Energy prices have been going up for a while. In fact,electricity prices in the UK rose by 67% and gas prices rose by 129% year-on-year in the 12 months leading up to Jan 2023.
As a result of these increasing costs,48% of adults who pay the energy bills in their household have said they’re finding it difficult to afford them.
If you’re one of the growing numbers of people who are struggling, we’ve got some ideas on how to save energy in the home, in turn helping you to save money on energy bills.
Ways to make your heating more energy efficient
There are some simple things you can do when it comes to your heating system and boiler to ensure you’re not paying more than you need to for your gas and electricity bills.
Check your bills
It might seem obvious, but checking you’re paying the right amount for your energy is a great first step in reducing your bills. If you pay by direct debit, it’s always worth checking how much you’re paying and whether that puts you in credit or debit. If you’re in credit, try calculating your usage online and compare it against your direct debit.
You can then use this as evidence when contacting your energy firm to amend your direct debit if you’re paying too much. You might even be able to get a refund on some of your credit if it’s really high.
Reduce your thermostat by 1°C
This is a very small tweak, but it could save you a lot of money. Astudy by University College London looking at homes with gas central heating found that for each 1°C decrease in thermostat temperature between 22°C and 18°C, average houses saved around £130 on energy bills (based on the October 2022 price cap for a typically sized house).
It’s advised by various agencies, including theMet Office, that if you’re a healthy adult, your home should be heated to 18°C in winter, while you may need it slightly warmer if there are older people, young children or unwell people in your house.
So, if you usually heat your home to 19°C, try turning it down a notch, then wait a few hours to see whether you notice a difference. If you’re still feeling the cold, adjust the thermostat up by one degree at a time until you feel comfortable.
By reducing the temperature of your home gradually, you might not even notice the difference, but it could have an impact on your heating bill.
Review your boiler’s flow temperature
If you have a combi boiler, you may be able to save money by reducing the pre-set flow temperature. Combi boilers are designed to heat the water that’s sent to radiators at 60°C or less. This is known as the flow temperature. However, the majority of combi boilers in the UK are pre-set with a flow temperature of 70-80°C.
Your combi boiler operates in condensing mode when it has a flow temperature of 60°C, which means that it runs more efficiently. If it’s set any higher than that, it’s not running as efficiently as it could be, meaning you could be spending more money than you need to.
Changing the flow temperature on your boiler won’t affect how hot your water is, and it won’t reduce the temperature on your radiators - it might just mean they take a little longer to heat up. According to theMoney Saving Boiler Challenge, making this small switch could save the average household £112 a year.
Insulate your loft
If you own your home, ensuring your attic is properly insulated is another way to make significant energy bill savings.
According to theEnergy Saving Trust, a quarter of the heat in an uninsulated home is lost through the roof, and they suggest that properly installed loft insulation will pay for itself multiple times over the course of its 40-year lifespan.
Roof insulation of 270mm in a typical detached house is likely to cost you£890 and could save you £570 per year in energy bills. What’s more, it could also save 1000kg of carbon emissions every year - so installing roof insulation is good for your bank balance and the planet.
Insulation can be expensive, and in times like these, it might not be top of your household spending list. However, it’s worth checking to see if you’re eligible for one of the government’s’heat your home’ grants to get extra support with insulation costs.
Only heat the room you’re using
There’s no need to have the radiators turned to full blast in every room if the whole family is gathered in the living room for the evening.
Thegovernment suggests that, when you’re not using a particular room but want to have the heating on, you should turn your radiator valves to between 2.5 and 3. This will keep the room at roughly 18°C, and you can turn up the radiator in the room you are using if you’re feeling the chill.
It’s estimated that this change could save you up to £70 and is thought to be more cost-efficient than turning the radiators off completely. After turning on from cold, your boiler would have to work harder to increase the temperature than if the radiators are simply kept at a lower setting.
Have you thought about how big items of furniture can affect your heating? If a bed or a sofa is right next to a radiator, try moving it a couple of inches away. This may help improve air circulation and help get the room warmer, faster.
Electricity saving tips for your appliances
When it comes to methods for saving electricity, there are some surprisingly simple tweaks you can make around the house that will have an impact on your energy bills.
