Written by: Fiona Denton
Big energy bills? It’s time to save money
If you’re fed up of your bottom jaw falling off each time you open your fuel bill, then it’s time to do some serious energy saving. Switch on to the habit, and you could save hundreds of pounds a year:
Turn down the thermostat
Many people have their central heating thermostat set higher than necessary. Turn it down by 1° per day, and if you’re still feeling warm, turn it down another degree. Every degree you decrease the that dial could save you about £65 per year.
The big turnoff
Switch off lights, appliances and chargers when you’re not using them. If you can still see red and blue lights blinking at night, then you’re burning power and cash. And leaving your television on standby is almost as bad as leaving it switched on – it uses 20% of full power.
You can save around £40 per year by using household appliances carefully:
Turn your washing machine down to 30°C.
Don’t fill the kettle to the top every time – boil the amount of water you need.
Defeat the bill
Follow these three steps and you could save around £155 per year – more than the cost the average energy bill went up last year.
1. Lag your tank
Think how much warmer wearing a coat makes you feel – the same applies to your hot water cylinder. Fit a snug jacket, and start saving immediately, and while you’re at it, get the exposed pipework insulated too. It’s quick and easy to fit yourself, and the materials cost about £25. Wrap your tank up, and you could save £60 per year.
2. Draft excluders
Unless you have a modern house, chances are you’ll be losing heat through gaps around doors, skirting boards and windows and up the chimney. And although exposed floorboards may look fabulous, cold air will seep through and chill your feet, making you feel more like a penguin than the person.
Get to the DIY shop, buy some proper draft-proofing products, seal your skirting boards using silicon sealant, and fit sealed fire guards or a chimney draught excluder. Depending on the size of your house, this could cost you up to £160, but could save you around £75 a year.
3. Don’t be a bright spark
If you’re still burning old-fashioned light bulbs, it’s time you exchanged them for low-energy bulbs, even your halogen spotlights. Modern versions are just as bright, but many times more efficient. Replace all your bulbs with shiny new low energy versions to save around £60 per year.