Recent research highlights that the UK wastes approximately £6million worth of energy on an annual basis, which means that for every £3 spent on heating your home, £1 is wasted via poor energy efficiency.
The following methods are a great way of cutting your energy bills without switching:
Energy bills are set to sky rocket this winter. Hence, many people are making an extra effort to save energy.
Many people stay with the same supplier for many years and are highly concerned about switching over.
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Ofgem states that over four million people switched energy supplier in 2010, lowering their bills by approximately £150 each. University of East Anglia research affirms that 47% of households have always had the same supplier.
Savings will depend on several factors, such as, who presently supplies your energy, what you pay for it, and the supplier you intend to swap over to.
If you are not paying by direct debit it may be a good idea as you have access to quite reasonable tariffs when paying by direct debit.
Take care of your boiler
The average lifespan of a boiler is approximately 10 years; thereupon it starts to become less efficient, wasting gas as well as cash.
When it comes to a replacement, try to opt for an “A” rated one which displays the Energy Saving Recommended logo.
Selecting a heating system with a condensing boiler and heating controls could make a huge difference over time.
Condensing boilers are considered to be the most efficient because they waste the minimum amount of energy. They convert over 90% of the fuel used into useful heat in contrast to approximately 60% for an old conventional boiler.
You can also save about 15% on heating bills by having heating controls fitted. Fitting a condensing boiler as a well as a full set of heating controls can incur savings of 45% on your heating fuel bill; this equates to about £250 per annum.
A regular service and cover for your boiler means you are likely not to have to pay a huge amount on emergency repairs. Emergency callout charges and costs for parts can run up in hundreds of pounds.
So a regular service and cover for your boiler will save you time and money should there be an emergency.
Home insulation is considered to be the most cost effective way of lowering your home energy use.
Should your home have cavity walls, cavity wall insulation can considerably lower the amount of energy used for home heating, lowering costs by 15% and make you annual savings of around £120 a year, so says the Energy Saving Trust.
Solid wall insulation can mean greater heat loss than cavity walls. Therefore, should your home have solid walls, you can reduce this heat loss incurred by insulating them inside or outside. An external wall insulating treatment can save you around £380 a year, with the much cheaper internal wall insulation saving you about £130 a year.
15% of heat loss goes through the roof, so loft insulation is an easy and cost-effective way to lower your heating bills. You do not need professionals to do this as insulation works along the principle of a duvet on a bed and traps the heat rising from the house below.
The recommended 270mm depth of loft insulation can mean you make savings of 155 a year on your heating bills.
Turn down the temperature
Just turning your thermostat down by a degree can mean a10% cut in your heating bill. In addition, you are unlikely to feel any colder.
Energy saving light bulbs
A quick and easy way you can instantly save energy is by swapping to energy saving light bulbs.
They cost around £3 each. As they usually last 12 times longer than ordinary bulbs, they can save you £7 per bulb every year.
As the average household has 17 ordinary bulbs, you can save £120 per year by switching.
Alter your habits
You can start saving energy with spending money by purely altering your habits.
You can actually become more energy efficient without spending money. Friends of the Earth state appliances use about 70% of their usual energy when they are on standby, so:
- Turn off appliances to reduce your energy use, and you could save yourself about £25 annually.
Shutting your curtains too at dusk will prevent heat escaping through the windows.
- Ensure the heating is turned off when you are at work
- Should you be going away during the winter, leave your thermostat on a low setting to prevent protection from freezing at a low cost.
Monitor water use
The Bathroom Manufacturers Association states that by having showers as opposed to baths, you use an incredible 30% less water.
You can save money with a water meter by swapping over to a water meter if you have more bedrooms than individuals your home. If you are not sure, ask your water company for a ‘water meter calculator’.
Make sure leaking taps are fixed or turned off as they add to increasing fuel bills. In one day, the water from a dripping hot water tap could fill a bath.
Change your household appliances
Domestic appliances constitute 47% of a household’s total electricity consumption. A fifth of the average UK household’s annual electricity bill, a phenomenal £2.7billion, is spent powering electronics gadgets and computers.
Fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers account for 18% of the electricity bill in the average house. Washing machines, tumble-dryers and dishwashers account for another 14% of electricity use, with cooking appliances, such as, hobs, accounting for a further 15%.
Try to opt for more energy efficient electronics and appliances when you are buying new products.
Appliances with the AAA energy rating logo can save you £45 annually; this means that they will be less expensive to run and lower your carbon footprint.
Fridges and freezers ought to be kept an inch away from the wall to enable air circulation behind them. This prevents them from over-heating and over exertion.
Emergency heating repairs, such as, a broken boiler or clogged up heating system, can leave you out of pocket to the tune of hundreds of pounds.
For peace of mind as well as financial ease, it is worthwhile getting boiler insurance.
British Gas provides boiler insurance on its HomeCare scheme, whereby you can select from basic or comprehensive insurance policies. It is highly reassuring to know that a set monthly fee will cover, parts and labour for your boiler.