Millions of households have been hit by the recent spike in energy prices, and people are understandably increasingly concerned about their energy use as the weather turns colder.
Those increased costs have left many people facing difficult choices about when, and in some cases if, they can afford to heat their homes.
This blog will offer several ways to reduce the amount of gas or electricity your property uses, as well as how much you could save, based on figures from Energy Saving Trust.
Switch to energy efficient appliances
If your budget allows, now is the time to change that long-serving but energy inefficient washing machine, and any other appliances or white goods that aren’t A+++ rated.
It may be a big initial outlay, but investing now in better-performing devices could save you pounds on your gas and electricity bills in the long run.
The same goes for light bulbs. Replace any current bulbs with energy-saving versions and you’re not only trimming your energy bill, you’re doing your bit for the planet.
Use smart technology
One of the fastest and simplest ways to reduce your energy consumption is booking a JustFix electrician to install smart systems such as thermostats, programmers and thermostatic radiator valves.
They automatically turn the temperature up or down, but also learn how long it takes to heat your property, minimising the amount of wasted energy.
You can also control them remotely with a smartphone, so your home is warm exactly when you need it. All together, this technology could save around £75 per year in the average home.
Install new boiler
It can be tempting to stick with an old and faithful boiler that has heated your home and water through thick and thin.
However, asking one of our local Fixers to upgrade to an energy efficient condensing boiler could cut a whopping £300 per year off your energy bills.
You can also book them in for regular services that will make sure it runs at peak efficiency, keeping your costs down.
Turn the heating down by 1C
More homeowners than ever are poring over their gas and electricity bills to see exactly where their money is going. But do you know how much energy is spent on heating and hot water?
The answer might surprise you: they account for almost half.
Turning down your thermostat from 20C to 19C - a single degree - could save up to £80 a year on your energy bill, while you and your home stay good and warm.
Also, if you have one, avoid using the tumble dryer. If you can’t dry your washing inside, save up several loads and take them to the local laundrette to use their industrial dryers.
Use your water wisely
We already know that it takes a lot of energy to heat our water, but there are lots of little savings that, made together, can have a big impact on your heating bills.
- Use a bowl to do your washing up rather than filling the sink. That will save £25 per year.
- Buy an efficient shower head. That will shave another £18 per year, per person off your bill.
- Set up a shower timer. Cutting everyone’s time under the water by one minute will save £7 per year, per person, while a maximum four-minute shower could save the average household £95 annually.
- Wash your clothes at a lower temperature. Most modern detergents are just as efficient at 30C as they are at 60C. Plus, if you can reduce your washing by one load per week, that’s another £5 per year saved.
- Don’t overfill your kettle. Boiling just the amount of water you need can cut up to £13 per year off your energy bill.
- Fit an aerator to the spout of your kitchen tap to reduce how much water you use and save up to £30 per year.
- Fill your dishwasher every time to maximise water use.
- Install a smart water meter. These devices help you monitor and control your consumption, making it easier to cut back and save money. Book a JustFix tradesperson to do it for you.
Install double or triple glazing
It can be a major outlay for some homeowners, but the long-term savings often make replacing single glazed windows and doors worthwhile.
The average semi-detached home could cut its annual energy bill by £110 by switching to A-rated double glazing. You’ll find expert companies available in your area on the JustFix platform.
Insulate the roof
While not quite as expensive as double glazing, topping up your roof insulation can cost a few hundred pounds, which might seem a bit steep.
However, the long-term savings are more than worth it: the average semi will save £135 per year on heating bills.
Don’t forget to lag your hot water cylinder too. Investing in a 80mm thick British Standard Jacket could save you £70 a year.
Fix those draughts
Never underestimate the ability of a warped or badly fitting door, open chimney or worn wooden window frame to increase your energy costs.
You can book a JustFix handyman to carry out the repairs and block any gaps, but if that’s not an option at the moment there are other solutions.
Make draught excluders for the bottoms of your doors and windows, line your letter box or invest in thermal or heavy curtains to prevent cold air from seeping into your home.
Cumulatively, they could save up to £35 a year.
Reducing your electricity use
Now we come to a series of easy-to-follow measures that will specifically cut your electricity bills.
Turn off the lights
One of the quickest ways to cut your electricity bill is to turn off any unused lights. It will even make a saving if you’ve installed energy efficient bulbs.
Astonishingly, this simple act could save you up to £25 per year.
Unplug all your devices
There are many homeowners who are wary of unplugging everything around their home in case their programming is interrupted. Instead, they are left on standby mode.
While that’s true of some TV and satellite technology, the vast majority of devices can be unplugged at the wall. You can even invest in a standby saver or smart plug that will turn everything off at the same time, so you don’t have to.
As well as ending that slow, background trickle of energy consumption, it will also save you around £65 annually.
Find your local tradesperson on the JustFix platform
If you want to upgrade your boiler, bulk up your roof insulation or fix that warped door, you can find a local expert on our platform.
It couldn’t be simpler. Just visit our site and sign up, then choose your service and make your booking.
We’ll help you cut those energy bills down to size.