Apparently turning down the thermostat by just one degree can save £85 per year.
Dare we suggest a onesie?!
Not only is this good fire-safety practise, it will also save you pounds from your energy bill. If you leave your TV on standby, it’s still using 50 percent of its energy.
The same goes for washing machines, dishwashers, tumble driers, microwaves etc. When they’re not in use, turn them off at the wall and unplug them.
Shower the kids
One way to save water is to shower the kids instead of bath them. They may not like it at first but they’ll get used to not having a bath and your water bills will quickly reduce. When you do give them a bath, only fill it as much as you need to.
Be energy savvy
. There are plenty of ways to become energy savvy.
Make sure the dishwasher is full before you turn it on. The same goes for the washing machine. Don’t overload them but also take care not to use them until you have loaded them fully. Two loads of washing where one would suffice is just a waste of money.
In the winter, buy draught excluders and make sure all windows are shut before you switch the heating on. Close curtains to keep heat in. If you don’t use your fireplace, block the chimney with a pillow. Look into other ways of insulating your house such as loft and wall insulation to make it better able to keep heat in.
Use energy saving light bulbs. Fix dripping taps. Only fill the kettle with the exact amount of water you intend to use (did you know the kettle uses a lot of energy?) Turn down the washing machine temperature to 40 degrees and use the quick wash.
When you need to replace appliances such as washing machines and boilers, make sure you choose the most energy efficient ones as possible.
Keep up to date with your meter readings
Record your meter reading each month so you can see how you’re doing. Make sure you submit your readings to your energy supplier to avoid paying an estimated bill. Estimated bills can be grossly inaccurate.
Get a smart meter
All households will be offered a smart meter by 2020, at no extra cost. A smart meter not only sends meter readings to your energy supplier for you (ending the problem of inaccurate, estimated bills) but also allows you to see, in real time, exactly how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence. If you’ve ever tried to work out your energy bill, you’ll have seen how deliberately complicated it is. Smart meters put an end to all that.
You can find out more about smart meters here. Everyone will eventually be offered a smart meter, but contact your supplier to see if you can get one now.
If you don’t want to wait until 2020 for your smart meter, you can buy an energy monitor for about £25 (although some suppliers give them away for free). An energy monitor is a handheld device, which allows you to see the amount and cost of the energy you’re using. This will then enable you to see where cut backs can be made.
By following all of the above, you can significantly reduce the amount of money you spend on energy. This will leave you to spend your money on things you actually want!