The global energy crisis and rising cost of living in the UK have brought energy consumption into even greater focus. Although the government has taken some steps to try to alleviate the burden on both private households and businesses, most of us are still searching for ways we can save energy over the coming winter period.
There are plenty of things you can do to keep costs down, starting with our top tips for how to save energy and reduce bills.
HOW TO CUT ENERGY COSTS
1. HAVE A QUICK SHOWER
Let’s start with a simple one. Although it can be really lovely to take a long, hot shower during the colder months, time is money when it comes to showering. Make sure you don’t leave the water running for ages before you get in, and as well as being a little quicker in the shower, try turning down the temperature a little to save on the amount of gas you use. If you’re having a bath, try to keep it a touch shallower.
2. BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR WINDOWS
Everyone has their own preferences for opening windows. Some of us like to start the day with a blast of fresh air through our homes, whereas others prefer to keep things cosy by ensuring they stay shut. If you do like to fling your windows open a lot, try to limit how long you’re letting the heat out, and don’t have them open the whole time the heating’s on.
3. ONLY USE WHAT YOU NEED
Only using the energy you really need is key to keeping costs down. As well as only having the heating turned on when you need it, there are lots of other ways to be mindful of your usage. From not leaving hot taps running unnecessarily to only boiling the amount of water you need in the kettle, keeping tabs on the little things will look after the bigger picture.
4. TURN DOWN THE THERMOSTAT
One degree is barely perceptible to most of us. Yet turning down the thermostat on your boiler could have a significant impact on your heating bills. According to some estimates, just a 1°C reduction could bring down your gas consumption by 7% a year.
5. BE MINFDUL OF THE WASHING MACHINE
Washing machines can be very unfriendly when it comes to how eco your home is. Take a look at your washing habits to see if you could reduce your energy usage by making sure you’re only putting on full washes and utilising the correct programmes.
Eco modes should save you money, as will colder washes. The same applies to your dishwasher in the kitchen.
6. AIR-DRY CLOTHES
Once those clothes are nice and clean, you’ll need to dry them. Hanging your washing on a line or clothes horse and allowing them to air-dry, rather than putting them in the tumble dryer, will help to cut your energy bills. It may also save you a few pounds on your clothes shopping as well, as you’ll be a lot less likely to shrink any of your favourite clothes.
7. WRAP UP FIRST
Speaking of your favourite clothes, many of us love putting on our big chunky knits, onesies and other warm clothes over winter. Try wrapping up in a cosy jumper or dressing gown before turning on the heating for the whole house, as even half an hour less with the heating on each day will make a real difference to your bills.
8. INSULATE YOUR HOME
As well as insulating yourself, it’s also a very good idea to ensure your home’s insulation is up to scratch. Inadequate insulation means the heat you generate and pay for disappears too easily through walls and ceilings, ramping up your usage and costs.
It’s inexpensive and relatively easy to add some extra insulation to your roof space, while there are of course companies that will come and do it for you too. There are also grants available, depending on your circumstances.
9. BEAT THE DRAUGHTS
Another way we lose heat in our homes is through draughts that come in primarily through windows, doors, floors and chimneys. Whether you’re tackling the gaps in your front door yourself or drafting in a professional to do it for you, there are real savings to be made here.
And don’t leave the door wide open for ages when you’re going in and out of your home, especially when you’ve been getting it nice and warm by having the heating on.
10. PAY BY DIRECT DEBIT
Most energy companies offer a discount on your bills when you pay by direct debit. This also allows you to spread the cost of your energy more evenly across the year, rather than being lumped with huge bills over the winter months. The cheaper summer months should help you get into credit in your account for the more expensive time of year.
11. SUBMIT REGULAR READINGS
Ensure you only pay for the energy you use by submitting regular readings of your gas and electric meters. This means your energy company won’t estimate your bills – with estimates you could potentially be paying over the odds.
12. GET A SMART METER
If you’d rather do away with having to provide meter readings altogether, you could get smart meters installed in your home. This can also allow you to access the best energy tariffs with certain suppliers, while providing you with a much deeper insight of how you use energy too. Every Wain home already comes with one!
13. UPGRADE YOUR HEATING SYSTEM
Got an old, inefficient boiler you’ve been putting off replacing? Now could be the time to get a new one. This may be a large upfront cost, but will start to pay you back on your bills right away. You can even upgrade your heating system without replacing the boiler, by getting one or more room thermostats.
Zonal heating systems are more intuitive and heat up the different areas of your home as you need them, but make sure you optimise the system accordingly in order for it to be most effective. Even a single thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves will make a difference when used properly.
14. CHECK YOUR APPLIANCES
If you’ve got an old appliance or two you’ve been thinking of replacing for a while, this could also be the time to take the plunge. New appliances, such as fridges, freezers, ovens, microwaves, dishwashers and washing machines, are likely to be more energy efficient than older ones.
15. CHECK YOUR BULBS TOO
You should also look to replace your bulbs with modern, energy-saving ones, which are far cheaper to run. They also have an upfront cost to bear, but they should last for many years and save you money in the long term.
16. CONSIDER A NEW BUILD HOME
If you’re thinking about moving home this winter, consider buying a new build. Brand new properties from reputable homebuilders are designed and built to the highest standards, using modern construction techniques and materials that aim to be as energy efficient as possible. On average those who own a new build save over £2,000 on housebuild bills each year, compared to those in an existing home*.
To learn more about the energy efficiency of a new home, just click here. Or to find out about how new build homes are rated on their energy usage, read our post on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) here.
If you’re looking to buy a new home or have any questions about the home buying process, get in touch with our team today. We’ll promptly answer your questions and queries.
One of the biggest questions first-time buyers have when purchasing a new home is how much deposit is needed. Lots of people make a big deal out of deposits, while they can also be something of an unknown quantity. Read on if you want to know how much deposit for a house is really needed, as well as some other things to keep in mind about this aspect of buying a home.
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