After paying the mortgage or the rent, one of the biggest costs of running a household is energy. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep your bills down and your bank balance under control.
- Cooler Wash
You can cut your energy use by setting your washing machine to 30 degrees rather than 40. Most modern detergents work just as well at lower temperatures. Also, if you can plan your laundry so that you can cut out one wash load a week, that saves you around £5 a year on energy.
2. Be Water Wise
Water use isn’t just about the water itself – with hot water you are paying to heat it too. Controlling your water usage can therefore deliver significant savings. For example, if you reduce the amount you spend in your shower by a minute a day, you can save around £7 a year. A more efficient shower head can help too. Using a bowl in the sink when you wash the dishes rather than leaving the tap running can help you save, too (https://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/saving-water).
- Accurate Metering
Estimated bills are the curse of householders. If you miss the meter reader, make sure you submit the readings yourself so you are up to date. For those with an electric meter box from https://www.meterbox.co.uk/electric-meter-boxesoutside, this isn’t a problem. However, you can get even more accuracy and monitor your energy use by fitting a smart meter that sends in readings automatically.
4. Double Glazing
The latest double-glazed windows have a larger gap between the panes than older types and are made with low-emissivity glass so that they bounce heat back into the room. This can deliver significant savings, so if you have older windows it may be worth upgrading.
5. Stop the Draughts
A cold draught can chill your house and means you have to spend more on heating. Draught excluder kits can help here, as can blocking up unused fireplaces and sealing gaps between floorboards.
6. What Goes Up
Warm air rises, so one of the best things you can do to keep your home warm and save energy is to insulate the loft. In a typical semi-detached house a well-insulated loft can save you more than £130 each year on your heating bills.