Turn your appliances off standby
How often do you leave your TV on standby without turning it off at the wall? Although it might not seem like much, theEnergy Saving Trust estimates you can save roughly £65 per year by turning your appliances off instead of leaving them on standby mode.
Use your washing machine less
The Energy Saving Trust recommends making two small adjustments to how you use your washing machine. First, it suggests washing your clothes at 30°C. Second, it recommends that you put one less load of washing in every week for a year. By doing these two things, you could save roughly £34 on your energy bill every year.
It’s also a good idea to use your tumble dryer less frequently, as this appliance can be expensive to run. If you can, air drying your washing on a clothes line or horse is preferable. But if you do need to use the tumble dryer, do so less frequently and spin your clothes in your washing machine before putting them in the dryer to minimise the amount of time they’ll take to dry.
Take shorter showers
You probably already know that baths use more water than showers, but showers do still use a great deal of water. A report by the Energy Saving Trust,At Home With Water, found that showers are the largest user of water in the home. Across the country, we use around 840 billion litres of water in showers every year and spend roughly £2.3 billion on heating water for showers.
That’s why it’s recommended that you stick to 4-minute showers, rather than lingering in a hot shower for 10 or 15 minutes. It’s thought that swapping one bath a week for a 4-minute shower could save £20 a year - and if you take frequent baths, swapping them all for short showers could save you even more.
The average four-person household with a power shower couldsave £70 on energy bills each year and a further £25 on water bills by taking just one minute off the length of their showers. Of course, as well as saving money, you’ll also be saving water.
If you can’t face giving up your long showers, there are also gadgets you can get to reduce the costs, like water-saving shower heads. These are designed to use less water and should save you around 2% per year on your energy bills.
Boil less water in the kettle
Many of us are guilty of filling the kettle to the top, even if we’re only making one cup of tea. If you only boil as much water as you need each time,you could save £13 per year.
Run your dishwasher less often
If you currently use your dishwasher every day, you may want to consider using it less frequently. Ensuring it’s full before you run it will reduce the amount of water used, and it could save you money on your energy bill too. If you swap one dishwasher run per week for hand washing instead, youcould save £17 per year.
More tips for saving energy at home
As well as ensuring your heating system is as energy efficient as possible and reducing the use of appliances where you can, there are a few other things you can do to save money on your electricity bills.
Turn off lights
One very simple thing you can do to reduce your electric bill is to simply turn off the lights when you leave a room. The Energy Saving Trust suggests this could save you £25 per year.
You may also want to consider swapping out your lightbulbs for energy-saving bulbs. As lighting accounts for 11% of energy consumption in the average UK household, it could pay off to make the switch from incandescent or halogen bulbs to LEDs. Indeed, you could save as much as£15 per year if you change from a 100-watt incandescent bulb to a LED.
Draught-proof your home
If you have any gaps under your windows and doors, you could be letting cold air in - and warm air out. By plugging these gaps, you couldsave around £60 a year. If you have a chimney, then draught-proofing could save you a further £90 per year.
Struggling to pay for bills
There are resources out there if you’re still struggling to pay bills. In the first instance, you can contact your supplier and they may be able to help organise a payment plan. You may also be referred tothird party debt advisers such asStepChange andCitizens Advice.
- pay for regular bills monthly by Direct Debit.
- keep a record of payments and plan ahead.
- talk to the people you owe money to if you're struggling.
Another simple and inexpensive way to save energy is by unplugging electronics that are not in use. This can be done by sweeping your whole home and finding sneaky appliances that continue to drain energy. An easy way to find these electronics is by seeing any glowing lights from appliances in dark rooms.What are 5 items that can save you energy at home? ›
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs. Buy compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. ...
- Turn down your thermostat. ...
- Use cold water in your washing machine. ...
- Fix your windows. ...
- Plant it.
Install a programmable thermostat that will cool your home properly. Install windows to retain conditioned air. Insulate your home properly to not let cooler air escape. Replace or clean your air filters regularly to reduce energy consumption in warmer months.How do I stop wasting electricity? ›
What can I do? Turn off the power switch on the socket/wall or unplug appliances from the socket when they are not in use. Turning devices to “energy-saving” or “eco” mode is another way to reduce energy consumption.What is the quickest and easiest way to save money on energy bills? ›
Replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs) is one of the quickest and easiest ways to save money and conserve energy.What uses the most electricity? ›
- Wet appliances. Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, taking the top spot in our list. ...
