Change your habits now as utility bills are expected to increase by at least 20% over the next few years.
Read our guide and make some simple changes to how you do things around the home now to save money on bills and also help protect yourself from seeing big increases to your bills in the near future.
Chop vegetables into smaller chunks before cooking so that they can be boiled or cooked in the oven quicker.
Remember to use pan lids to bring water to the boil faster.
When using the kettle, only boil as much water as you need.
Don’t preheat the oven for longer than necessary.
If you want to reheat a portion of food, use the microwave if possible.
Don’t put hot food into the freezer or fridge, allow to cool first otherwise the appliance will have to work harder to cool it down which uses more energy.
To get optimum efficiency from your fridge, ensure it is 20cm away from the wall to allow cooling coils to work properly. Keep them clean too.
When washing up in the sink, put the plug in rather than letting the tap run so you don’t need to heat as much water. Or, use a washing up bowl in the sink to wash all the dishes and then rinse them quickly with clean running water.
Run the dishwasher/washing machine with a full load
Wash clothes at 30 degrees unless they are very dirty. Most washing machines these days are good enough that it is not necessary to increase the temperature.
Don’t use the tumble dryer – opt for drying laundry on an airing rack instead, or put wet clothes on hangers. Don’t dry your clothes on radiators as they will have to work harder and therefore use more energy.
Turn the iron off before you finish the pile of laundry – it will stay hot whilst you finish.
If you live with anyone else, then they will also need to watch their consumption and energy use to make a real difference. Here are some things that the rest of the family can start doing now to reduce the cost of living.
Turn off chargers when your phone/laptop has reached full battery.
Do not leave televisions (or any other appliance) on standby as they still use up to 80% of the electricity they would use if they were on.
Turn lights off when not needed and also choose energy efficient bulbs.
If it’s a bit chilly – encourage layering up! Fluffy socks are comfy and cheap and its nice and cosy to watch telly under a blanket in the evening.
Take showers instead of baths, or if you do want to have a bath consider sharing the bath water with your partner.
Fill the sink with water whilst washing your face or shaving rather than leaving the tap running.
Turn off the tap in between use whilst brushing your teeth.
If you want to go the extra mile – get a waterbutt. These cost around £20 and hold approximately 100 litres of rain water.
Try turning the heating down by just 1 degree and think about setting a pre-timer. Would it matter if the heating went off a little earlier in the night? The house will probably stay just as warm.
Check inside your loft to make sure the insulation is fitted correctly and you could also add another layer to reduce the amount of heat which rises and escapes. The recommended thickness of mineral wool insulation is 270mm for a gas heated home, however often homes do not have enough so you may need to increase this.
If there is a room in your home which you rarely use, such as a spare bedroom or the dining room, consider turning the radiators off in there and keep the door closed to save on unnecessary heating costs. If you can feel a cold draft coming from under the door, warm air will also be escaping in the same way. You can get draft proof strips to help with this, or a draft excluder.
All the ideas discussed so far are to help you use the minimum amount of energy. To keep your bills as low as possible, it is important to compare different suppliers to ensure you are paying the cheapest rate for the energy that you still need. You could use a comparison website to help you, such as Uswitch, but if you are on a contract with any supplier bare this in mind as there may be penalties if you leave early.
Learn what uses all your power: Get a smart meter from your energy supplier. This is a national scheme to help you identify what uses the power in your house. To find out more visit smartenergygb.org
Some homes, although it's not common, do still have fire places. These are a great way to keep a room warm however the wood itself can be costly. Shop around for the items you need. Fire lighters can be purchased in most places these day but see about getting a deal on them if you were to bulk buy. The kindling is the same, bulk buying makes the cost of the individual box cheaper. And then the wood itself. Places like a garden centre can charge a small fortune for a small bag of wood. Try calling a local tree surgeon, there might be an option to make a deal with them on some of the wood that they have cut down. A good friend of mine lives in a cottage not too far from me in some lovely grounds. She had a massive 80 foot ash tree that had to be cut down because it was about to fall. She called a local tree surgeon and asked if he would come take a look. From this the tree was cut and as payment she kept half the wood and the tree surgeon took the other half as his cut.
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Last updated: 01 May 2019 | © KIS Finance 2018 |