Save energy and cut your bills

Switching suppliers is certainly one way to lower your energy bills, however there are plenty of other ways to keep costs down and have a positive impact on the environment. Here are Moneywise’s top tips for saving energy and money at home.

Some may take a little effort, but there are also plenty of changes you can start implementing today.

Turn down your thermostat

By turning down your thermostat by just one degree you can save roughly £40 a year according to British Gas. Likewise if you turn your heating off half an hour before you go to bed and before you leave the house in the morning and you could save a further £16.

Don’t leave appliances switched on

Don’t leave electrical appliances like your TV on standby and you could save in the region of £39 a year says British Gas. You should also not leave phone charges plugged in or your games consoles on idle.

Save when you wash

Don’t run half empty loads on your dishwasher or washing machine. You can also save up to £10 a year by washing your clothes at 40 degrees rather than 60. Drop to 30 degrees and you could save even more. This shouldn’t make any difference to the quality of the wash – modern washing powders are designed to work at lower temperatures. Finally, if the weather is fine hang your washing out to dry rather than putting it straight into the tumble dry – after your fridge this is the appliance that uses the most electricity.

Think twice before filling the kettle

Only boil the amount of water you actually need. According to the Energy Saving Trust if everyone did this we’d save enough electricity to run half the UK’s streetlights.

Stop the draughts

Keep the cold out and the heat in by fitting brushes or PVC seals to exterior doors and fill any gaps between floorboards and skirting boards with newspaper, beading or sealant.

Light up with less energy

Replace all your ordinary light bulbs with energy saving equivalent. Ok, so they are a bit more expensive, but they will last 12 times as long. According to the Energy Savings Trust, each bulb you fit will knock £9 a year off your electricity bill and £100 over its lifetime. Also remember to switch off lights when you leave the room. British Gas claims this can save you around £27 a year.

Insulate your home

You can expect to save between £180 and £220 a year by fitting loft insulation and between £130 and £160 with cavity wall insulation claims the Energy Savings Trust. Speak to your energy supplier to find out if you are eligible for grants or whether they have any special offers. A free way to keep heat in is to always close your curtains at night, but don’t drape them over radiators as this will just funnel heat out of your windows.

Wrap up your tank

An insulating jacket for your hot water tank should only set you back a few quid and it could knock £20 off your bills a year. Go for one that is at least 75mm thick to reap the rewards.

Get a new boiler

If your boiler is more than 15 years old it might be time to switch to one of the now compulsory modern condensing types. One of these could slice a third off your energy bills says the Energy Savings Trust.

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