When you own a home in the UK, you’re dealing with the highest property taxes in the developed world. So it’s important that you control other costs where you can.
The amount you pay for energy is one area where you actually have some control. The average dual fuel variable tariff as of April 2018 is £94.83 per month, or £1,138 a year.
Controlling cost in this regard is not only possible, but imperative. Just how does one effectively reduce the amount paid for energy without having to eat cold meals and wear alpaca sweaters around a darkened house?
Below we’re going to provide 10 tips that will allow you to cut back on your energy usage without having to sacrifice your quality of life.
Enjoy Energy Saving Benefits by Following These Tips
No one wants to spend thousands just to keep the lights on. By implementing these 10 tips, you won’t have to.
- Switch to energy saving light bulbs – Lights account for approximately 15% of the average monthly energy bill, so swapping out your old bulbs for new energy efficient ones will allow you to take a real bite out of your monthly energy bills. Compact fluorescent and LED bulbs will cost a bit more but they’ll use only a tiny fraction of the energy incandescent bulbs use and they’ll last many, many times longer. Even better – why not invest in some smart lighting? Read how it can save you money here.
- Upgrade your home’s insulation – Some 30% of the money you spend on heating your home is wasted when that heat escapes to the outdoors through poorly insulated walls. Install additional insulation where needed and enjoy immediate savings on heating costs (and air conditioning costs as well). If you’re a skilled DIYer you can do this yourself. If not there are scores of contractors out there who will do it for a reasonable price.
- Turn down the thermostat – Just turning the thermostat down by a couple of degrees can make a noticeable improvement in your energy bills, perhaps as much as £100 annually for each degree of reduction. In addition, installing a smart thermostat can save a further £100 and also prevent those occasions when you might go out and forget to reduce the temperature. There are loads of other benefits too, as you can read here.
- Install weather proofing – A fair amount of the expensive heat you’re paying for escapes under entry doors that have little or no weatherproofing. There are other ways to weatherproof the home as well including fixing leaks around windows, adding weatherproofing around outlets and hanging heavy drapes over the windows.
- Drive a stake through those energy vampires – Microwaves, DVD players, TVs, computers and more use energy just by being plugged in all the time. These are called energy vampires because they feed off of electricity without providing anything particularly useful in return. Don’t just hit the “off” switch on the TV; unplug it. Same with all those other small kitchen appliances. Investing in smart plugs could help you cut the power when needed, especially for those harder to reach sockets.
- Replace an old boiler – New boilers are marvels of energy efficiency but the same can’t be said for the boilers of yesterday. If your boiler is more than 10 years old there’s a good chance it’s an energy black hole and should be replaced. If you meet certain criteria you may qualify for government grants to help offset the cost of the new boiler, and there are also pay-monthly programmes available. So don’t delay.
- Repair any dripping taps – Did you know that if your hot water tap drips it can waste enough hot water to fill a bathtub every two weeks? It’s true. If you allow leaky hot water taps to just drip away you’re paying for a couple of nice hot baths every month that you’re not able to enjoy. Repair any dripping taps and make sure other taps are always fully turned off.
- Install an electricity monitor – A monitor lets you see in real time how much energy is being used in the house. For most people this is an eye opening experience and prompts them in short order to adopt more conservative energy use habits; and therein lie the savings. Electricity monitors are free for most people through their provider.
- Open your oven door when you finish cooking – When the roast is finished or the cookies are baked most people shut the oven door without thinking about it. But doing so is a waste of energy. Instead, open the oven door after using it and take advantage of all that already-paid for heat. Just place a chair in the way so no one walks into the open door by accident.
- Switch your energy provider – Energy suppliers, like car insurance providers, rarely reward loyalty. The best way to save is to compare at the end of every contract. Shop around and find the best deal then switch without looking back. There are comparison sites such as Money Supermarket or USwitch which do the hard work for you.
An energy saving home is easier to create than you think. Put the above energy saving tips into action in your house and you’ll be amazed at the savings.