- Cold appliances. ...
- Consumer electronics. ...
- Lighting. ...
The savings hack involves putting aside every $5 note you receive into a secret stash for use at the end of the year. “The challenge is every time you receive a $5 note put it away, if you break a note and get $5 bills ... put them away,” explains one budgeter.How to save $1,000 quickly? ›
- Make a weekly menu, and shop for groceries with a list and coupons.
- Buy in bulk.
- Use generic products.
- Avoid paying ATM fees. ...
- Pay off your credit cards each month to avoid interest charges.
- Pay with cash. ...
- Check out movies and books at the library.
- Find a carpool buddy to save on gas.
- Air conditioning and heating: 46 percent.
- Water heating: 14 percent.
- Appliances: 13 percent.
- Lighting: 9 percent.
- TV and Media Equipment: 4 percent.
The largest electricity consumer in the average household is your heating and cooling appliance. By a long shot. Central air conditioners and heaters use tons of energy in order to keep your home set to the right temperature.What wastes energy at home? ›
Leaving devices on and forgetting about them is one of the biggest energy-wasting habits at home. And having a device in sleep or standby mode uses less electricity than having it completely on. Many devices have a sleep or standby feature that turns them off after a certain amount of time.What two things can you do at home to save energy? ›
Dust and clean light fixtures regularly. Use dimmer switches to add interest and lower energy use. Turn off unnecessary lights. Turn off lights whenever you leave a room and don't need them - even for a few minutes.What is one way to reduce the amount of energy you use at home? ›
Shut down your computer at night or set it to sleep when not in use. Choose the right light. LED bulbs are the most energy efficient. They use 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs and last 25 times longer.Do plugged in appliances use electricity when off? ›
Phantom energy: Do appliances use electricity when plugged in but turned off? The short answer is yes! A variety of different electronic devices and appliances, including televisions, toasters, lamps, and more, when plugged in, can consume electricity even when they're turned off.What could be draining my electricity? ›
Feeding Energy Hog Appliances
Big appliances, like dishwashers, clothes washers, and clothes dryers have insatiable appetites for electricity, and using them too often can drive your electricity bill way up.
LED bulbs use 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs (Energy Star).Does paying bills early save money? ›
Paying your credit card early can save money, free up your available credit for other purchases and provide peace of mind that your bill is paid well before your due date. If you can afford to do it, paying your credit card bills early helps establish good financial habits and may even improve your credit score.What is the most expensive way to pay energy bills? ›
Using a prepayment meter
But it's one of the most expensive ways of paying for your energy. Prepayment meters are sometimes suggested to help people who have had problems paying their bills and can be used to help repay debts to energy providers.
Among them, lipids are the main energy storing molecule in the body. Lipids are mainly composed of hydrocarbons in their most reduced form.
Energy storage in lithium-ion batteries is considered one of the most efficient.How do you store energy for a long time? ›
Electricity can be stored in electrical batteries, or it can be converted into heat and stored in a heat battery. Heat can also be stored in heat batteries or in thermal storage, such as a hot water cylinder.What appliances unplug to save energy? ›
- Small Appliances. Small kitchen appliances (think: electric can openers, coffee makers, blenders, etc.) ...
- Entertainment Systems. ...
- Chargers. ...
- Home Office Equipment.
So, if we assume that the average person takes a 10-minute shower, you can expect to spend 48p per shower on electricity. This is based on the calculation: Power (8.5kW) x cost per kWh (0.34) / 60 = 0.048, the cost per minute.What uses more electricity TV or lights? ›
So, the clear winner here is the lightbulb…at least until you multiply that by how many lights you have in your house. Plus, if you still use incandescent bulbs (switch to LEDs ASAP if you do), 2 – 3 will use more electricity than most TVs over the course of the year.How to save $100 a week? ›
- Track Your Spending, and Make a Budget. ...
- Pack Your Lunch. ...
- Check If You're Being Over-Serviced. ...
- Negotiate Your Bills. ...
- Vow to Reuse, Repair and Repurpose Instead of Buying New. ...
