You are probably aware of the increase in the price of electricity, gas and other household utilities over the years. Energy bills form a large chunk of most households monthly outgoings, with the average household’s energy bill now totaling around £104.50 per month. So, when OFGEM announced in August that they would be issuing a reduction in the price cap on standard energy tariffs by £75, the news was well received by many UK households. It has been estimated that the new price cap will significantly lower around 15 million customers’ energy bills across the country.
While top down approaches initiated by energy regulators are an effective means to lower energy bills, the role of the consumer to make more sustainable lifestyle choices remains a key contributing factor. If you want to further reduce your monthly outgoings, then adopting greener daily habits is the best way to reduce your energy usage, lower your carbon footprint and minimise environmental harm. With this in mind, here are 10 useful tips to reduce your monthly energy bills and start saving money now.
1. Lower your thermostat
According to experts at Energy Saving Trust – “In a typical UK household, more than half the money spent on fuel bills goes towards providing heating and hot water. “ Fortunately, you can easily reduce your heating costs by lowering your thermostat – even just turning it down by a couple of degrees could make a massive impact on your monthly energy bill. During the colder months, consider layering up your clothing and bedding before turning to your thermostat for warmth.
2. Install a septic tank
Installing a domestic septic tank can be an excellent way to make your home more eco-friendly and reduce your energy bills. A septic tank is a waste management system that effectively treats domestic wastewater such as sewage and food waste onsite. Some homeowners require a septic tank as their property cannot be connected to the main plumbing system i.e. rural properties in remote locations. Using a septic tank can help you become more aware of your water use and encourage you to adopt more water-efficient habits. This should help reduce water waste and should save you money on utility bills in the long run.
3. Turn off appliances on standby
Modern homes are filled with many electric gadgets and appliances. Leaving these plugged in or on standby mode still uses electricity and can cause massive amounts of wasted energy over time. For that reason, it’s crucial that you turn all electronic appliances off at the wall rather than just leaving them on standby. Adopting this habit is a simple way to instantly reduce your energy use and save money on your utility bills. A helpful tip in achieving this is using timer plugs. These plugs ensure that appliances are always switched off from standby and the optimal timing for their use can be scheduled.
4. Buy energy efficient appliances
Switching to energy efficient appliances may seem costly, but it’s an effective way to instantly cut your energy bills and make your home more eco-friendly. All modern appliances – like refrigerators, washing machines and dryers – come with an energy rating from A to G (A being the highest/greenest and G being the least economical). According to financial website thisismoney.co.uk – “Households could save around £113 a year simply by switching to a more efficient fridge freezer.”
5. Fill dishwashers and washing machines
Dishwashers and washing machines use large amounts of electricity to run. For that reason, you should always try to conserve energy by only using these appliances once they have a full load. It’s also important to check that they have been programmed to the most economical setting in order to further reduce your energy usage and save money on your utility bills.
6. Use LED Light bulbs
Switching any incandescent light bulbs in your home with energy efficient versions like LEDs, is a quick and affordable way to make your home more eco-friendly and cut your energy bills. This is because LED bulbs use around 75 percent less energy than traditional light bulbs. What’s more, they also last around 50 times longer, meaning you’ll need to replace them less often. You can purchase LED bulbs from most home stores and install them quickly and easily yourself.
7. Draught proof your home
A cold draught will affect the temperature of your home and make it more difficult to manage your home temperature efficiently. For that reason, it’s always worth draught-proofing your home so that you’re not tempted to increase your heating and use more energy. Draught-proof strips can easily be added around windows, doors, and loft hatches. Another simple way to stop draughts is by blocking the chimneys of any unused fireplaces. Sealing any cracks in your skirting boards and floorboards is another great way to prevent any cold draughts from entering your home.
8. Install smart meter
Monitoring your energy consumption is an excellent way to determine how energy is being used in your home. By tracking your energy bill, you can assess how much energy you’re using and identify ways to reduce your energy usage and cut your utility bills. Smart meters allow you to monitor how much energy is being used in real-time. This technology also allow you to only pay for the energy you use rather than having to commit to a fixed monthly payment plan.
9. Upgrade your boiler
Modern central heating boilers are far more efficient than older ones. This is because they have the ability to heat water more efficiently, meaning they do the same job but use less energy. If your boiler is more than 10 years old, then switching to a new efficient boiler could save you substantial amounts on your energy bills. For instance, the Centre for Sustainable Energy state that – “Upgrading an old G-rated boiler to a new A-rated boiler with full heating controls could save the average semi-detached property around £300 on heating bills per year.”
10. Switch energy suppliers
Most energy suppliers’ deals last less than three years. Switching energy suppliers will ensure that you’re on the best deal available to you and could save you hundreds of pounds every year. When considering new energy suppliers, make sure you shop around on price comparison sites to find the best deals and remember to check whether any switching or early-exit fees apply.