Energy saving tips for the home that will lower your bills

Energy saving tips for the home that will lower your bills

As gas prices rise through the roof, employing energy saving tips at home has never been more important. Because acts as simple as leaving your phone on standby, or overfilling the kettle, could be costing you hundreds of pounds a year.

Research from the Citizens Advice and the Energy Saving Trust has revealed that a third of households have not made any effort to reduce their energy use in recent years.

However, just incorporating a few energy savings hacks into your routine won’t just keep your house warm in winter, it could help households make real savings. That’s not to mention the bonus of helping the UK to reach its target of net zero emissions by 2050.

‘If every household in Britain made just a handful of energy-saving changes, the combined impact could make a big difference to our finances and the environment,’ explains Laura McGradie, head of consumer advice at Energy Saving Trust.

If you are stuck in your ways, or not sure where to start saving money on your home energy usage, these small changes could make a big difference.

Energy saving tips in the home

1. Turn your thermostat down by one degree

Image credit: Future PLC

Flicking your thermostat dial down from 25 to 24 degrees could save households across the UK £800 million.

Another myth busted is that it’s cheaper to have the heating on low all the time. Apparently, 46 per cent of us believe it to be true but it’s not. According to the Energy Saving Trust again, you can make £150 per year by using a thermostat to regulate the temperature.

2. Change your lightbulbs


Image credit: Simon Whitmore

You don’t exactly need to have a lightbulb moment to know that switching to efficient LED bulbs can save you money. But did you know just how much you could claw back?

According to Phil Spencer, you could save up to £240 on bills. Npower agrees, but puts the estimate at a more conservative £35 per year.

If all households swapped to LED light bulbs – or better yet, smart lighting and bulbs that are easy to switch on and off from your phone – it could save £230 million a year. It would also help cut down on 430,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

3. Stop leaving things on standby

Grey media unit with Tv Ruark hifi and baskets

Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

If you see that red light blinking on the TV, tell yourself and the family “stop leaving it on standby”. Turning all appliances off properly at the wall switch could save households across the UK £690 million.

And it will prevent 1.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions being released.

4. Don’t overfill the kettle

Grey kitchen with vinyl patterned floor and washing machine

Image credit: Colin Poole

Time for a cuppa? Stop filling the kettle up to the brim – and don’t be one of the 23 per cent that re-boils the kettle. Boiling more water than necessary each time could set you back £36 a year, based on calculations from the Energy Saving Trust.

Overfilling the kettle is the biggest drain on the nation’s wallet. If we all only boiled the right amount of water it would save £1.1billion!

The Energy Saving Trust has estimated that acting on just these first four energy saving tips alone could save each household £100 a year. The total carbon savings would be the equivalent of taking three million cars off the road.

5. Cover your pans

Silver pans on a ceramic hob

Image credit: Richard Gadsby

Make sure you put the lid on saucepans so your food cooks quicker, and turn off the heat on the stove a few minutes before you’re ready. Don’t worry, things will keep cooking under the residual heat, and this will save energy little and often.

Finally, make sure you always match the size of the cooking ring to the size of the saucepan, to avoid wasting energy by heating the air.

6. Swap the shower head


Image credit: David Giles

Next, a clever shower room idea. According to npower, four in five of us (81 per cent) believe showers use less water than baths. Yet your power shower could be drenching you with 50 litres of water more than you’d put a bath.

The Energy Saving Trust predicts that a water-efficient shower head could save a household up to £195 a year. And one minute less in the shower could save you up to £80 annually.

Modern shower heads use current-limiting technology to save up to 40 per cent water usage, while showering under normal water pressure. So if you’re sick of the drip, drip, drip from your old, limescale encrusted shower head, now’s the time to ditch it. This will cost you around £20-£40, but will save you in the long run.

7. Install a smart meter

As part of a government scheme all energy supplies now install smart meters, at no extra cost, to help you keep track on what you are spending.

Monitoring your daily household usage will help your be mindful of energy consumption – helping reduce how much we use and therefore costs.

If you’re on a waiting list and need a quick fix to start reading your usage, you can buy independent readers. There’s an initial outlay, but you’ll soon start saving because of it.

8. Block draughts

 Energy saving tips

Image credit: James Gardiner

Why waste the central heating you’re paying good money for? Keep cold draughts out of the house and save on heating bills. A simple draught excluder is a quick, cost-effective way to tackle unwanted winter chills from doors and windows.

Thermal lines curtains are another affordable money-saving system, keeping the heat in so you don’t need to crank up the thermostat.

9. Invest in a tumble dryer ball

 Energy saving tips

While a smart utility room is a luxury we’d all love, there can be hidden costs – particularly if you’ve installed a tumble dryer. On rainy washdays, it can guzzle plenty of energy while tumbling towels and sheets to fluffy and soft perfection. But did you know a tumble dryer ball can help?

The ingenious balls create space between the laundry, airing them and helping reduce the time needed in the dryer.

10. Combine cooking with heating


Image credit: Everhot

Combining a stove or range cooker with a boiler means you can have a smart appliance on show that can heat the whole house. Traditional range cookers can heat hot water for the kitchen and bathroom and run the radiators, while providing the kitchen with heat.

A boiler stove provides hot water and can run radiators, and works best in conjunction with other heating systems.

11. Bleed your radiators

black radiator in bathroom

Image credit: Future

Not feeling the benefit of your central heating system? You could be wasting money. Check your radiators are in good working order. If the top of a radiator feels cooler than the bottom then it probably needs bleeding to get rid of trapped air.

Learning how to bleed a radiator is surprisingly easy and the whole process only takes 10 minutes.

12. Fill your fridge with bottles of tap water


Image credit: David Parmiter

It may seem illogical, but it takes a lot more energy to keep an empty fridge cold than a full one. that’s why Location, Location, Location star Phil Spencer recommends you fill yours up with bottles of water.

13. Get a washing-up bowl

You can pick one up for a pound or two but you’ll make back the invest meant easily. That’s because, although almost one in five of us (18 per cent) think a running tap uses less water when washing up, you could save up to £25 on your water bill by investing in a bowl.

And of course, you’re not paying to heat that extra water, you’ll save on your energy bills, too.

14. Pick your paint wisely

Grey living room with yellow painted archway

Image credit: Future PLC/ Jo Henderson

Another of Phil Spencer’s genius energy saving tips is to paint walls with a satin or semi-gloss paint rather than a gloss as it will reflect the heat better. This will keep a room warmer – but will only save you money if you’re planning to redecorate, regardless.

‘Reducing household energy consumption and the monthly cost of energy is incredibly important to homes up and down the country, who are feeling the pinch’ says Chris Gardner, Head of Home and Garden Trading at eBay.

‘Even the smallest swaps can make an impact on reducing the cost of energy for all of us. Ebay offers plenty of options, for as little as under £10, to choose from.’

Will you be making any of these simple swaps?

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