- Get to Know Your Credit Card. ...
- Change Your Living Situation. ...
- Clean Out Your Pantry.
- Open a savings account. My oldest daughter once saved $800. ...
- Automate. Does money burn a hole in your pocket? ...
- Cut back. You should be able to find areas where you can reduce spending. ...
- Cut out. On the other hand, some spending needs to go. ...
- Don't give up. ...
- Work both ends of your budget.
- Start Tracking Your Spending Habits.
- Get on a Budget.
- Cancel Unnecessary or Unused Subscriptions.
- Reduce Electricity Use.
- Prioritize Sustainability.
- Lower Your Housing Expenses.
- Consolidate Your Debt and Lower Interest Rates.
- Reduce Your Insurance Premiums.
- #1: Cut your cable costs. ...
- #2: Make your home more energy efficient. ...
- #3: Make your car more energy efficient. ...
- #4: Slash your dry cleaning bill. ...
- #5: Eat out less—or hack dining out. ...
- #6: Start a garden. ...
- #7: Book your next vacation or business trip on AirBnB.com. ...
- #8: Automate your savings.
- Make your own coffee. ...
- Skip one store-bought lunch or takeout dinner. ...
- Don't take that rideshare. ...
- Swap paid entertainment for something free. ...
- Clip supermarket coupons. ...
- Cancel your gym membership. ...
- Watch a movie at home instead of in a theater. ...
- Host a happy hour rather than attend one at a bar.
- Start by depositing $5 into a savings account on week 1.
- Deposit $10 into your savings account on week 2.
- Deposit $15 into your savings account on week 3.
- Deposit $20 into your savings account on week 4.
- Deposit $25 into your savings account on week 5.
On weekdays, energy costs less before 4 p.m. and after 9 p.m. Energy always costs less on weekends and most holidays.Which of the following is most energy saving? ›
Compact Fluorescent lamp (CFL) is more energy efficient among all the given options. A fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent light bulb, often known as an energy-saving light or compact fluorescent tube; certain versions fit into light fixtures designed for incandescent bulbs.What wastes a lot of electricity? ›
Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, taking the top spot in our list. The power needed to heat the water that they use pushes up consumption, making them energy-hungry household appliances.What makes electricity go away? ›
Power outages can happen because of failures at any point in that process: distribution failures, transmission failures, or insufficient electricity generation can all lead to power outages.What is the cheapest way to stay warm? ›
- Layer up. Wearing lots of layers, rather than one thick piece of clothing, is a smart way to keep warm in winter. ...
- Keep draughts out and heat in. ...
- Be clever with heating. ...
- Make warming food and drinks. ...
- Get moving. ...
- Check what support you can get.
A hot water bottle is cheaper to use than an electric blanket, according to our calculations.Is it cheaper to leave heat on all day? ›
According to experts at the Energy Saving Trust, the idea it's cheaper to leave the heating on low all day is a myth. They're clear that having the heating on only when you need it is, in the long run, the best way to save energy, and therefore money.What device lowers your electric bill? ›
Energy-saving devices are equipment designed to help curtail your home's energy consumption and, in turn, your electric bill. Some of the most commonly used power savers are smart outlets, LED bulbs, smart power strips, intelligent energy meters, and energy-efficient household appliances.What is the cheapest hours to use electricity? ›
Electricity is often cheaper late at night or early in the morning, so if you run your heaviest loads during those times, you'll be able to save on your electric bill. These are typical off-peak hours when not as many people are using electricity.
It's cheaper at night, when demand for power is at its lowest. This quieter period is called the off-peak hours, which usually falls between 10pm and 8am. Conversely, peak hours are during the daytime, when more people are using electricity and demand is higher.What is the cheapest light bulb to run? ›
There are two main types of energy-efficient light bulbs available: compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs are the most common and adaptable light fitting, and are suitable for replacing dimmable lights and spotlights. LEDs are also more energy-efficient than CFLs.What is the most best energy source? ›
Fossil fuels are the dirtiest and most dangerous energy sources, while nuclear and modern renewable energy sources are vastly safer and cleaner.What is the most efficient and cleanest energy source? ›
At present, wind power is the most efficient method of sustainable energy production. In fact, it's more than twice as efficient as its closest competitor (geothermal).