Here’s the deal:
Energy bills can get more than a little bit out of hand, especially during the winter months. We are all looking for ways that we can become a better energy saver and turn where we live into a seriously energy efficient home.
Cheaper energy bills means more money in the back pocket of course, but it is also nice to know you are taking some small steps to reducing your environmental impact on this wonderful planet day-to-day.
But is it really possible to save?
It turns out, there are a few fairly simple steps you can take to start reducing your bills and to keep your energy consumption in-check.
We’ve made a list of some tried and tested energy saving tips that you can implement today to help get your energy usage back in order - all year round.
Switch your gas and electricity supplier
There a loads of helpful energy comparison sites out there, we are sure that you already have a couple in mind as you read this. It may be a good idea to go through a reputable one and see what sort of money they think you could save. Some promise you hundreds of potential £’s saved each year by making a switch. This may be a feasible option for you.
In lots of rental agreements you will be responsible for managing your energy bills/suppliers, so you should be able to switch without too much hassle. It is definitely important to check with your landlord/letting agent prior to this, as they will want to be kept up to date with any changes or may have an agreement in place already which could make switching impossible at the moment.
If bills are included in your rent - you are unlikely to have the option to change your provider, but it can always be worth speaking to whoever pays the bills to see if they would be willing to look for cheaper options.
If you living are in a managed property, such as university accommodation, you will not be able to change providers for your individual room, and will likely be paying a fixed rate. Still it’s worth getting in to some energy saving habits for when you make a move.
Turn down the temperature
On average almost 50% of your total energy bills will come from your heating, so there is a good chance to save a chunk of change when it comes to keeping you toasty. You can actually save £50-80 a year just by dropping the temperature on your thermostat by 1°C. Well that doesn’t sound too much colder does it? And simply by wearing a jumper, some slippers and even a blanket when sitting on the sofa, you are unlikely to feel the difference if you want to drop the temp a few degrees further. Be sensible and don’t freeze yourself though - no point in saving money if you can see your breath while sitting in the living room!
Cut out draughts
By making sure there are no cold draughts making their way into your home - you will feel warmer, and you will not need to blast your heating - especially during the winter months. Making sure all your windows are shut tight and buy a cheap draught excluder like this one perhaps for any doors that are misbehaving and letting cold air in.
💡 Turn off your lights and electronics when not in use
A simple energy saving tip really, but it is easy to forget if you are rushing around. Even if you are leaving a room for 10 minutes - turn off the light. It may seem like nothing, but if you do that for a whole year you will actually see the benefits.
Energy efficient appliances
OK, admittedly, you are not so likely to be buying new appliances for a rented property. But if you are required to do so, make sure they are as energy efficient as possible. Or if the owner of your property is replacing any of the appliances remind them to check the energy rating before purchasing.
Get your house an energy monitor
These have become more widely available over the past couple of years. Contact your energy provider directly to see if they can provide you with a monitor for your own home. They can help you get a clear picture on how much energy you are using, what this is costing you and will help you save some money.
Optimise your washing machine use
Wash on 30°C and don’t use a tumble dryer unless absolutely necessary. Also, try to fill your drum up to the maximum suggested amount every time, to ensure you are washing the most items possible for the energy used. No half loads unless it is a very special occasion.
Energy saving light bulbs
These are relatively cheap nowadays and last for a really long time - so it makes perfect sense. They can help save energy over time, and although it might not be the same sort of saving as lowering your thermostat, it can make a real difference. And seeing as lighting accounts for almost 15% of your total bills, it is a step in the (b)right direction. Sorry 😅
Don’t fill the kettle every time
Boiling a full kettle actually costs a lot more energy than a half filled kettle - as the filament is required to work twice as hard to boil the water. So only put as much water as you need in the kettle each time that you boil it.
Don’t forget about the smaller electronics!
Laptops actually use, on average, more energy than desktop computers, which is worth noting. In the modern world you are likely to need one, so think about how energy efficient it is next time you are in the market for a new laptop. Microwaves are another energy-lover. Perhaps a good excuse to avoid using one all together - but they are just so convenient!
For further information on household energy, check out: https://www.gov.uk/browse/housing-local-services/household-energy
What are your top energy saving tips? Let us know in the comments below.