Would you like to reduce the cost of your energy bills?

Would you like to reduce the cost of your energy bills?

According to energy regulator OFGEM, annual fuel bills have reached £1,420 for the average household. With small changes to our daily lives, we can make a big difference to our bills and the environment.

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Here are a few simple ways of making your home more fuel efficient…

1. Get a jacket

For approximately £15 you could get a jacket to go around your hot water tank. Working in the same way as wall and loft insulation, the jacket captures warm air in tiny pockets and forms a barrier to the escaping heat. Use split foam pipes (around £20) to cover any exposed pipework. When you come to a bend in a pipe, cut a 45 degrees mitre join in the foam tube using a small mitre block and small saw. This is one of the simplest ways to save energy and therefore money. It is easy enough to fit everything yourself and it may save you about £150 every year on an initial layout of around £35

2. Are you in control?

If you don’t already have one, installing a room thermostat will give you more control over your heating, giving you the control to use your energy as and when you require it. This can save you approximately £70 per year. Simple changes that will make efficient use of your heating controls include:

  • According to the Energy Saving Trust, by turning down your thermostat by 1°C you can save you £55.
  • Concentrate on heating the rooms you use most frequently.
  • Programme your heating to only work when the house is occupied.
  • Set your thermostatic radiator valves (TVRs) to a low temperature or turn radiators off in rooms that you don’t use.

 3. Exclude a draught

Heat may be escaping from tiny gaps around your house. Inspect the gaps around doors (keyholes & letterbox), windows, floorboards, chimneys, electrical fittings and ceiling-to-wall joints. Your local DIY store will have a number of affordable draught excluding solutions including, tapes, sealants and chimney blockers to prevent heat loss. Expect to make savings of £25 - £50 per year.

4. Get a woolly top up

Loft insulation can’t be recommended highly enough. Check that your loft is insulated and that the insulation laid is still in a ‘springy’ state. Old insulation may have become compressed or damp over time and will need either replacing or a new layer placing over the top. Some great reasons to insulate your loft:

  • Reduce your gas & electricity bills
  • Reduce your home's carbon footprint
  • Keep the house warmer in winter
  • Keep the house cooler in summer
  • Prevent internal condensation and damp
  • Improve your home's energy efficiency rating
  • Reduce traffic noise
  • Loft insulation can be subsidised by the UK government’s Green Deal scheme

A 4.8m length X 1.1m width role will cost around £25.

 5. Switch it off

It is a common myth that leaving lights on and leaving appliances on standby will save money. The view is that the appliance somehow needs to warm up like an old fashioned television to reach its optimum performance. This simply isn’t true. Modern technology ensures that lights and appliances offer instant performance, leaving the idea of having these products permanently ‘on’ as redundant. An average family could save between £50 and £90 a year just by turning appliances off. The only exceptions that you may want to exclude from this rule are satellite and digital TV recorders, as you may have them programmed to record television shows.

6. A costly kitchen

By being energy savvy around your kitchen, you could save another £40 a year. Change the settings on your washing machine to wash at 30C. Dry clothes outside on a line instead of using a tumble dryer wherever possible. When using your kettle, only boil the water you need (you could put a mark on your kettle to show the limit you use). It’s estimated that British households waste £68m a year in energy costs by overfilling kettles.

7. Get an eco-head

By installing an eco-head to your shower, a family of four will save around £75 a year. An eco-heads will cut hot water usage without affecting performance and they are being given away by some water companies.

8. Seeing the light

When lighting accounts for 18% of our annual household bills, it is important that we get it right. The latest type of energy saving bulb on the market is the LED bulb. LED bulbs are now available for both down lighters and spotlight fittings. Though initially more expensive than the original energy saving bulbs (CFL), LED will save you more money in the long run. Be conscious of how many lights are switched on in your house and always switch off the light as you leave a room, no matter how long you’re leaving for. Click here for even more efficiency tips!