Does your household energy bill nearly give you a heart attack every month? Unfortunately, energy bills are an inevitable cost of living.
Even if it seems like your power consumption is reasonable, the little things add up all too quickly.
Luckily, there are many small ways to reduce energy use in the home. These ten great tips for saving power and downsizing your energy bill will help you figure out what you can do to stop overpaying for energy. Not only will you be saving money, but you will be much more environmentally friendly!
1. Compare Energy Suppliers
In recent years, many more energy suppliers have come to exist all over the world. The more gas and electricity providers pop up, the more competitive they become. This means they want your business, and they are much more likely to give you a good deal. Have a look around to see if you’re getting the best prices available. Check rates from various energy suppliers and find the best one for you. To make this easier, consider using a free price comparison site.
When it comes to heating and cooling your home, insulation is key. Improving insulation doesn’t always mean complicated DIY projects or construction work. Start by shutting doors and windows. Ensure that your curtains or blinds seal your windows properly to keep out the weather on hot and cold days. Block draughts around doors and windows, and use external shading like awnings or shutters to keep out the sun. Furthermore, the roof of your home can waste 25% of heat in the winter if it isn’t properly insulated. Consider improving the insulation of your roof either by yourself or by hiring a professional to save a significant amount of energy and money.
3. Fine-Tune Your Thermostat
It is shocking how much money you can save by adjusting your thermostat by a few degrees. Statistics show that every degree over 20 in the winter can increase your energy bill by 10%. Avoid overpaying by keeping your thermostat around 26 degrees in the summer, and between 18 and 20 degrees in the winter. If you have to wear warmer clothes at home to save a lot of money, it might be worth it! To avoid it getting too hot in your home in the summer months, try alternative cooling strategies that use less energy by keeping out the sun and improving air circulation.
Washing machines heat their own water, and this uses a lot of power. Try to do your laundry using colder cycles. Many detergents work equally well in cold water, so you don’t need to worry about getting the difficult stains out. Try to wait until you have a full load to avoid running the washing machine excessively.
Air-dry your clothes rather than putting them in the dryer. If you do have to use the dryer, ensure that you properly clear out the lint to keep it running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. If your washing machine or dryer has shorter cycles or eco-cycles, use these whenever possible.
5. Use the Eco Setting
Modern household appliances like washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers come with a pre-designed energy saving function, or “eco mode”. Some boilers and thermostats also have this setting. These are often shorter, colder cycles. Though people were rightly sceptical of the benefits of these settings in the past, technology has advanced significantly, and these days it’s definitely worth using eco mode to save power. You won’t even notice the difference until your bills arrive!
6. Go Solar
Domestic solar panels, too, have improved significantly in the last decade. Why pay someone for power when you can generate your own? And furthermore, why drill oil out of the earth when there is a permanent energy source in the sky? If you’re willing to make a long term investment, solar panels can save you a lot of money over the years. Find out more about solar cells and how they work, and consider getting one or more for your home.
7. Off – Not Standby
Instead of putting your electronics in standby mode, turn them off! Or, better yet, unplug them completely when they’re not in use. Devices like washing machines, televisions, computers, and so on continue to use electricity even when they appear to be turned off. Even chargers and extension cables that are left plugged in when not in use will continue to absorb small amounts of energy. Turning things off properly or unplugging them will save a lot of power, and significantly reduce your energy bill.
8. Buy Efficient
Most electronics and household appliances have energy efficiency ratings. Always check these before buying them to save power. The more stars, the less money you will spend on your energy bills in the long term. While more efficient technology is usually more expensive, you will make the money back!
9. Turn off The Light
This one may seem obvious, but turn off the light when you don’t need it! Use natural light whenever you can. You can easily boost the natural light in your home by strategically placing a mirror and introducing lighter colours. If you do need artificial light, consider using task lighting and smaller lamps rather than turning on the main lights in the room. And remember to use efficient light bulbs!
10. Cook Smart
A huge portion of domestic energy is used in the kitchen, but luckily there are many ways to save energy while cooking. Instead of using the oven in the summer, consider having cold dishes or lighting the barbecue to produce less heat in the house and save on cooling costs. Leave frozen food to defrost in the fridge rather than using the microwave. Keep your fridge and freezer at the right temperature rather than using the coldest setting. Try to use the microwave rather than the stove or oven whenever possible, as it gets the same job done with much less power.