The cost of energy has soared over the last ten years and shows no sign of slowing. If you feel like you’re paying too much for your energy bills follow our ten simple steps to help reduce your cost, consumption and carbon footprint.
Switch energy suppliers and fix the price
Do a quick comparison to find the cheapest supplier in your area and switch supplier for a cheaper deal, making sure to fix down the price to protect yourself from any future price hikes. If you are a bit hesitant to switch supplier, call your current provider and ask them to move you to their cheapest available tariff and, again, fix down the price. If your bill states you are on the ‘standard tariff’ or ‘cheapest evergreen tariff’, as it is to be known going forward, then you are out of contract and could be paying much less on a fixed plan.
Economy 7 and 10 meters
If you have economy 7 or economy 10 meters try using timers. You can load your dishwasher or washing machine and set the timer to come on in the night when your meter is on the cheaper rate. It will help to really cut down the cost of using your appliances.
Only boil what you need
Believe it or not, your kettle is one of the biggest energy guzzlers in your home. Don’t boil any more than you need. The fuller your kettle, the more energy it is using to boil water. Just use the amount you need for your brew or to use on the hob, measuring water with the cup or pan you are using is the easiest way to ensure you’re not boiling any more than you need. Alternatively, you could buy a kettle with a cup indicator so you know you are using it as efficiently as possible.
Don’t use standby mode
TVs left on standby are still using large amounts of power, and an average computer screen left overnight uses roughly enough energy to laser print 400 A4 pages. TVs and computers should be switched completely off when not in use – whilst newer computers and laptops have become much more energy efficient, they are still energy-intensive. Don’t be sucked into the myth that regularly shutting down computers will affect their life time.
Laptop, mobile and tablet chargers continually draw electricity when plugged in, even when not in use. Unplug them or switch of the socket when you are not using them. Run your battery down rather than charging when you still have battery life left and don’t leave them on overnight. Over charging will also reduce the battery life. Full cycle discharges and charges will prolong the life with most batteries.
Replace light bulbs
Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient, compact fluorescent light bulbs or LED’s. They are slightly more expensive but they last much longer and use far less energy. Much of the energy produced in incandescent light bulbs is lost in heating the bulb. With a LED bulb all the energy is used to light the bulb. You can often find special deals in supermarkets and sometimes they are even given away free with newspapers so keep your eye out for any bargains!
Use energy efficient appliances
If you’re still using an older appliance(s) you will be using significantly more energy. The latest fridge freezers, washing machines and dishwashers are extremely energy efficient. When buying a new product there are two labels you should be watching out for. The first is the ‘Energy Saving Trust Recommended’ logo which can only be used on the top 20% most energy efficient products. The EU energy label grades products from A (best) to G (worst) for energy usage. For fridges and freezers the grading goes up to A++.
Turn lights off
When your parents asked you “are we competing with Blackpool?” when you were younger there was a reason behind it! It is easy to forget to switch them off, but by doing so you are literally burning money, especially if you are still using incandescent light bulbs. As you leave a room switch off the lights, during the day keep all curtains open to make the most out of the natural light. Using lamps in larger rooms can also be more energy efficient. In the lead up to Christmas, make sure you switch off your Christmas lights when you are not using them, they use up a lot of unnecessary energy!
Use appliances efficiently
If you are using your cooker try cooking a couple of meals at once, you can refrigerate or freeze the second meal and you have only had to heat the cooker once. If you are using your washing machine or dishwasher, wait until they are full to save both energy and water. Rinsing plates before placing in the dishwasher will also mean you can use a more energy efficient setting.
Don’t heat unused rooms
If you have spare rooms or rooms used sparingly in the house, switch off the radiators in them, that way you will cut down on the amount of energy used to heat the house. You should, however give them a blast once a week at least during the colder months to help avoid any unwanted damp and condensation.
Do you have any energy saving tips or advice? Please leave comments below.