How to reduce your energy costs
From showers to sweaters, here's how you keep your energy usage down
We're all spending more time at home than we once used to. Which means we might see a rise in our energy use.
In this guide you’ll find tips on a range of ways to help reduce your energy consumption while being at home.
Compare gas and electricity tariffs
The old switcheroo
The best way to cut back on your energy bills is to compare energy prices to make sure you’re on the best deal. By comparing energy prices, you can see if your current supplier is being competitive or not. Or is it time to switch to someone else?
By switching energy providers, you could save money at a time when saving the pennies matters. It's one way to help your bank balance gain some breathing room.
READ MORE: The energy supplier switching process
Before you reach for that thermostat or flick the boiler on, try wearing another layer. Grab a jumper, scarf or cardigan and see if that warms you up. At least until the heating is due to come on.
Failing that, make yourself a cuppa to wrap your hands around or fill up a hot water bottle to put on your lap.
While working in your home, you’ll learn what the cooler times of day are. During times where it’s much cooler, you could set your heating to come on for only half an hour. Often that's enough to blast some heat into the house, taking the edge off the cold.
If your boiler runs off a thermostat rather than a timer, try increasing the temperature by half a degree. A small change like that might be enough to keep the temperature more bearable. And without loosening the purse strings too much.
Getting your boiler serviced right now may be difficult. Where possible make sure your boiler is serviced yearly to make sure it’s running well. An efficient boiler is a cost-effective boiler.
READ MORE: How to read your gas and electricity meters
Simple swaps and changes around the home
There is one very simple way to save money around the home when it comes to energy. Make sure all your light bulbs are either LED or energy saving ones and not incandescent. LED bulbs tend to be the most energy efficient and are immediately bright.
Then when it’s the evening, make sure you turn off the lights in the rooms you’re not using.
When you're able to, investing in insulation is also important. If you’re paying for the heating to be on, you don’t want to lose it straight up and out of your roof. Having a good layer of insulation in the loft will help keep the heat in your home where it should be.
If you’re more of a bath person, consider swapping to showers. Not only does this save energy in the amount of water you’re heating up, but it also uses less water. So a double whammy saving, cha-ching!
READ MORE: Making your home more energy efficient
Beware of vampire appliances!
Our research reveals plugged-in devices drain 135,000 hours of electricity. That's per household, per year. This costs Brits £68 a year on average – 6% of their total energy bill.
Devices such as TVs, games consoles and PC monitors use up a lot of energy while on standby. Turning these off at the plug when you’re on your way to bed each night will help save the pennies. And that cuts back on your energy bill.
Other appliances, like ones that display a time, use energy to keep up to date.
Phone chargers and smart home tech (think Alexa and Google Home) which are 'always on' are also a drain. If these don’t need to be on all the time, either unplug them or switch them off at the socket.
These changes will save pennies here and there, but when you add them all up, together they will save you £££s.
Following the lead of our Scandi friends, why not embrace the hygge trend. Hygge is all about embracing the cozy comforts in our home, things like:
Lighting the fire, if you have one
Snuggling up under a blanket
Making a hot chocolate
Reading a good book
Knitting or crochet
Crochet and knitting are both known for their therapeutic qualities. They're hobbies which also lend themselves to mindfulness, something which is very timely.
There’s also something very nice about snuggling up with a cuppa and crocheting a blanket.
There are lots of online tutorials and books to help you learn from the safety of your home. What’s more, your creations can help keep you warm too, saving on those heating bills.
READ MORE: How to save on heating this winter