10 ways to save on energy bills
Winter energy bills needn't be painful - here are some tips for heating your home without breaking the bank
1. Say goodbye to baths
Modern high-power showers can use as much water in five minutes as it takes to fill a bath, so it's worth considering energy-efficient shower heads. A family of four could save about £65 a year on their gas bills. Shorter showers save money too: if you cut the time by just one minute a day, you could save £10 over a year.
"I always take showers rather than a bath and switch off the
shower while applying shampoo, conditioner and body wash."
2. Tackle the chimney
If your house has a chimney but you never light a fire in it, make sure the chimney is blocked: heat can escape easily that way, and draughts can come down. You can cap the chimney, or, if you do light a fire occasionally, buy an inflatable chimney balloon - just don't forget <eek> to remove it before lighting the match.
3. Draught-proof EVERYTHING
Letting heat escape, or allowing cold air to come in, is simply a waste of money. Make sure all your windows, doors and loft hatches are sealed properly. Thermal or heavy curtains can help, too. And don't forget flaps and draft excluders for your letterbox!
"Keep your curtains shut. I can't believe how many
people leave them open!"
4. Go unplugged
Remembering to turn off your TV, computer, and kitchen appliances at the plug can save £30 a year. If you buy a standby saver, you can turn them all off with one switch. (If you want to record War and Peace, of course, you'll need to leave the television plugged in...)
"Switch everything off. Microwaves can use more electricity per year
running their clocks than they use to cook."
5. You can't beat a bowl
Yes it is easier to leave the tap running when you
do the washing up. If you use a bowl, though, you could save £30 a
year in energy bills.
6. Make full and proper use of your kettle
Fill the kettle with just enough water for your needs
- the savings could add up. Try to use the kettle to boil water for
cooking, too; it's quicker and uses less energy than
"If we are going to be at home during the daytime I boil
the kettle in the morning and fill up a flask with the water. I use that water
for any hot drinks we want during the day instead of switching the kettle on
7. Embrace large laundry loads
The inevitable piles of dirty washing can actually help you save on your energy bill, if you always put a full load in the machine and use the economy setting wherever possible. With modern washing powders, you can also usually choose a lower temperature for your washing than it says on the label. If you can cut back by just one load a week, you could save £5 a year.
8. Flip the switch
How many times have you told the children to turn off the lights when they leave a room? If they (and you) can get into the habit, you could save at least £50 a year. In addition, an energy-saving light bulb lasts up to 10 times longer than an ordinary bulb, and can save about £50 over the lifetime of the bulb. Consider also replacing halogens with LED spotlights - they're even more efficient.
"I had a main light in my living room with old style energy saving bulbs
(five bulbs in the fitting), but when I got an energy monitor I saw
just how much electricity it was using. I now use a table lamp with an LED
bulb which doesn't even register on the monitor, and gives a nicer
9. Put a jumper on
Turn your room thermostat down by just one degree and you
could save about £90 a year. Be honest - would
you really notice the temperature difference? Make use of the timer, too, so
the heating and hot water only come on when you need them.
"We switch off the heating for 30 minutes every
hour and put on another layer. We really don't notice the
10. Switch and save
You could save over £200 a year by switching energy supplier. It's easy to compare offers - MoneySuperMarket™'s comparison website can find you the best deal in minutes.
"Spend some hours checking you've got the best deals on all utilities, insurances (usually best done at renewal time for insurance or you get charged hefty 'admin' fees), as well as bank accounts and credit cards."
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Last updated: over 2 years ago