With autumn upon us and the colder weather swiftly moving in, it’s only natural that we’re going to want to turn on the heating and get the fire started, but that comes with its own cost implications.
With the rising cost of energy, things may be tighter around the belt than anyone would like, even with the planned £400 energy rebate. So what are some easy ways to save energy in your home this autumn?
Understanding your energy bill
Before you can really start lowering your energy bills, it’s important to understand what’s actually going on with them. This makes it easier to identify areas you can improve on, and where you can make the most savings.
Though bills from your various suppliers will look different, they should all contain the same base information. This includes:
- Personal information
- Your customer reference number
- The tariff you’re currently on for gas and electricity
- The tariff comparison rate
- The amount of gas and electricity you’ve used in the past year
- A record of the gas and electricity readings
- The amount of money due to your energy provider
Next, compare your usage with local averages in your area and make sure that the tariff rate you’re on is competitive. If it’s not, it may be worth switching providers. You can use comparison sites or phone individual companies to see if you can save any money by switching.
It may even be worth taking this figure to your existing energy provider and asking whether they can match it before you leave.
Understandably, with the current energy crisis and rising bills, you may find it difficult to find energy providers that are well below your current rate. This may not make it worth swapping, but it doesn’t mean you’re out of options.
There are both short and long-term changes you can make to your home and the way you use energy that could save you money each month, plus every step you take can get you closer to the UKs net zero goals.
Turn off standby mode
Did you know most appliances can be turned off at the wall without it disrupting their settings? Most of the time when you’re not using an electric device, it goes into standby mode, which is similar to a sleep cycle. They may not be using their max power here, but they are still pulling power1.
This doesn’t apply to appliances like your fridge, but consider turning off other energy heavy appliances when you’re not using them. These can include:
- Games consoles
- Radios and speakers
- Kitchen appliances (like your microwave)
Consider lighting changes
It bears repeating that turning off a light when you’re not using it is a great way to make a quick save with your energy bill, but it’s also worth considering changing your lightbulbs completely.
Traditional light bulbs (ones that feel hot when you touch them) are incredibly inefficient. In contrast, modern LED bulbs use less power and last longer. In fact, they’re about 80% more efficient than incandescent bulbs.* You could also opt for smart LEDs, which means you can turn them on and off remotely.
Make considered choices
Ultimately, what’s going to make the most difference in the short term is making considered and deliberate choices about your energy consumption. There are several things you can do:
- Run fewer (but fuller) loads of washing
- Use eco settings on appliances wherever possible
- Avoid the tumble dryer or use a tumble dryer ball to reduce the time needed in the dryer
- Avoid heating empty rooms
- Keep your curtains closed in winter
- Keep your radiators clean (and make sure nothing is blocking them)
- Insulate your boiler with an insulation jacket
- Keep your thermostat a degree or two lower and remember to turn it off if you’re not going to be home
- Draught proof your doors and windows.
Quick changes are all well and good, but what’s going to save you the most money in the long run is changing the way your home works with energy. This involves more upfront costs, with the goal of saving money long term.
Here are a few things to consider to really ramp up your home’s energy efficiency:
- Switch to double glazed windows
- Swap appliances for energy efficient units
- Use smart, automated devices in your home
- Update your heating system
- Insulate the internal or external walls of your house
- Ensure your home’s loft insulation is efficient
Many of these improvements would also likely raise your EPC rating2, which is especially ideal if you’re also considering green mortgages or are a landlord looking to boost your EPC rating before the upcoming regulation changes.
Looking at renovations?
Sometimes big renovations are the only way to improve your home’s efficiency. However, it’s not always feasible to save the money to undertake them, especially in today’s financial climate.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend on your circumstances. The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.