How to save money on your energy bills – Tips and tricks
How to save on energy bills – Easy energy saving tips and tricks
How can you save money on heating and energy bills?
We will be answering some frequently asked questions regarding central heating, and providing some top tips on how to make winter more affordable.
Your boiler uses the most energy in your home
For simple ways to save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and lower your bills, follow our advice and tips as well as why you should consider a brand new boiler.
There are many things that you can do, whether you’re a homeowner or a social or private renter, a student or you live with your parents.
Each of us is responsible for how much energy we use in our homes. Check out our quick tips to see how you can save as much as £580 per year* on your gas and electricity bills.
Is your boiler working properly?
We all look at our boilers with confused expressions, hoping they will last another winter. When we think about ways to cut down on our energy bills, there are some questions that you need to ask about your boiler.
How old is your boiler?
A boiler that is more than ten years old will be less efficient and may end up costing you more in the long-term. This is when your seriuosly need to consider investing in a new one.
Do you have a good condensing boiler?
Standard efficiency on new boilers can be more efficient than 90%, which could make a big difference in your energy bills. Compare this to an inefficient boiler that runs a 70% efficiency and you are losing a lot of energy!
When was the last time your boiler was serviced?
An annual boiler service will help ensure that your boiler runs at its peak efficiency for longer.
Boiler services are so important for keeping the warranty valid too, so if your boiler completely breaks you could get a brand new one if covered.
However, make sure you check the average boiler service cost before you book so you are aware of what you are paying for and how much it could be.
Do you have boiler cover?
No matter how diligently you maintain your boiler, you might be without heat or hot water. This is something that no one wants to think about this time of the year.
It can be costly to hire a Gas Safety registered engineer to replace your boiler or parts. So, it is worth looking into homeowner insurance and boiler cover.
Do you need a new boiler?
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that 55% of your annual energy costs are spent on heating your home. This means that inefficient boilers could cause significant heat loss. You’ll be bleeding twice as fast as you are bleeding radiators.
Check the efficiency of your boiler if it is older than 10 years. This tells you how much energy your boiler actually uses and converts into heat and hot water for your home. You will be surprised. You can save between 20% and 35% by upgrading to a modern combi boiler.
How to get a new boiler to start saving money
If you think you can’t afford a new boiler then think again. A new boiler cost around £2,000 on average including full installation. We understand that not everyone has this amount of money lying around.
This is where boiler finance comes in. You can now pay monthly for your new boiler just like you do for a new car or sofa. Spreading the cost is easy and you could pay as little as £17 per month.
So if you have an ancient boiler in your storage cupboard, and you are maintaining a boiler older than 15 years and likely G rated (running below 70% efficiency), then consider the annual savings over the actual cost of a new boiler.
Save up to £580 on your gas and electricity bills
It’s easy to see the source of your savings with most new best combi boilers operating at minimum 92% efficiency. This will allow you to save up to £580 per year with a new boiler if changing from a G-rated boiler.
The heating and hot water costs more than half of your annual energy bills. A boiler that is efficient can make a huge difference.
Modern boilers are efficient in burning fuel, but they lose heat due to hot gases that escape the flue (a pipe that extracts fumes and supplies fresh air to the boiler).
Modern boilers are more efficient than older boilers due to several factors, but the main advantage of condensing boilers is their ability to heat water.
Condensing boilers are more efficient than older boilers because they use more heat from exhaust flue gases to heat central heating water.
Do you need to keep the heating on?
You may be concerned about heating costs rising. Then you might ask, “How long should my heating be on?” Is it more cost-effective to keep the central heating on low? Is it cheaper to switch the heating on and off?
It’s not about turning on or off your heating, although that is a part of reducing your energy bills.
Although the debate over the on/off question is a hot topic, experts from the Energy Saving Trust have revealed that heating your home on low for the majority of the day is actually more expensive.
Actually, it’s better to only use the heating when you really need it. This is because you are saving money.
This is easier to see in terms of energy loss. You are constantly losing heat and energy to the outside world. If you leave the heating on 24/7, you will also be losing energy. Heating your home only when it is absolutely necessary will result in a loss of heat.
If you want to maximize your central heating’s efficiency and save money, then it’s probably best to only use the heating when you really need it.
Top Tips to Save Money on Heating and Energy Bills
Let’s look at some of the ways you can reduce your energy consumption and save money on heating bills this winter.
Wear layers of clothing inside, and enjoy a hot cup of tea
You might not be cold enough to turn on your central heating yet. Or maybe it is. But if it is, you are stubbornly refusing to turn it on for long enough to feel the chill. Layering up and drinking warm drinks should be sufficient to keep you from getting chilled.
