Saving money on your energy bills
Published Fri, Jun 7, 2013 Updated Tue, Feb 16, 2021
One of the most common wastages around the home is electricity. We all need it to power our kitchens, light up our living rooms and, in some cases, warm our bedrooms. But there are many ways in which you can cut down your usage to save money on your energy bills.
Here are a few tips for lowering the energy consumption in your home…
Light down, not up
When you leave a room, get into the habit of turning the light up if there is nobody else using that space. Installing energy saving lightbulbs will also help to make your home more environmentally friendly.
Say no to standby
Even when you’re not using an electrical item it can still be wasting vital energy if you leave it on standby. Remember to switch it off properly when you’ve finished with it.
Turn it right off
Once you’ve switched off your appliance properly, turn off the plug socket where it is connected to the wall. If your item doesn’t have an on/off switch then it’s especially important to do this; mobile phone chargers are particularly wasteful when it come to draining unnecessary energy directly from the socket.
Don’t be tempted to use too much water when boiling kettles or simmering vegetables. The higher you fill your pan, the longer it will take to bring the water up to the right temperature and the more electricity this will use.
Wash or wear?
It can be tempting to shove one cardigan in the washing machine when you need it for a night out, but this is a huge waste of both water and electricity. Hand wash any individual items and save the machine for full loads.
Use nature’s tumble dryer
When it’s a pleasant day outside, hang your wet clothes out on the washing line rather than sticking them in the tumble dryer. They’re less likely to shrink and they’ll smell better too!
Energy saving appliances
It’s not just lightbulbs that can save energy, white goods such as fridges and freezers can to. Although they might not be the cheapest option up front, purchasing an appliance that uses less energy will reduce your electricity bills and save you money in the long run.
Keep tabs on your habits
Energy monitors are a cheap way to see the real cost of your everyday lifestyle. Purchase one and see how many watts it picks up being used in the home. Some energy monitors can tell you how much boiling a kettle or cooking a roast costs in pounds as well as its power consumption, helping to show you how much money you can save by cutting back on your usage.
Loyalty doesn’t pay when it comes to utility providers, so shop around to see if you can get a cheaper electricity deal with another company.
Those of you with storage heaters can reduce your electricity costs by making sure your home is properly insulated. Lining the roof, sealing the windows and even putting a curtain in front of the door can have a noticeable impact on your home’s energy consumption, and the initial cost of installing the measures is soon wiped out by the money you’re saving each month.
If you’ve done all of the above but still aren’t happy with your energy bill, you might want to consider generating your own electricity. Solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular way to heat water and even power appliances in the home. Although there is a significant outlay to purchase the panels and have them installed, over time you will see the benefits and – if your panels are particularly productive – you might even be able to sell electricity back to the national grid.
In terms of the costs associated with solar panels, the good news if that they’re getting cheaper every time. The total price will vary depending on the type of panel you require and the number of panels, however the rough price is £1,500-£3,000 per kilowatt to buy and install them.
Those of you living in rural areas could even install a domestic wind turbine, as these tend to recoup their initial costs at a quicker rate than solar panels. Like solar panels, the outlay depends on the exact product you choose, however start-up costs currently stand at £5,000 upwards. Depending on the level of wind in your local area, your return on investment could be significant, as domestic wind turbines have been known to generate up to £2,000 per year in energy savings and sales back to the national grid.