Posted on: 22 January 2021
With a big chunk of family budgets being spent on energy bills, it makes sense to look for ways to reduce the amount of gas and electricity we use. This year Big Energy Saving Week runs from 18-22 January, so we’ve put together some ideas that are better for the environment and your wallet.
Switch to a cheaper supplier
You probably know this already, but it’s worth shopping around for the cheapest energy deals, especially if you’ve been with your current provider for a while. Lots of companies tempt customers in with a cheap deal and hope they won’t bother to switch even when prices go up. Price comparison websites make it easy to check if you could pay less elsewhere and it only takes a few minutes to enter your details.
Turn it off
Turn your lights off when you’re not using them. If you switch a light off for just a few seconds, you will save more energy than it takes for the light to start up again.
Turning your appliances off standby mode can save you running up costs and remember not to leave laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily.
A cold draught can cause your home to lose heat, which makes it more tempting to turn the heating up. Use draught excluders or draught-proofing kits to block draughts around windows and doors and seal cracks in floors and skirting boards.
Double glazing insulates your home from the cold and helps reduce your heating bill, as well as keeping the noise out. If you don't have double glazing, you can buy plastic lining for your windows to save energy and keep more heat in. In any case you should close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows.
Time for a replacement?
Replace your bulbs as and when you can with energy efficient LEDs. They are more expensive upfront but last longer and use less power so will save you money in the long run.
Replacing an inefficient shower head with a water efficient one could save a household of four people around £70 a year off gas bills and around £115 a year off water bills. Yes, there’s an initial investment cost, but it will pay for itself many times over, as well as being better for the environment.
Replacing old appliances once they wear out with newer, more energy efficient models can be worth the investment. Do your research and go for one with a high energy efficiency rating which makes it cheaper to run over the product’s lifespan. Similarly, a modern ultra-efficient boiler could save you hundreds of pounds every year, as well as making it easier to control your heating with a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator controls.
Send savings through the roof
Up to a quarter of your home's heat escapes through the roof, so insulating your roof can make a big difference to your energy bills. While insulating your loft can cost several hundreds of pounds, it can also shave around £135 off your energy bills each year if you live in a typical semi-detached house.
If you receive certain benefits and have an income of £16,190 or less, you may be eligible for a grant to install a new boiler, loft or wall insulation, and other energy efficiency improvements. Find out more here.
Using less energy helps reduce our impact on the environment, and over time these changes will add up to a significant saving.