Friday 15th Apr, 2022
Save on your energy and fuel bills
Ten Top Tips for Saving on your Energy and Fuel Bills
The coming increase in energy prices is a cause for concern for everyone and will make it even more of a challenge for lots of people to make ends meet. We’ve been checking out some tips from the Energy Saving Trust and Humber & Wolds Rural Action which could help you reduce your energy use in the home and lower your bills:
Just by remembering to turn your appliances off at the plug, rather than leaving them on standby, you could save money. Most can be turned off at the plug without affecting their programming – check the instructions for any you aren’t sure about.
Turn your lights off when you’re not using them or when you leave a room – and replacing the lights in your home with energy-efficient LED bulbs could help you save even more, as they last longer. They could save you around £50 over their lifetime while still supplying you with the same amount of light.
Use your washing machine more carefully: put it on a 30-degree cycle instead of higher temperature, and try to limit its use by one run per week for a year. And try to use the tumble dryer less frequently – dry clothes on racks inside where possible or outside in warmer weather.
Kettles are one of the most used kitchen appliances – avoid filling them with more water than needed. A microwave uses less energy than an electric oven on full power. Defrost your freezer regularly. And only run your dishwasher when it is full, to reduce the amount of water you use. When cooking, choose the right size of pan and lid and use the correct energy settings.
Unless your home is very new, you will lose some heat through draughts at doors, the letterbox, windows, gaps around the floors, or through the chimney. Installing loft insulation and sealing up gaps will reduce this and save you money. Professional draught-proofing may cost around £200 but benefit you for many years; a DIY job could be much cheaper. However, be careful not to block air vents.
Some of us might enjoy a long soak in the bath, but swapping just one bath a week with a shower could save you money – and keeping your shower time to around four minutes could save you even more.
If you have heating controls and timers then use them. Consider turning down room thermostats by 1 degree C to reduce internal room temperatures and save up to 10% of your energy consumption, but remember that it’s always important to stay warm in your home. Keep curtains drawn at night, and tucked behind radiators, to keep heat in the room and open them in the daytime to allow radiant heat in. Ideally living rooms should be 21C and bedrooms 18C in colder weather.
Avoid leaving immersion heaters on for a long time as they are expensive to use. If your hot water cylinder doesn’t have a jacket purchase one for around £10 and you can save up to £20 on your energy bills. Setting your cylinder thermostat to 60C will keep water warm and save energy. Insulating your water tank, pipes and behind radiators is a quick and easy way to save money on your bills.
Be sure to supply meter readings regularly to your energy supplier and read your fuel bills to help you manage your energy use and spend. Take advice on whether you are on the best available tariff(s) and whether fuel switching would offer a better deal (Right now – in 2022 – it may be best to stay on your current tariff). The right tariff may depend a lot on your lifestyle, energy demand and preferred payment method.
Households receiving certain welfare benefits may be eligible for free assistance with insulation and heating improvements. Contact your local authority and consider having a benefit entitlement check as this may help. And if you’re having difficulty paying your energy bills and are in debt to your fuel supplier, seek advice. Your supplier should agree with you a repayment plan that you can afford.
Here’s some sources of further help and advice:
Energy efficiency – Energy SavingTrust (EST) – free impartial advice to all households – www.est.org.uk
Benefits entitlement checks – Your local authority benefits team or Citizens Advice – www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Insulation and heating improvements – ECO - https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/energy-company-obligation-eco3-2018-to-2022
This article is for general information only and does not constitute financial, legal, or any other form of advice.