Quick tips for cutting down your home bills
We all want to save a few more pounds these days, and short of cutting out that trip to the local coffee shop every lunch time (and perhaps on the way to work), we may be running out of ways! And we all try to save money on our bills by using less, or even switching suppliers. But there are other, quite inventive ways of bringing down your bills.
1. Do a ‘leak audit’ of your house
One leaky tap can cost you up to 300 gallons of water a month. It’s a frightening statistic and we all need to do as much as possible to help out. One thing you cannot switch is your water supplier, so it may be worth getting a plumber in for a couple of hours if you have any serious leaks. Check all of your taps, and also check the toilet for any leaks – they are difficult to spot, but if you listen carefully, you can hear the water trickling.
2. Insulate your hot water pipes
Do you turn the hot water tap on in the morning, only to wait 30 seconds before the water heats up? If so, you may need to insulate your hot water pipes so that you get hotter water, quicker. This way, those 30 seconds of water that are wasted before the hot water starts up can be cut down to 10 seconds – saving you hundreds of gallons of water per month.
3. Is it time to change your boiler?
Your boiler could be costing you hundreds of pounds per year more than you need to pay. A condensing boiler is the most energy efficient, with heating controls that help you get the most out of your boiler. You can book yourself a free audit from many boiler installation companies, and there are often grants or ‘boilers for scrap’ schemes around. If it’s not time to change your boiler, just turning the thermostat down by 1 degree can make noticeable savings without a noticeable change of temperature.
4. Do a ‘plug audit’
Keep a record of where your plugs are, and what’s plugged into them on a permanent basis. Are you using all of those plugs? Many people tend to leave DVD players plugged in all the time, which uses energy despite hardly ever being used. Once you have a wider view of all of the energy points in your house, you can go round the house, taking the plug out of anything that you haven’t used for a month.
5. Get some new habits
There are some really simple things that you can do to increase those savings. For example, only fill the kettle with the water that you need – any more and you’re using extra power for no reason. Put a lid on pans while you’re cooking so that the water heats up quicker, and make a note to turn appliances off instead of putting them on standby.
These are quick and easy ideas that can make real savings every month. As always, keep an eye on your meter readings and wherever possible, switch suppliers so that you get the best tariffs – but the best savings come from the little changes you make around the home!
About the author: Jayne Ball works for In Home 24, a leading emergency repairs service based in the South-East of England. In Home 24 look after plumbing, heating, gas boiler installation and repair, and electrical faults.