According to Ofgem, the fuel regulator, fuel bills have risen 50% in the last five years, and are set to increase another 11% this winter.
Opening these fuel bills can be very daunting, especially if you have a large family. However, there are many things that we can do to bring these bills down. A power analyser is something that helps us to understand which appliances are using the most power and an energy audit is available from most energy providers for free.
Below are 10 simple tips that can reduce energy and get costs down immediately. These tips are then followed by some long term solutions. Not only will you be saving money, but you will also be helping the environment too.
1. Controlling heat:
Turning down the thermostat on your boiler by just 1 degree will reduce your bill by 5%. Setting the thermostat on your water heater between 120 and 130 degrees will save even more energy.
2. Combine your gas and electric bill:
Use just one provider for your electric and gas-many companies offer good financial incentives for combining bills.
3. Exclude drafts:
Close curtains at dusk to prevent heat from escaping and use draft excluders on doors. Up to 50% of heat can be saved this way.
4. Install a power analyser:
This will help you to track your energy consumption.
5. Utilise the energy saving programmes on all appliances:
If you are not putting a full load in the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher, set them to economy or half load to save up to 75%.
Replace light bulbs for energy efficient ones that can last up to 10 times longer.
Switch off lights when leaving a room.
Do not leave appliances on standby-unplug them from the wall. Also, unplug your phone-chargers when the phone’s battery is full.
9. Keep doors closed:
Not only internal and external doors but remember to close the doors on the fridge and oven.
10. Get the children involved
Encourage the children into good habits by challenging them to see if they have turned off their computers and TV’s whenever they leave their bedrooms. A lot of energy is lost throughout the day with computers and TV’s left on standby.
For long term solutions:
• Fill cavity walls (a third of energy is lost through walls)
• Lag the loft with insulation
• Double glaze windows
• Choose energy efficient appliances with the A++ sign
• Draft proof doors and windows
• Test for water leaks
Finally, when your next energy bill comes in with the savings you have made, treat the family to a day out, as you will also be teaching the next generation to be more energy and cost efficient.
Lucy Hunt writes on behalf of Inlec suppliers of power analysers and test equipment and is passionate about getting the word out on reducing the carbon footprint whilst being budget savvy!