You can also use a hot-water bottle or blanket to keep warm. You’ll be able to save money on your energy bills, but make sure it doesn’t get too cold. Otherwise, you may have frozen pipes!
Draughtproof doors and windows
Unless your home has been built recently, heat will be lost through gaps in the floor or around doors.
Pro Draughtproofing of Windows, Doors, and Blocking Cracks in Floors and Skirting Boards can be as low as PS225 but could save you around PS45 per year on your energy bills. Draught proofing DIY can be cheaper.
Draught-proofing strips can be purchased for your window frames. However, brush strips work better for sash windows. You can stop draughts from your home by closing thick curtains. Clingfilm can be used to temporarily cover your windows with secondary glazing. This is a cheap, quick, and unusual solution for draughty windows.
First, ensure that internal doors are shut to heat escape. Draught-proofing strips can be used to fill in any gaps between the door frame and the doors. You can also use draught exclusions at the bottom of the doors.
Chimneys and fireplaces
If your fire is on, you can skip this step. However, if you don’t have a fire and have an open chimney, there are many ways to prevent fireplace draughts. You can block a chimney by using an inflatable pillow, or by fitting a cap on your chimney pot.
Floorboards & skirting
Fill any gaps in your floorboards / skirting with a silicone-based material. This will prevent hot air from escaping.
Update to a smart thermostat
Your thermostat communicates with your boiler to control your home’s temperature. Your boiler will turn off your thermostat once your home reaches the set temperature. Have you ever stopped to think about the age of your thermostat?
Old-fashioned thermostats may experience a delay of 3-5C when your boiler switches on again. Although it might not seem like much, your boiler will need to heat your home for longer in order to reach your desired temperature. This will increase your heating costs.
A modern smart thermostat can be accurate and more cost-effective. It will also prevent energy waste.
Timing your heating:
It’s not a good idea to waste energy when you aren’t home. And although we will spend more time indoors this winter than usual, timing your heating is still an option.
Your heating won’t be needed if you aren’t in bed or going out. You can time your heating to be warm when you get up and when it is cool when you go home.
Select which rooms you want to heat:
This one is especially useful for anyone who has a home office and works from home in winter.
Heating a hallway or spare bedroom is not a good idea unless you really need to dry your socks.
You can control the heating in your home by using thermostatic radiator valves. You can turn down heat in rooms that you aren’t using. This will reduce the amount of heat you use to heat your home and save you money.
Energy-efficient appliances can help you save more than £350
You can reduce your electricity bill by selecting the most efficient model if you are replacing an appliance. Washing machine savings costs can range from £15 to £70 per year depending on the size of the washer.
The EU energy-efficiency rating is the most reliable indicator of a product’s energy efficiency. Companies test energy consumption to see how different appliances are used, so we can tell which ones consume less energy.
What energy-efficient appliances could save you each year?
Remember this is the savings, not the amount that is used every year.
Tumble dryer £106
Fridge Freezer £76
Washing machine-washing machine £55
Built-in oven £39
These savings are calculated by subtracting the annual operating costs. Research has shown that switching to energy-saving kitchen appliances could help you save up to PS308 per year.
Improved loft insulation
Have a loft? How about cavity walls? Insulating both the loft and cavity walls can help you save up to £300 per year. A typical three-bedroom semi with loft insulation of 270mm could save £140 per year on energy bills.
This is because less heat is lost through the roof. In semi-detached houses, insulation of cavity walls can help save as much as £160 per year. Although solid-wall insulation is more costly to install, it could save you £210 on the same house.
What amount of energy does an average household consume?
A typical home with four people now has 13 electronic appliances, including TVs and laptops. This is a significant increase from 1990 when only four appliances were used. According to the Energy Consumption in the UK 2017 report.
Even though we have more appliances, our energy consumption is roughly the same as it was 20 years ago. This means that gadgets have become more efficient over time. There are still ways to save energy and money.
Be more careful with your water usage
- Washing your dishes in a bowl instead of using the running tap can help you save approximately £26 per year.
- A more efficient showerhead can help you save as much as £19 per year on your energy bills.
- A shower timer can be installed in your bathroom to save you up to £10 per year. It cuts down on the average length of each shower by just one minute.
Invest in double glazing
- Double glazing protects your home from the cold, reduces heating bills, and keeps the outside noise out. Installing double-glazed A-rated glazing can save you up to £110 per year if your semi-detached house is only single-glazed.
Monitor your energy use
- You can make smart decisions about how much energy you consume by keeping an eye on it.
- Smart meters allow you to track your consumption and provide accurate, real-time information. Find out more about Smart Meters .
