As part of Big Energy Saving Week 2015, the Energy Saving Trust and Citizens Advice Bureau have joined forces to offer handy tips on cutting the cost of your energy bills. And with Britain set to face its coldest winter in five decades – with heavy snowfall and bitter winds predicted due to plummeting temperatures in the Gulf Stream – there’s never been a better time to make changes that will cut the amount you spend on home energy.
Follow these tips and share your own with us on Twitter @realhomes
1. Take control of your heating
More than half the money spent on fuel bills goes towards providing heating and hot water, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Turning down your room thermostat by one degree can save between £85 and £90 a year.
2. Close your curtains
As simple as it sounds, closing your curtains at dusk will stop heat escaping through your windows – especially important if you live in a period property. DIY draught-proofing of windows, doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can save up to £25 to £35 a year on energy bills.
3. Stop the standby
Leaving gadgets on standby added £600-million to the UK’s energy bill last year. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can save around £30 a year just by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode. ‘There is a growing black hole in our energy bills because we prefer the convenience of standby,’ warns Philip Sellwood, chief executive of Energy Saving Trust.
4. Use a timer
Use your timer to schedule your heating and hot water to come on 30 minutes before you get up in the morning and to switch off again when you leave the house. Do the same on an evening when you are due to come home.
5. Be careful in the kitchen
You can save around £50 a year by using your kitchen appliances more carefully:
- Use a bowl to wash up rather than a running tap and save £30 a year
- Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need and save £7 a year
- Reduce your washing machine use by one cycle per week and save £5 a year on energy and £8 a year on water
6. Switch your lighting
If the average household replaced all of its old-fashioned bulbs with energy-saving ones, and all of their halogens with LEDs, it would save about £35 a year on bills, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
7. Stop the drips
A dripping hot water tap can waste enough energy in a week to fill half a bath – get them fixed.
8. Ditch the dryer
Tumble dryers make be convenient but they use around £100 of energy a year. On a nice day, put your washing on the line, instead.
9. Do an energy check
Use the Energy Savings Trust’s home energy check at http://hec.est.org.uk – it could save you £130 a year.
10. Fill your machines
One full load of your washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher uses less energy then two half loads.