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10 easy ways to save on energy bills

There are plenty of things you can do to reduce your living costs right now

Written by
Faima Bakar

We all know that the effects of the brewing financial crisis are really being felt right now, and as our energy prices go up, many of us are feeling pretty helpless. While it would definitely be nice for the officials running our country to help us out in a slightly more targeted way, there are plenty of things you can do to combat rising energy costs. Here are ten ways you can reduce your bills right now:

1. Turn the thermostat down

No one wants a cold home, but lowering the temperature on your thermostat could cut your bills by 4 percent or an average of £100 a year, according to The Money Saving Expert.

The World Health Organisation says that 18 degrees celsius is warm enough for healthy adults, with slightly higher temperatures needed for the very old or young. Wearing a jumper indoors or using a hot water bottle to keep warm can also help.

2. Change the shower head

The shower provides warm respite during cold harsh winters, but be mindful how much water you waste and how long you’re in there.

Opting for shorter showers can certainly help keep costs down. However, a water-saving shower head can also save you around 2 percent – or £50 – a year off your bills. 

3. Stop draughts with a draught excluder

You can get a draught excluder from many online furniture retailers, or you could just make your own. Simply stuff some smaller socks into one long sock and place them on windows or on doors to trap heat. 

You could also use cling film on your windows, which can work as long as it’s airtight. Decent draught-proofing can cut 2 percent off energy bills, so about £50 a year on average for a typical home. 

4. Use thermostatic radiator valves

When you’re in one room, you probably don’t need the whole house to be warmed, so you can use radiator thermostats (you can also buy these online) to heat up the areas you want.

Installing them and using them with your thermostat allows you to control the temperature room by room, and could save you almost 6 percent of your bills – or about £150 a year – on average for a typical home.

5. Put your clothes on an ‘eco wash’

For most appliances, ‘eco’ mode means operating at a lower speed and heat. Using these modes on your washing machine or dishwasher will use less energy (also, make to sure to fill these to the brim, to avoid using them more frequently).

According to Curry’s, up to 90 percent of the energy a washing machine uses is to heat the water. So lower-temperature ‘eco washes’ use far less energy – sometimes as much as 60 percent less.

6. Use the microwave instead of oven

Using an oven not only takes longer but uses more energy. The Money Saving Expert calculated that cooking a jacket potato in the microwave uses 25 percent of the energy it takes to cook it in the oven.

7. Bleed your radiators

You should bleed your radiators regularly to prevent air being trapped inside, which will leave cold spots in your radiators. This will make your heating system less efficient, as you’ll be using more energy to get adequate heat out of them.

According to E.ON, you can do this by inserting the radiator key into the bleed valve and placing the cloth underneath to capture any water. Then, twist the radiator key anti-clockwise until you hear a hissing sound as the air escapes and close it again when water starts leaking from the valve. Tighten up the radiator valve again by turning the key clockwise.

8. Use an aerator

We’re all guilty of wasting more water than we need. To reduce the amount of water you waste when using the sink, you can add an aerator, which is small and affordable and can be screwed onto taps – without causing any major changes to how you wash.

9. Use a kettle wisely

We Brits love our cuppas but there’s no need to fill the kettle to the brim if you’re just making one cup. The more water you put in, the longer it takes and the more heat is needed to warm it up. 

10. Turn off lights and stand-by when not in use

This is a self-explanatory one, but turning off whatever’s not in use can help save energy. Granted, we no longer use much technology that take up heaps of energy when on stand-by but every little helps, so turn off whatever you’re not using, including lights. 

The Energy Saving Trust says this will save you around £25 (£19 in NI) a year on your annual energy bills.

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