Gas and electricity are essential parts of modern living, but the bills can add up. There are, however, ways that you could help lower your bills and energy usage.
Here are our top 10 energy-saving tips and facts that could help you save money on your household energy bills:
1. Older boilers are typically less efficient - A new boiler is more likely to have an A rating for efficiency– this means that your home could be heated in a more efficient and cost-effective manner, and you could save up to £200 a year on your energy bills**.
2. Turn off your appliances and avoid leaving them on standby - Remember, if an appliance has a standby light and/or is hot to touch, then it is using energy. Simply switch appliances off at the wall or unplug them to ensure that they aren’t draining energy, or invest in a smart meter or energy-saving tool that could help you see which appliances are using up most energy. You could consider timer plugs for devices, giving you control over when they are switched on and off.
3. Remember that when a window is opened, heat will escape - Keeping windows shut whilst you have the heating on could prove to be more efficient as heat is less likely to escape.
4. Using heating controls could help to reduce your energy bills by up to £150 per year** - A smart thermostat could monitor and ‘learn’ your habits and then control your heating accordingly. An accompanying app could then allow you to turn your central heating on and off, wherever you are, thus helping to reduce energy wastage.
5. Take a look at the energy efficiency rating of your appliances, typically ranging from A to G - For example, your boiler, fridge, freezer, dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer could all use energy more efficiently if they were A-rated, making a difference to your annual energy bill. It should be noted that all new models of fridges now have to have an energy rating of at least A+.
6. Once you’ve heated your home, you want to keep that warmth in! - You could be losing heat through your walls, roof and your windows if they aren’t properly insulated or sealed. Therefore, it could be beneficial to look into loft insulation and cavity wall insulation to prevent heat loss. In addition, a simple glazing film over your windows could be a cheap alternative to double glazing.
7. Up to 55% of your total energy bill could be spent on heating*, so having an efficient boiler could make a big difference - A well maintained, modern boiler could burn fuel more efficiently and thus help to reduce your heating bills**.
8. Be aware of less obvious ways that heat escapes from your home, this could include through letterboxes, keyholes, loft hatches, chimneys and floorboards - Blocking these could help you save energy. It is possible to draught-proof your home yourself, although a professional may do it more effectively. Using flexible fillers for floorboards, covers for keyholes and strip insulation for loft hatches, for example, could help make a difference.
9. Sludge in your central heating system could be reducing its efficiency and compromising its longevity - A magnetic filter attracts the rust particles in this sludge and filters them out of the system. This could improve the water flow and help cut energy bills. In addition, it could also increase the lifespan of your boiler. A system Powerflush could also help to solve this issue.
10. You could monitor your energy use with a smart meter, helping you to keep an eye on your usage and bills - A smart meter could also send readings direct to your energy supplier and so your bills could be impacted on how much fuel you have used, rather than an estimate.
** Source: energysavingtrust.org.uk. Saving calculated when replacing G-rated with A-rated boiler in a semi-detached house.