With the Christmas squeeze approaching, it’s worth looking around your home to make sure you are running your house as cost-effectively as possible – after all, the pennies add up and you can save £100s on your household bills.
Investing in energy-efficient appliances in your kitchen can save you money. You could reduce your electric oven costs by 40% by choosing an A* rated electric oven, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
You could also save money by turning down the temperature of your wash cycle and the settings on your fridge and freezer: according to energy experts, refrigerators and freezers set just a few degrees lower can cut down on energy use by as much as 25%.
Save money with Hippo the Water Saver – a simple, low-cost water saving device which can, according to Hippo, save up to 3 litres of water every time you flush your toilet.
You could also invest in water-efficient showerheads and flow tap aerators and regulators – both will help you save water.
Switch everything off at night, including all your TV and digital TV devices. Leaving electrical equipment on standby drains electricity, and you could save around £30 a year just by turning appliances off at the wall. What seems like a tiny change could make up an average of 6% of an annual bill, according to British Gas.
Keep your chimney in good order too. You should arrange to have your chimneys swept at least once a year by a NACS registered chimney sweep – it’s important for fire safety to keep your chimney in good order; regular maintenance will keep it in good condition and can remove potential obstacles, meaning your fire will burn more efficiently.
Lighting accounts for about 3% of electricity usage, according to The Cambridge Housing Model. By swapping your existing light bulbs to energy-saving ones – including all your bedside lamps - you could save up to around £100 over the bulb’s lifetime. Remembering to turn lights off when you leave a room can also make a big difference.
Insulate your hot water cylinder – a well-fitted tank jacket could save you around £25 to £35 a year, more if you heat your water electrically, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Insulating the hot water pipes will save more energy and can help your taps to run hot more quickly.
According to South West Water, a single water butt can collect around 5,000 litres of water per year which can be used in your garden or to wash your car. By investing in a water butt, you can save money on your water bills.
Cleaning out your gutters is a messy but useful task. Gutters which are cluttered with all the autumn debris could cause a water blockage, which may lead to damp or worse. If a gutter is then blocked up with water it could also freeze over.
According to uSwitch, you could save up to £60 a year if you turn your thermostat down by 1°C. Also, if your curtains are drawn at night and you use draft excluders under your doors, you could help to prevent the heat from escaping.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, better insulation could also save you between £25 and £50 a year. Try to seal gaps around windows and doors to stop heat escaping and draughts getting in.
Other lower-tech tricks to save money include using heavy curtains over windows (taking care not to cover radiators), and increasing heat by using metal radiator-reflectors. Thermostatic radiator valves will also cut your heating bills in winter.
For more information on saving money on your energy costs, visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
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