Another year, another set of New Years Resolutions! Whether it’s cutting out the cigarettes, joining a gym or going vegetarian it is always nice to invest time into bettering yourself, but what if there was another resolution which could not only help your wallet out but help the environment too?
Every year on January 10th the nation celebrates ‘cut your energy costs day’ (there’s a day for everything, I know…) and in light of this we are going to share our top tips on how to save money and reduce excessive energy waste at the same time. Whilst some may require an initial investment, they will ultimately bring down the cost of your energy bill.
Let’s start with the easy ones:
Check that you are getting the best deal with your energy supplier
The first thing you should do when looking into reducing your energy bills is check whether you are getting the best price in the first place. There are plenty of sites out there which are able to compare deals and work out the best one for you, and you will often find that switching suppliers can reward you with a lesser bill as prices get more and more competitive for new customers.
If becoming more eco-friendly is your primary concern then there are companies out there who offer 100% green electricity. Often it can be just as cheap as standard suppliers, and your current supplier may even offer an alternative ‘green’ energy tariff, which could save you switching.
Another quick tip is to make sure that you aren’t being sent bills in the mail – not only is this a massive waste of paper in our digital-first age but suppliers often charge extra for paper bills!
Turn off appliances when not in use
You are probably (definitely) familiar with this one, but this isn’t just about turning the lights off when you leave a room. Appliances left in standby mode can still use energy, and although it is a minimal amount, having numerous devices on standby mode constantly can quickly add up. Further, even phone and laptop chargers can use minimal amounts of energy when left plugged in and so the best option is to simply turn the switch off at the socket to eliminate any risk of energy waste.
Consider getting energy-saving lightbulbs
Whilst turning lights off when a room is unoccupied is a sure-fire way to save on your energy bill and help out the environment, you can actually take a further step and save energy even when the lights are turned on. Energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) and CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) lightbulbs are widely available in stores for just a few pounds and are a much more economical option than standard lightbulbs due to the fact that they last longer and do not lose energy as heat. One more thing to consider is whether you are using a lightbulb relative to the size of the room.
Absolutely do not use portable heaters
This is just a quick one, but if your heating is not sufficient then it is far more economical in the long term to look at getting this fixed. Whilst portable heaters are a quick solution they are incredibly costly in terms of the amount of energy they use and your bill will quickly rack up.
Monitor heat in individual rooms
Keeping an eye on your heating is always recommended, making sure it is only switched on when it’s needed and ensuring it’s not set at an unnecessarily high level (always put a jumper on and see how you feel before resorting to bumping the heating up). However, if you want to go that extra mile to reduce your energy wastage you should check the individual levels set on radiators in each room and make sure they aren’t turned up high when they don’t need to be.
Invest in a smart meter
If you’re into your tech then buying a smart meter is a great excuse to get another gadget in your house which can save you money and help reduce unnecessary energy waste. Smart meters are becoming more and more advanced, offering the ability to control your heating from your smartphone, set heating routines based on your habits and even auto-adjusting themselves based on the weather, all of which is great for ensuring no energy is wasted.
Get a new boiler
Whilst the tips above relating to heating will absolutely help you save some money and reduce energy waste, the number one thing you can do to be more efficient with the energy you pay for in terms of heating is get a new boiler. A new boiler can be incredibly costly initially, but given that heating accounts for roughly half of the average annual energy bill, the savings over a few years will more than justify the investment. Newer boilers have advanced to the level that they can recycle waste heat and use it heat water!
Cut down on water waste
Whilst you may pay for your water bill in full already, pumping that water out uses energy, and this is where you can reduce some energy waste. Energy-saving shower heads can save you money by implementing a more even spread of water in the shower which in turn reduces the amount of water needing to be pumped through. This can reduce the amount of water needed for your average shower by approximately 50% in some cases. Similar heads are available for taps, and as a bonus tip checking for leaks in pipes can further reduce wasted energy.
Get your house properly insulated
If your house isn’t properly insulated then you are essentially leaking money when using your heating. Heating can be lost through your loft, walls and windows and this can increase the average energy bill by up to £270 a year.
Whilst this is an expensive investment initially, again in the long-term it will drastically bring your energy bills down and reduce unnecessary waste. Single glazed windows can be switched out for double glazed ones which let out far less heat, and both cavity and solid wall insulation is available which will drastically reduce the amount of heat lost through them.
We are definitely in the realm of expensive investments for long term gains regarding your energy bill now, but getting newer, energy-efficient appliances for your home is a surefire way to cut back on unnecessary energy waste.
To illustrate just how much money this can save you, an old washing machine can cost you up to £56 a year, whereas a newer, more energy-efficient model can cost as little as £15 a year. You can use the EU energy-efficiency rating to ascertain just how economical a new appliance is. The main offenders for energy-sucking appliances are washing machines, tumble dryers and fridge-freezers and so if any of these are outdated in your home this is definitely something to consider when replacing them.
You can even sell off your old appliances to try and get a bit of money back, and if you do choose to go this route don’t forget you can always use Shiply to deliver your goods in an environmentally friendly (and cheap) way.
Ok so admittedly if you can afford solar panels you probably aren’t too concerned with the cost of your energy bill, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still help the environment! Solar panels transform the sun’s rays into energy and it’s been estimated that it would take just 21,250 square miles (roughly 0.5% of the USA’s land) to power the entire country. They are dropping massively in cost as well, so if you are looking for a long-term solution to cheaper and more sustainable energy bills and a more eco-friendly source of power in your home then they are definitely something to consider.
So there you have it, a multitude of ways to cut down on your energy bill and help save the world in doing so, we hope this helps!