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. With the average homeowner currently shelling out between £1,000 and £1,500 annually for energy controlling cost in this regard is not only possible, it’s imperative. But just how does one effectively reduce the amount one pays 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 Real Energy Savings by Following These Tips
No one wants to spend £1,500 just to keep the lights on and 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.
- 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 – Sure, no one wants to have to wear that big old alpaca sweater in the house all the time but you don’t really have to. 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 room thermostat can save a further £100 a year and installing a timer on your thermostat can also save you big by preventing those occasions when you might go out and forget to reduce the temperature.
- 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 – Microwave display panels, 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 DVD player, unplug it. Same with the TV and microwave and PC. Or else install smart power strips that can tell when a device is not in use and cut power to it automatically.
- 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. So don’t delay.
- Repair any dripping taps – Did you know that if your hot water tap drips it can waste enough hot water every 2 weeks to fill a bathtub? 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 – Studies have shown that homes that install and energy monitor save 10 to 15% on their electric bill every month. The 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 only cost about £25 and are easy to install so what are you waiting for?
- 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 – Product loyalty went out the window when producers stopped being loyal to their customers. Remaining steadfastly loyal to a certain provider because your mum always used them is a nice nostalgic idea but one that’s liable to cost you money in the long run. Shop around and find the best deal then switch without looking back.
An energy saving home is easier to create than you think. Put the above tips into action in your house and you’ll be amazed at how much less you spend on energy every month.