11 cost-free ways to cut your energy bills
Now you’re settled in your new home, why not turn your attention to reducing your household bills? Start with using less energy.
The cost of gas and electricity might fluctuate but it’s always expensive. According uSwitch the average energy bill now totals a chilling £1,138 a year. But there are some easy and FREE ways you can use less in your next home.
1. Switch off the lights
One of the most obvious ways is to switch off the lights as soon as you leave a room. The Energy Saving Trust (EST) estimates you can save £15 a year with this one small action, so why not make a habit of it?
2. Cover floors and plug gaps
Lack of insulation in your home will only maintain cold temperatures, leading to unwelcome heating bills. If your new place doesn’t have fitted carpets (and your budget won’t stretch to them yet) throw down some thick second-hand rugs to lock in warmth. The result could see up to £85 wiped off your energy bills.
3. Nudge down your thermostat
Turning down your thermostat by just a single degree can save up to £90 on your annual energy bill, according to the Energy Saving Trust. You’ll hardly notice the difference and it’s all money back in your wallet.
4. Avoid standby mode
When your household appliances aren’t in use, most automatically revert to standby, but this quietly drains energy. You can turn most electrical appliances off directly at the mains, saving yourself around £30 a year in the process. However, digital TV or satellite recorders may need to be kept in standby to function properly.
5. Time your shower
There’s nothing like a relaxing shower to unwind. But, do you know how long you actually spend standing there? Cutting down your shower time by just one minute will shave an easy £10 off your annual energy bill.
6. Don’t leave the tap running
Washing the dishes can turn costly if you leave the hot water running. Get into the habit of filling up the sink with hot suds instead. And if you have a dishwasher, don’t press go until it’s completely full. Do this and snip a further £15 off your annual bill.
7. Fill the kettle with what you need
Do you boil a full kettle for just one cup of tea? It’s estimated that three-quarters of all British households are in the habit of it. By heating just the right amount of water you need, you could knock another £7 off your energy bill.
8. Switch to a cheaper energy supplier
With yet another round of energy price hikes in early 2017, how do you know you’re energy provider is giving you the best deal? You could save more than £600 a year by switching, according to uSwitch. And it won’t cost you a bean.
Why pay more than your neighbours for the same energy? Compare deals now
9. Employ some humble silver foil
Silver foil down the back of radiators reflects heat back into the room, preventing it escaping through the walls. Get the best fit by wrapping the foil around a large piece of cardboard and sliding it behind the radiator. You’ll feel immediately warmer, and save another £20.
10. Leave your oven door open after cooking
There’s nothing like a bit of cooking to warm up a kitchen. But when you’ve finished with the oven, make sure you transfer the surplus heat to the rest of the home by leaving the oven door open.
11. Apply for energy-saving grants
Five of the Big Six energy suppliers (British Gas, EDF, E.On. Npower and SSE) offer grants for energy-saving improvements to British households, such as loft or cavity wall insulation or even a new boiler.
However, most of them only under certain conditions, such as being on Pension Credit or receiving some benefits. You can find out if you (and your home) qualifies by calling providers direct. Or contact the Energy Saving Trust on 0300 123 1234.