Let the sun heat things up
The sun is still visible in winter. The heat of the sun’s rays can be used to warm your home during the daytime. Shades, blinds, or curtains can be opened on sunny days to enjoy the warmth of the sun’s heat. To add insulation, close the blinds or curtains at night.
Do not overfill the kettle
It’s time for a cup of coffee. Don’t fill the kettle to the top – and don’t be one of those 23% who re-boil the kettle. Based on calculations by the Energy Saving Trust, boiling more water each time than is necessary could cost you £40 per year.
The biggest drain on the national budget is overfilling the kettle. It would be £1.1 billion cheaper if everyone boiled enough water!
According to the Energy Saving Trust, each household could save £100 per year by just following these four energy-saving tips. The carbon savings could be equivalent to taking three million cars off of the road.
Making the effort amid rising gas prices
It is becoming more crucial than ever to learn how to save energy at your home as gas prices continue to rise. It’s as easy as overfilling the kettle or leaving your phone on standby that could cost you hundreds of pounds per year.
According to research by the Citizens Advice and the Energy Saving Trust, a third of households have not made an effort to cut their energy consumption in recent years.
However, a few energy-saving tips can help you keep warm in winter and make your household more affordable.
The Energy Saving Trust, says that if every household in Britain made a few energy savings changes, it could have a significant impact on our finances and the environment.
These small changes can make a huge difference if you’re stuck or unsure where to save money on your home’s energy consumption.
Other top tips on how to save energy at your home
Reduce your thermostat by one degree
£800 million in energy in UK households could be saved by turning down the thermostat from 25 to 24 degrees.
Another myth is that heating the house on low is cheaper. It is believed that 46 percent of people believe this to be true, but it is not. The Energy Saving Trust has confirmed that you can save £150 each year by using a thermostat for temperature regulation.
Change your lightbulbs
It doesn’t take a lightbulb moment for you to see that switching to LED bulbs, or smart lighting that can be controlled from your smartphone, can make a big difference in your wallet. Did you know how much you can get back?
Estimates are that you could save as much as £245 on your bills. Energy companies are on board but estimate that the savings could be as low as £245 per year. Switching to LED bulbs with high energy efficiency could help you save £950 per year.
LED bulbs consume a fraction of electricity as normal bulbs. Most LEDs consume at least 75% less energy, which can help you save a lot on your electricity bill.
Don’t leave tech on standby
Everybody, both renters and owners, can save money by simply doing one thing with their appliances. It could save hundreds of pounds. It is as easy as turning off any unused appliances or devices in your home.
Loop, a home energy-saving company, has collected data that shows homeowners and renters could reduce their annual energy bills by an average £142. Some could save up to £455.
It’s not possible to avoid the fact that certain appliances like fridges and freezers must be kept on at all times.
However, not all appliances have to be. Televisions and smart speakers are known to use energy, which is called ‘Phantom Load. This is how energy is invisibly drained, without the users even knowing.
The average UK household could waste £145 per year due to their Phantom Load. However, savings can be made across the UK of nearly £4 billion if everyone switches things together.
Cover your pans
To ensure that your food cooks faster, make sure to cover saucepans and turn off the stove heat a few minutes before it’s ready. You don’t have to worry about it, as the residual heat will continue cooking, which will help you save energy.
To avoid burning energy, match the size and dimensions of the saucepan with the size of your cooking ring.
Install a smart meter
All energy suppliers now have smart meters installed at no additional cost as part of a government program. This will help you track your spending and keep you informed. You can monitor your household’s energy usage to reduce your consumption and, therefore, your costs.
Independent readers can be purchased if you are on a waiting list. Although there is an initial cost, you will soon be able to save money.
Combining heating and cooking
A stove, range cooker or boiler can be combined to create a smart appliance that heats the entire house. Traditional range cookers heat water and heat the kitchen.
Boiler stoves can heat water, run radiators and are best used in combination with other heating systems. You could also learn how you can switch to energy supplier to save money.
Bleed your radiators for efficiency
Are you not enjoying the benefits of your central heating system’s heat? This could mean you are wasting your money. Make sure your radiators work properly. Radiators that feel cooler at the top than their bottoms should be bled to remove trapped air.
It is easy to learn how to bleed a radiator. The entire process takes only 10 minutes.
Radiators should not be covered or blocked
It can be tempting to push an armchair or sofa against a radiator when you have limited space in your living room. As much as it may look good, we advise that you resist the temptation.
Anything placed next to or over the radiator will block its airflow. This causes the boiler to emit less heat, and makes it work harder. It also costs more.
Moving your sofa just a few inches away from a radiator can save you £130 per year. Moving your sofa six inches from the radiator will increase heat flow in the room. This can help you save up to 10% on your monthly bills.