Millions of people have already been affected by the energy crisis, and even more are expected to be affected by rising costs in the months to come.
The current crisis has already caused countless energy companies to close and Ofgem has announced that the average UK gas and electricity bill will rise by £693 a year – a 54% increase – from April.
Millions of people are struggling to heat their homes and worry about rising bills in the months ahead.
However, there are simple ways to reduce your energy costs, save money and minimize the financial impact on you and your household.
Turn off appliances and lights when not in use
Leaving appliances on while plugged in wastes energy that you don’t use. A socket left on when not in use has been estimated to cost £0.27 – or around £99 a year.
Leaving a light on in your home costs an average of £170 a year, so make sure you turn off any unnecessary lights or lamps and use as much natural light as possible.
Don’t leave devices on standby
Although this is no longer the issue it used to be – for example EU legislation states that TVs and other devices manufactured since 2013 cannot use more than 0.5 watts in standby mode – devices such as laptops , lights, etc. use a small amount of standby power, so it’s worth turning them off when not in use.
Although some appliances like freezers obviously need to be left on, you can save around £30 a year by switching others off when not in use.
Turn down your thermostat
One of the easiest ways to lower your bills is to lower your thermostat, even slightly. According to MoneySavingExpert, for every degree you turn the thermostat down, you can expect to cut your bills by around 4%, or around £65 a year on average for a typical home.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says 18 degrees is generally enough for healthy adults, with slightly higher temperatures needed for the very old or young.
Install a free water-saving shower head or reduce your shower time slightly
Reducing your water bill can also help you save on energy costs, because if you use less water, you’ll likely heat less water too.
Depending on your water supplier, you might be able to get a water-saving shower head for free which could save a typical family around 2%, or around £35 a year on average for a home typical.
For those using Welsh Water, you will need to use the online savings calculator to access the shower heads for free. You can find it here.
Cutting your shower time by just one minute could save you £75 a year on your energy bills and an additional £105 a year on your water bills if you have a meter – £180 a year for an average household of four people, according to MoneySavingExpert.
Wash more clothes, less frequently
You can also save on your water bills by doing fewer washes but filling more space in your washing machine. Although MoneySavingExpert suggests this will only save around £10 a year, every penny counts when bills are rising at the current rate.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates you could save £40 a year if you never use your tumble dryer, as appliances tend to use a lot of energy, but if you do have to use them, the less you do, the less your bills will be expensive. will be.
Make sure radiators are not covered
A tip often cited by energy-saving experts is to make sure furniture doesn’t cover radiators, as this can prevent heat from filling your home. A couch or chair will retain heat, which means you’re paying for the heat but not feeling the benefits.
Think about how often you turn on the kettle
We all know how much a cup of tea can help warm us up, but even slightly reducing how often you boil water or how much you fill the kettle with each time can save you quite a bit. on your bills. Boiling the kettle once is around 25p, so it’s worth thinking about if you often boil again after forgetting to use it after boiling once.
Use radiator thermostats
Thermostatic radiator valves are an additional control you can use to adjust the temperature of each individual room other than where your main thermostat is. When the temperature in that room exceeds what is set on the radiator valve, it will prevent water from flowing through that particular radiator. The boiler will still be on to heat the other rooms, but it will consume less energy.
Installing and using them with your thermostat could save you almost 6%, or around £85 a year on average for a typical home, according to MoneySavingExpert, although an upfront expense is required.
Keep the doors closed when you have the heating on
When the heating is on, it is recommended to keep the doors to the rooms closed. This is how the heat stays in the designated space and keeps the cold air out.
Use thicker curtains
Investing in thicker curtains such as Thermaliner blackout curtains can help keep your home a little warmer, especially if you’re in an older property or somewhere where heat could escape through cracks in the walls or window crevices.
If you’re not ready to get into the curtain market, however, it’s helpful to keep the curtains open during the day to let in sunlight and add natural warmth to your home, but close them. when the sun goes down.
Put cling film on the windows
Yes really. Although this is one of the most bizarre tactics energy savers have come up with in recent years, the Energy Saving Trust says it actually works. Putting foil over your window traps a small layer of air which can help keep heat from escaping, providing an extra layer of glazing if it is airtight. However, specialist secondary glazing is probably best as it will last longer.
Should I leave the heating on low all day or put it on high for less time?
The debate over whether it’s cheaper to leave the heater on low all day rather than just turning it on when you need it is controversial. The Energy Saving Trust is adamant that you should only turn your heating on when needed because if you keep the heating on all day you are also wasting energy all day.
Others advocate keeping the heat low all day while keeping radiator valves on max, saying turning off the heat creates condensation in the walls, which can lead to heat leakage. faster in houses.
Ultimately, the amount of heat you use will determine what works best for you, but it’s generally recommended that you only turn the heater on when you need it.
Should I turn off the hot water when I’m not using it to save money?
While some swear by turning your hot water on and off, there really isn’t a whole lot of savings to be had by doing this. It is best to ensure that your boiler tank has a good insulating jacket so that the water does not need to be reheated.
Should I paint my radiators black or put reflective panels behind them?
Another strange method offered by some energy savers is to paint your radiators black. According to several experts, it is unlikely to offer any benefit.
However, the Energy Saving Trust says that installing reflective panels behind your radiator could help reduce energy consumption. These reflect the heat from the radiator back into the room so that it does not escape through the exterior walls. This will likely benefit properties whose walls are not already insulated.
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