BasicsBudgeting "How Tos"Savings&Banking

How To Reduce Energy Bills (12 Practical Tips)

When it comes to cost of living, a large chunk of money is spent on energy costs. Electricity and gas are needed to power a variety of appliances in the home. In fact, more electronics and appliances are being used than they ever have been. If you’re trying to reduce energy costs in your home, take a look at our guide on reducing your energy bills!

12 Energy Saving Tips to Reduce Energy Costs

If you’re looking for the best ways to reduce energy bills for your household, check out the 12 methods of saving money below. 

Change Energy Suppliers

Changing energy suppliers is an excellent way to reduce energy costs in the household. If you haven’t switched your energy tariff recently, it may be worth looking into when you want to save money. When you choose an energy tariff, you’re given a fixed deal. 

Eventually, those deals will expire, and you’ll be out of contract. This means that you’ll be paying a higher standard rate for your energy.

It’s estimated that when changing energy suppliers you can reduce energy costs up to £200 a year. Not too shabby!

Install a Smart Thermostat

If you’re able to, installing and using smart heating controls can dramatically reduce your energy bills. New, improved heating controls can allow you to do a variety of things to reduce energy bills. Some of these benefits include:

  • Setting heating temperatures to a specific temperature
  • Allowing the water heater to be turned on and off when not in use
  • Allowing the water heater to be set to a suitable temperature
  • Heating specific parts of the home rather than the whole home

The Energy Saving Trust estimates that installing a smart thermostat with heating controls will save a househould anywhere from £70 to £80 a year.

Turn Down the Thermostat

This is related to method 2, but you don’t need a smart thermostat to do it. If you’re looking to reduce energy bills in the household, it’s easy to save some money annually by lowering the thermostat. 

Simply lowering the heating temperature 1ºC can help you save up to £75 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust.

Use an Electric Heater

Believe it or not, replacing your heating solution for a single room in the home can help you save on gas consumption. 

If you only need one room heated in the home, consider purchasing an electric heater. It won’t help you save money on electricity, but the average costs you’ll save in gas is well worth it. Consider looking for a model with an Energy Star label to reduce electricity costs as much as possible, though.

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Buy Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

A super easy hack to reducing electricity consumption is to replace the light bulbs in your home with energy-efficient versions. While the initial costs for LED bulbs is higher than traditional light bulbs, the savings you’ll see are remarkable. On average, an LED light bulb only costs £1.71 a year to run. They’re also likely to last for decades, meaning that you’ll save energy for years to come.

Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances

Energy efficiency is key when purchasing appliances. The easiest way to identify which appliances are energy efficient are the Energy Star labels, as well as the EU rating on most appliances. Many large appliances have fairly wide ranges in their operating costs. For example, a washing machine can cost anywhere from £15 to £65 to run every year. This annual cost makes up a large portion of your yearly energy costs alone. Check the list below of common appliances you may be able to reduce energy costs with:

  • Washing machine – Can result in £50 savings annually
  • Tumble dryer – Can result in £100 savings annually
  • Fridge and freezer – Can result in £70 savings annually

Replace Your Hot Water Heater

You may know it as a boiler or a hot water heater. It doesn’t matter what you call it, if you have an old one it’s likely not a very efficient appliance. If you’re using an old gas boiler, nearly all your energy costs each year may be dedicated to the boiler alone. 

Using a newer, condensing model hot water heater will help you save money on your gas costs throughout the year. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that you could be saving up to £200 a year if you upgrade your hot water heater to a newer model.

The downside of attempting to save money on energy consumption this way is the high initial cost. A new boiler can cost anywhere from £1,300 to £4,000, depending on the model you select. So, this tip might not be for everyone, unfortunately!

Unplug Standby Appliances

Unplugging your standby appliances may not seem like a big deal, but it can make a difference. An easy way to accomplish this is by using a single power strip (appropriately) for multiple appliances, then unplugging it when none of the devices are in use. 

If you’re looking for a more modern solution, timer plugs or smart plugs can be installed that allows you to turn appliances off based on timing or command. These phantom energy costs can add up, resulting in savings of £30 a year. Every little bit counts.

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Check Your Insulation

Heat loss is a massive contributor to high heating costs. There are several ways to reduce heat loss, like plugging draughts, but the most effective way to do so is by maintaining your home’s insulation

Insulation is present in both your loft and your cavity walls. Should your home have issues with maintaining heat, then replacing or installing insulation can help immensely. Installing good cavity wall insulation and loft insulation can help you reduce energy consumption and heat loss.

  • Wall insulation can reduce energy costs up to £165 a year
  • Loft insulation can reduce energy costs up to £150 a year

While both contribute to a reduction in heat loss, the first to tackle should be loft insulation. Heat rises, and loft insulation will stop the heat from escaping through the top of the house. While it doesn’t save as much as wall insulation, the job is generally easier to accomplish and makes a big difference in how a home feels.

Get a Smart Meter

If you want to reduce your energy costs, then knowing how much energy you’re using is key. A smart meter can help you estimate exactly how much energy you use on a month-to-month basis. 

Smart meters can monitor energy use in real-time. The meter sends information to an in-home display that lets you see all the facts and figures that your energy suppliers can see. This not only allows you to monitor your usage, but it shows the supplying company where they can improve, as well. 

Smart meters are a great modern way of tracking energy consumption, and can help you cut electricity and gas costs in your household.

Conserve Water

Something that’s less monitored than gas and electricity is water. However, monitoring your water usage can help you reduce your energy costs overall, as well. If you want to cut energy costs associated with heating water, consider the following tips:

  • Wash up in a basin rather than under running water. Warm water will stay warm for a good amount of time, and you shouldn’t need a constantly running tap to clean up quickly.
  • Get a more water-efficient shower head. Water-efficient shower heads will reduce water usage, meaning that they’ll reduce the amount of hot water used during each shower, as well.

Most of the time, water usage will directly affect heating costs since no one wants to take a cold shower.

Replace Single Glazing Windows with Double Glazing Windows

Much like the insulation we mentioned before, windows can help you retain heat and reduce energy bills. Most windows come with single glazing. However, if you replace windows that have single glazing with double glazing, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at a reduction in energy costs. . Additionally, they’ll help keep the outside noise where it belongs; outside.

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Wrapping Up

There are plenty of ways that you can cut your energy costs. The most effective way is to review your energy supplier and consider making a logical switch. However, if that isn’t an option, there are plenty of ways to cut electricity and gas costs. Some are more expensive than others, like replacing high-value appliances. Unfortunately, some of these can be pretty cost-prohibitive. Don’t let that discourage you, though. Something as simple as lowering the thermostat and unplugging standby appliances can make a big difference to your annual energy costs.

Tom
About author

Fully qualified CISI Investment adviser for 5 year. Managed UK private client portfolios.
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