“Home is where the heart is” and along with that saying we crave a warm and cosy shelter away from the hustle and bustle of life and the elements of the weather. But for many of us our homes are becoming money-eating monsters with regard to fuel and heating costs. More and more people are trying to make some form of energy saving, not just for the sake of the environment but so that they are able to afford their bills.
The topic of energy costs is certainly a hot potato at the moment! Both in the political sense and in the growing concerns of householders who worry about facing huge heating bills. It’s a topic that has certainly caused some heated debates, with different political parties advocating different approaches.
The current approach is to make sure that energy providers are more “transparent” with their consumers – they should being offering the “best tariff” that suits each particular individual household/business.
Elsewhere party manifestos have been drawn up to include possible “price freezes” for both household and business consumers, with Labour saying this could potentially make an energy saving of £120 per year for the average household.
Energy UK, the trade association for the energy industry, believes that whilst a “price freeze” sounds attractive it will inevitably have an impact on the available funds to continue to build and renew power stations, which in turn may lead to an energy shortage.
As the cold weather fast approaches and the political debate runs on we’ve looked at ways in which householders can make changes in order to make energy savings.
After all, anything we can do at a personal level to help reduce our bills is certainly worth the effort, from wearing a few extra layers to making changes around the home.
10 Ways You Can Make An Energy Saving
- Insulate Your Hot Water Cylinder – by making sure that your hot water tank/cylinder is sufficiently insulated you could make an energy saving of £60 per year.
- Install an Eco Shower Head – changing the type of shower head you have could save you up to £75 per year on gas and up to £90 per year on water consumption. However, make sure you are installing the correct type for your system.
- Change Your Lightbulbs – change your old traditional bulbs to energy saving ones, by swapping halogen spot lights with LED bulbs you could make a saving of up to £60 per year.
- Installing Room Thermostats – these would enable you to control the temperatures of individual rooms, did you know that by turning down a thermostat by only 1°C you could save approx. £65 per year?
- Floor Insulation – many householders have replaced carpeting with wooden/laminate flooring BUT the average home can lose between 10 – 15% of its heat through the floor. If you have no insulation between the concrete flooring and the wooden floor try using rugs to help save some of the lost heat. Using rugs could give you a 4 – 6% energy saving on your bills.
- Draughty Rooms? – draughts can come from gaps around windows, doors, floors and the chimney which means that if cold draughts can get in then the heat can escape out. Try using draught-proofing products for around your windows and doors. Chimneys can be fitted with a draught excluder and skirting boards can be sealed using silicone. Whilst the average costs of draught proofing your home could set you back £160 the potential savings work out at approx £75 per year, so in 2 years you will have recouped your initial outlay.
- Insulate Your Loft – by insulating your loft space you will help to stop heat escaping. There are different thicknesses of insulation available, if you have a loft with no insulation then by insulating with a thickness of between 0 – 270mm you could save £180 per year, if you already have insulation of up to 100mm and you top this up to 270mm then you could be making an energy saving of £25 per year.
- Switching Off Appliances – most electrical appliances can be switched off at the plug socket without causing any problems to the appliance. However, for satellite and digital equipment you need to check the instruction manual first. Obviously there are certain kitchen appliances that need to remain switched on but there are many other electrical items we have around the home that get forgotten – switching these off could save you between £50 – £90 per year.
- How We Use Our Kitchen Appliances – a potential saving of £40 per year could be made by being a little more savvy in how we use certain appliances, for example: try setting the washing machine to 30°C, reduce the amount of times you use the tumble dryer and don’t overfill your kettle.
- Stop Those Dripping Taps – a dripping tap could waste more than 5,500 litres of water over a year. Not good for the environment and not good for you if you’re on a water meter. Either way dripping taps are annoying and create waste, so make sure taps are turned off properly, if it still drips then replace the washer in the tap. If it’s your hot taps that are dripping then you also run the risk of wasting the energy used to heat the water.
(We found these tips and many more hints for improving your energy saving on the Energy Saving Trust website.)
If you have any tips for helping with energy saving and keeping your bills low then please feel free to leave your comments in the box below.