With the possibility of huge home energy bills in the near future, Britons are looking for ways to save money on heating bills this winter. This means you'll need to reduce how much electricity and gas you're using, so we look at a few easy ways to achieve this.
Here's how you can save energy - and money - this winter.
Even though it seems like it won't make a difference, your heating costs will immediately decrease if you lower your main thermostat by only one degree.
Experts recommend waiting a day to see how the temperature in your home feels. If you're still comfortable, turn it down one more degree. Most families prefer a temperature between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius, but if there are any elderly residents in the home, it may need to be slightly warmer.
A one-degree decrease, according to the Simple Energy Advice website, can reduce your heating costs by 10%.
It's understandable that you want to keep warm in your home during winter, but this also means higher energy bills. This is why you should consider cheaper alternatives than heating your home.
You can wear an extra layer of clothes, or buy a thick cosy blanket - especially if you work from home and want to avoid turning up the heating system in your home.
When warm air is escaping your home, there’s no point in increasing the heat. But there are inexpensive ways to prevent this. You can create your own draught-exclusion devices for the doors inside your home by filling tights with used clothing or rolling up towels.
Stop the hole of a chimney you’re not using with an inflated chimney balloon, which costs around £20. According to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), installing a chimney draught excluder can reduce your energy costs by roughly £65 annually.
The Energy Saving Trust (EST) estimates that an insulated loft can save annual energy costs in a semi-detached home by up to £355 and by up to £590 in a detached home.
Using rolls of mineral wool that sit between the joists, you can complete the work yourself if your loft is easily accessible. According to the EST, insulating a loft in a detached home costs about £630, a semi-detached home costs about £480, and a terraced home costs about £455.
As a result, this is an investment that pays for itself over a number of years.
Another way to keep your energy bills low is to replace your conventional light bulbs with LEDs. LED light bulbs are very energy efficient and typically use around 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
As an example, according to the EST, exchanging a 100-watt incandescent light bulb with an LED light bulb can save you around £15 a year. When you add up all the bulbs in your home, it can help you save on your energy bills every year.
When it comes to laundry, lowering the water temperature can save you money because washing clothes with hot water uses more electricity.
According to the EST, washing at 30 degrees Celsius as opposed to 40 degrees Celsius or higher will save 40% of the energy used annually. Also be sure to only wash when you have a full load, to optimise your machine.
Try to air dry on a clothes horse or heated airer because using a tumble dryer will also increase your energy costs. If you must use the tumble dryer, spin the clothing in the washing machine on the highest cycle first.
Most households in the UK will find that their central heating system is responsible for more than half of their energy bills. This is why replacing an old boiler with a new one could lead to a significant difference in your energy bill payments.
According to the EST, upgrading an old boiler to a newer condensing one that is A-rated, with a programmer and thermostatic radiator valves, a semi-detached three-bedroom home can save up to £540 a year. A detached house can save up to £840 a year.
Buying a new boiler can be expensive (around £4,000 with installation) so only replace yours if it's faulty or old. If your boiler is still working, you could make sure that it's running efficiently by booking a boiler service.
Most people will find it's not the best time to switch energy providers.
Currently, very few, if any, suppliers are providing fixed tariffs that are worthwhile switching to. On October 1, 2022, the out-of-contract tariff price cap increased, and even though the government's Energy Price Guarantee is reducing bills, the new rates are still higher than they were previously.
As a result, the majority of homes in the nation are currently paying more for energy.
However, there are small things you can do to keep your energy bill payments as low as possible:
Manage your account online and choose paperless bills
Choose direct debit payments as this is often cheaper than paying when you get your bill.
Keep your bill accurate by sending regular meter readings. Smart meters will do this automatically.
Keep an eye on any direct debit increases that may be a bit high. Your energy provider should be able to explain the changes and over a year, your payments and usage should balance out.
From turning down the thermostat to reviewing your energy bill, there are many small changes you can make to reduce your energy bill. Best of all, some of these tips above only take a few minutes to implement, so you can start saving right away.