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ENERGY SAVING TIPS

Top 11 ways to save energy at home

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Written by  Emma Spencer
4 min read
Updated: 08 Feb 2024

Energy prices are at record levels. So we put our heads together to come up with some simple steps to help trim your bills.

Cutting energy costs: A guide to reducing your gas and electricity bills

For many families, the monthly energy bill is one of the most significant expenses they face. With the cost of living on the rise, it's more important than ever to find effective ways to reduce our gas and electricity usage.

Not only does this help our wallets, but it also benefits the environment by reducing our carbon footprint. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore practical steps you can take to cut down on your energy consumption and manage your bills more effectively.

How much energy does the average household use?

In today's world, our homes are filled with a myriad of electronic appliances that make our lives easier.

According to the Energy Consumption in the UK (ECUK) report, the average household with four occupants now operates around 13 electronic appliances, a stark increase from the average of just four appliances back in 1990.

This might lead you to believe that our energy usage has skyrocketed, but surprisingly, it has remained relatively stable. This suggests that while we're using more devices, the appliances themselves have become more energy-efficient.

However, there's still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to reducing our energy consumption and saving money.

when do people use the most energy

How to save electricity

One of the simplest ways to start saving electricity is by investing in efficient gadgets and appliances. For example, swapping out traditional light bulbs for energy-saver alternatives can make a noticeable difference.

If you're in the market for new appliances, look for those with an A+++ rating, such as dishwashers and refrigerators, which are designed to use less energy. Additionally, make a habit of turning off devices that aren't in use. Even when they're not actively being used, many appliances continue to draw power if they're left plugged in.

How to save gas

When it comes to gas, upgrading to more efficient appliances can have a significant impact. A smart thermostat is a great investment, as it gives you precise control over your heating, ensuring you're only using gas when and where you need it. These devices can be programmed to match your schedule and even learn your preferences over time, leading to more efficient heating and lower bills.

How to save energy

The energy saving tips below give you some tools and tactics that will help you save gas and electricity at home. We have included estimated figures from the Energy Saving Trust to illustrate the potential energy savings that you could make.

1. Turn off standby appliances

By simply turning off appliances at the plug, you could save around £30 a year. Smart plugs or timer plugs can help manage this automatically, ensuring you're not wasting electricity on devices that aren't in use.

2. Install a smart thermostat

Smart thermostats can make your heating more efficient by only warming the rooms you are using. They can also be controlled remotely via your phone, which means you can adjust your home's temperature from anywhere. By installing room thermostats and controls, you could save approximately £75 annually.

3. Turn down your thermostat

It's a simple change, but lowering your thermostat by just one degree can reduce your heating bills significantly, potentially saving up to £80 a year. Considering that heating and hot water account for nearly half of your energy bills, this small adjustment can make a big difference.

4. Buy efficient appliances

When it's time to replace old appliances, choosing those with high energy-efficiency ratings is key. For instance, an A+++ rated washing machine can save you money over time when compared to a less efficient model.

5. Install a new boiler

Considering a new boiler? You can save energy by upgrading your old boiler to a new A-rated condensing boiler with a programmer, room thermostat, and thermostatic radiator controls. For a detached house, moving from a G-rated to an A-rated boiler could save around £300 per year.

6. Wash clothes at a lower temperature

Simply washing your clothes at 30 degrees instead of 40 degrees can lead to energy savings. Additionally, cutting down on one wash cycle per week could save you £5 over the course of a year.

7. Be smarter about water

Using a bowl for washing up instead of leaving the tap running can save you £25 a year. Efficient shower heads and a shower timer can also contribute to significant savings on your energy bills.

8. Invest in double glazing

Double glazing not only reduces your heating bills but also helps to cut down on noise from outside. If you install A-rated double glazing in a semi-detached home, you could save up to £110 annually.

9. Draught-proof your property

Draught-proofing your home is a cost-effective way to save heat and money, potentially reducing your heating bills by up to £35 a year. Simple measures like sealing cracks and using plastic linings for windows can make a big difference.

10. Insulate the roof

Heat rises, and without proper insulation, it can escape through your roof. While insulating your loft can cost several hundreds of pounds upfront, it can also shave around £135 off your energy bills each year if you live in a typical semi-detached house.

11. Monitor your usage

Being aware of your energy consumption is the first step towards making informed changes. Installing a Smart Meter lets you track your consumption with accurate and real-time information. Learn more about how they work with our guide to Smart Meters.

Compare energy quotes

In the current energy market, switching providers to save money might not always be possible. However, under normal circumstances, comparing energy quotes can lead to savings on electricity and gas.

The process involves providing personal and supplier details, and MoneySuperMarket offers a platform to compare costs, savings, and early leaving fees. Understanding the difference between fixed and variable rates is crucial, and when you decide to switch, the new supplier will handle the process without interrupting your supply.

Need help with your bills?

If you find that energy-saving measures aren't enough to manage your bills, don't hesitate to contact your supplier for assistance.

One option is to have a prepayment meter installed. This way, you can pay off your debt gradually while paying for your current usage and avoiding further debt. Keep in mind that prepayment meters usually have higher tariffs, but you still have the option to switch energy providers.

By taking proactive steps to manage your energy consumption, you can make a positive impact on both your finances and the environment.

Remember, every little change adds up to create a bigger difference in your energy bills and carbon footprint.