5 ways to save on energy bills during the winter months

Friday 9 November, 2018 Budgeting

The chill in the air that sends you searching for your thermals is a quick reminder that winter is just around the corner. The minus temperatures make it easier for us to use more energy (and money) than we realise. Thankfully there are things that can be done around the house to help reduce the cost of winter!

Switch energy supplier

One way to save on money is to contact different energy suppliers and get to know who offers the best deals and tariffs, this could save you a great deal of money. Price comparison sites such as MoneySuperMarket and uSwitch will compare prices for you online. According to The Guardian by searching for the best deals, some households could save on average a whopping £400 a year!

When you switch supplier, it is usually because you have been haggled with at your front door step by one of their sales reps who promise to give you the world. However, most fixed energy deals only last for three years and when the three-year mark has been reached you are automatically moved on to your company’s standard tariff. This usually is not their best deal, the energy regulator Ofgem revealed that 57% of households reside on this rate and are overpaying by almost £300 per year. Making a few phone calls could save you between £200-£400, so why wouldn’t you!

Adjust your thermostat effectively

Reducing the temperature of your thermostat by 1°C can reduce your heating bills by up to 10% which is a substantial amount of money. With most thermostats nowadays, you can set a timer to switch your heating on before you get up or before you come home so that you can gradually build the heat in your house as opposed to cranking up the temperature to heat the house quickly to save you from Jack Frost’s icy grip. It is also a good idea to;

  • Add layers – If you are strutting around the house in a t-shirt and shorts mid November then I can say you are doing it all wrong. If you start to feel the cold, instead of turning the heat on/turning up your thermostat, grab your cosiest dressing gown/housecoat (potayto/potahto, this is a debate for another day….. *cough* dressing gown) and slippers or grab yourself a hot water bottle and problem solved. Simple, yet effective.
  • Bleed your radiators – Trapped air within a radiator can prevent them from heating up, trapped air can make them cooler and less effective.
  • Rearrange your furniture – Try not to place furniture directly in front of your radiators as they will absorb all the heat preventing it from being released to the rest if the room.

Invest in some energy saving lightbulbs

Energy saving lightbulbs are not only good for the environment but also good for the wallet. One of these light bulbs can save you up to £60 over its lifetime and last up to ten times longer than your standard light bulb.

Light bulb costs compared

Lifetime

Annual cost

Traditional light bulb

1,000 hours (less than two years)

£8.42

CFL

10,000 hours (10 years)

£2.04

LED

25,000 hours (25 years)

£1.71

Also, turning off the light when you’re not using them is a good habit to get into. According to the Energy Saving Trust, switching a light off for just a few seconds saves more energy than it takes for the light to start up again. The same applies to other electrical appliances, tv, phone chargers, the kettle etc.

Wash and dry your clothes efficiently

We all know what a nuisance it is when you want to wear your favourite blouse to work but it needs washed and unfortunately the washing basket isn’t quite so full. As tempting as it is to just throw a half load of washing into the washing machine this is the wrong thing to do; this is blowing through the household budget! Be patient and wait until the basket it full and run a 30ºC wash, you can rock that blouse another day. According to the Energy Saving Trust washing clothes at 30 °C uses around 40 per cent less electricity over a year than washing at higher temperatures.

Also, avoid tumble driers at all costs, generally they are superfluous, instead hang the clothes on a clothes rack and let the air work its magic.

Check that your home is energy efficient

The Energy Saving Trust can provide you with a home energy check to see what improvements can be made in your home to help lower the costs of your energy bills. This check could save you up to £250 per year and you will receive a free personalised report about your home and some energy efficient advice.

Finally

Good luck with slashing your utility bills!