How to Lower Your Energy Bills
Your energy bills can be a huge expense, so you might want to consider how you can reduce them. There are lots of sensible ways to do this, and you don't have to sacrifice aspects of your lifestyle.
You don't always need to have your lights at full brightness. For instance, if you're relaxing in your living room or bedroom, you may prefer a dimmer light. To achieve this and use less energy, opt for a dimmer switch. A dimmer switch allows you to control the level of lighting in the room.
Loft insulation can save you up to £175 per year, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Lots of energy suppliers offer insulation for a free or reduced price, so you should take advantage of it in order to recoup the savings.
Most modern homes already have double glazing, but some older ones do not. If you're not able to afford the initial cost, try and trap the hot air in using double-glazing film - it's much cheaper and you can get it from your local DIY store.
Switch to LEDs
LED bulbs can use up to 90% less energy than traditional bulbs. To see the savings on your energy bills, look at which bulbs you use the most and swap them for LED alternatives. Then, you can replace the rest as they break. This way, you don't have to spend a lot of money on LEDs upfront.
Check Your Tariff
You should always check your energy tariff. More often than not, providers will put you on their standard energy tariff (which is the most expensive) until you ask to switch. If you're currently on a fixed price tariff and it's due to end, you'll be moved to the higher price tariff automatically. Use comparison websites to ensure that you are getting the best value deal for your money and usage.
Regularly Read Your Meter
Never rely on estimated bills - where your supplier estimates how much you use a year, and calculates an average. Nine times out of ten, this will mean that you're paying more than you should be doing. Check your meter once every three months at a minimum and supply your provider with an accurate reading. You can do this easily these days by setting up an online account. You may find that your account is actually in credit.
Replace your Boiler
Got an old rickety boiler? It may actually make financial sense to replace it. Yes, the costs can be significant upfront, but you should find that your energy bills are reduced. However, you shouldn't rely on your energy supplier for a quote - they will most likely drastically increase the price in comparison to what a plumber would charge. If you have a large house or a big family, replacing your boiler could save you up to £200 a year, providing you go for the most energy-efficient option.
Switch Down the Heating
If you can manage to turn down your thermostat by just one degree, this could make a difference to the cost of your energy bill. If your house is insulated, you might not notice the difference. If you do, put on a jumper. The savings will be worth it - up to £60 a year can be saved just by switching your heating down from 20 degrees to 19. You can achieve the same level of success by turning your hot water down - if it's piping hot, it's too high.
Only wash full loads, instead of several half loads. Plus, you should always try and wash at 40/30 degrees. Ditch the dryer and hang your washing out to dry - in the winter, use a drying rack.