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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you won’t have failed to notice just how much everything has increased in price over the last year. And the price of energy seems to have skyrocketed beyond everything else. Unfortunately, we can’t just eliminate gas and electricity costs from our budget as we can with, say, a TV package or a holiday, as it is essential to our lives; it’s a basic need. So it’s important that we utilise ways of reducing costs around the home as much as possible.
There are many things we can do to reduce our energy bill. Some of them are easy, while others will take a little bit of effort. But it’s so worth it, and if you combine just a few of these tips, you could save yourself a small fortune over the course of the year.
Turn your thermostat down by 1 degree
By turning your thermostat down by just 1 degree, you can save up to 10% on your energy bills, according to wwf.org. Most of us wouldn’t even notice the difference in temperature by doing this, so it’s well worth it. And if you can drop by 2 degrees, even better! Not only is turning your thermostat down good for your bank balance, but it is also good for the environment, as you are saving on the amount of energy you consume.
Change your cooking methods
Believe it or not, using your oven to cook your meals is one of the most expensive cooking methods. Energy experts, Utilita and supermarket chain, Iceland, have rolled out their ‘Shop Smart, Cook Savvy‘ campaign and found that by switching from using your electric oven to using an air fryer, you can save approximately £264 per year. This is because air fryers heat to such a high temperature, so less cooking time is needed. The chart below demonstrates just how much money can be saved just by changing the way you cook your food.
The clever folk at GoCompare have developed a very useful interactive energy cost calculator tool to find out how much something costs to run. Take a look here, and see how much you could save by switching from cooking your dinner in the oven to choosing the slow cooker instead.
Turn your boiler down
New research from the Salford Energy House found that lowering your heating flow temperature resulted in gas usage savings of up to 9% if the temperature was lowered from 80 degrees to 60 degrees, and up to 12 % if lowered from 80 degrees to 55 degrees. These savings are without even having turned the thermostat down!
To change your heating flow temperature, you must have a condensing combination boiler. If you have a system boiler or hot water cylinder, you will need to get a professional to do this for you.
Take a shower instead of having a bath
There’s nothing more comforting than taking a long, hot bubbly bath on cold, winter nights. But with the ever-increasing energy costs, this has become a bit of a luxury. According to the boiler experts at Worcester Bosch, having a shower works out cheaper than a having bath. A typical bath uses about 90 litres of water – 60 litres of hot water and 30 litres of cold – whereas a shower typically discharges around 9 litres of water per minute (6 litres of hot and 3 litres of cold). So, providing your shower is 10 minutes or less, you will save money by choosing to shower over bathing.
Switch off at the plug
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that appliances left on standby costs the average household £80 per year. Now, this doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s money that you absolutely do not need to be spending. Think of all of the other lovely things you could be spending that money on!
Take a look around your home. Chances are you’ve got many, many appliances currently on standby. It’s likely you have a TV, or multiple TV sets, all of which are probably just switched off by the remote. You may have set top boxes and games consoles, lamps, radios, a cooker, a microwave… the list is endless. All of these items are usually just left on standby, ready for when they need to be used. They sit there, blinking away, reminding you that they are costing you money every second of the day, even though you aren’t currently using them.
So, if you want an easy way to save some money, simply switch these appliances off at the plug, or, even better, unplug them until you are ready to use them again.
Grab yourself an electric blanket
Using a heated blanket instead of putting the heating on is a great way to save money. The cost of using an electric blanket is around 3p per hour, well below the average cost of using the heating. There are a whole host of different kinds of blankets you can choose from – electric blankets you use when in bed, electric throws that you can use when sat on the sofa, heated under blankets, and so on. so make sure you do your research before forking out any money. Some energy companies are giving away free electric blankets to their customers to help soften the blow of rising costs. Octopus is one such company, but there are others, so be sure to check to see if your provider is doing the same.
Switch to energy-saving light bulbs
Energy-efficient lighting helps lower electricity bills and carbon dioxide emissions, all without reducing the quality of light in our homes. According to the Energy Saving Trust, lighting makes up 11% of the average UK household electricity consumption, so there are huge savings to be had by making the switch to energy-efficient lighting.
We should all be trying to use LEDs in our homes where possible, as these are the most energy-efficient bulbs available. They tend to be more expensive to buy but they will last far longer than the older, inefficient light bulbs, and they will save you money on your electricity bill too. so don’t let the initial outlay put you off.
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