Renewable Energy

How to save money on energy bills: Tips and tricks

An old couple check their bills using a laptop

In September 2021, wholesale gas prices surged due to a combination of factors that affected supply and demand.  Unfortunately, this also led to an increase in energy prices for domestic customers.

To address this, Ofgem announced that the energy price cap would rise to £3,549 in October 2022. However, this cap has since increased to £4,279, and will decrease to £3,280 in April 2023.

The government recognised the financial burden that these high energy bills would have on households and introduced the Energy Price Guarantee. This guarantee has frozen energy prices at £2,500 per year for an average use household paying by direct debit until the end of June 2023.

There are still, however, plenty of strategies and techniques that can help you lower your energy bills without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

Here are some tips and tricks to consider.

Switch energy providers

One of the easiest ways to save money on energy bills is by switching to a cheaper energy provider.

In the UK, there are a variety of energy suppliers to choose from, each offering different tariffs and plans.

Using a comparison website like MoneySuperMarket or uSwitch can help you find the best deals for your area and energy usage.

Keep in mind that fixed-rate tariffs offer more stability, while variable-rate tariffs may fluctuate with market prices.

Use energy-efficient appliances

Older appliances can be energy-guzzlers, so consider upgrading to newer, energy-efficient models.

Look for appliances with an Energy Star rating or an A+++ rating. These are the most efficient models and can save you a significant amount on your energy bills in the long run.

Don’t forget to unplug appliances that you’re not using to save even more energy.

Turn off unused appliances

Most electrical appliances in your home, including computers, televisions, smart devices, and video game consoles, consume energy continuously unless they are unplugged.

To save energy and reduce your electricity bills, make sure to turn off the power switch at the socket or unplug appliances when they’re not in use.

A lady installs an LED lightbulb.

Install energy-saving light Bulbs

LED lightbulbs are a fantastic way for homeowners to save money on their energy bills.

Not only are they more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, but they also last much longer, reducing the need for frequent replacements.

With up to 80% less energy consumption than incandescent bulbs, LEDs can provide significant long-term savings on energy bills and replacement costs, making them a wise investment for any homeowner.

Even though they may cost slightly more to purchase initially, the benefits of LED lightbulbs far outweigh the costs.

Upgrade your insulation

A well-insulated home will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and will save you money on your energy bills.

Consider upgrading your loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, and draught-proofing your windows and doors.

You may be eligible for grants or funding from the government to help with the cost of insulation.

Wash your clothes at a lower temperature

By making 30C your standard wash temperature, you can significantly reduce your energy consumption and save money on your energy bills.

However, it’s worth noting that certain items like bedding, towels, and underwear may need to be washed at higher temperatures, such as 40C, for hygiene reasons.

With a little bit of planning and consideration for different fabrics, you can easily adopt a more energy-efficient approach to laundry without sacrificing cleanliness or freshness.

Avoid the tumble drier

While tumble dryers may be convenient, they’re notorious for their high energy consumption.

To save energy, consider drying your laundry outside whenever possible.

Alternatively, if you need to dry your clothes indoors, avoid hanging them directly on radiators, as wet clothes can cool the radiator, causing your boiler to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.

However, if you must use a tumble dryer, using the auto-dry setting is more energy-efficient than a timed cycle. This setting allows the dryer to stop once the clothes are dry, avoiding unnecessary energy consumption.

By following these simple tips, you can reduce your energy usage and lower your electricity bills, all while keeping your clothes dry and fresh.

A young man places food into a microwave.

Use the microwave more

While a microwave may not be the best option for every cooking task, there’s no denying its energy efficiency.

Cooking is responsible for roughly 14% of electricity usage in UK households, making the microwave an excellent choice for those looking to reduce their energy consumption in the kitchen.

Additionally, other appliances like air fryers and slow cookers use significantly less energy compared to traditional ovens and hobs, making them another great option for energy-efficient cooking.

By incorporating these appliances into your cooking routine, you can easily save energy and money on your electricity bills.

Consider renewable energy options

Renewable energy has become a popular option for homeowners in recent years. It can often be cheaper than traditional fossil fuel-based energy sources, providing a cost-effective way to power your home.

For example, solar panels harness the power of the sun to produce electricity for your home, and the cost of installation has decreased significantly over time.

This makes it more accessible and affordable for homeowners, and the savings on energy bills can be substantial.

Of course, the cost-effectiveness of renewable energy will depend on factors such as your energy needs and the availability of renewable resources in your area.

However, as renewable energy technology continues to improve, it’s becoming an increasingly viable and attractive option for many homeowners.

So, if you’re looking to save money on energy bills and reduce your environmental impact, renewable energy may be a smart and cost-effective choice.

Martin is a journalist and PR executive of Commercial Waste Magazine. He has worked in the commercial waste and recycling industry for over a decade and is dedicated to raising public awareness in the amount of recyclable waste being sent to landfill every year.

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