WASTE NOT, WANT NOT
In the current climate of austerity, and on the back of the government’s Green Deal scheme to help implement energy saving measures in our homes, here is a list of some of the simplest ways to save money. You might be surprised at how many ways you can reduce household energy bills without spending anything at all. Other ideas require a small investment, but there are significant savings to be made.
Three key areas where we can all save money:
No cost solution: Switch off all lights when not needed.
Low cost solution: Install energy saving lightbulbs. Not only do they last up to ten times longer than a traditional bulb, they use around 80% less energy. For every traditional bulb you replace with an energy-saving lightbulb you will save approximately £60 over its lifetime. If you replace just 10 traditional bulbs in your home you will be saving something in the region of £600!
Go the extra mile: If you have halogen downlighters fitted throughout your house, replacing each one with an equivalent LED downlighter will typically save around £140 per light over its lifetime. Replacing just 10 halogen downlighters will save in the region of £1400! [Many modern homes have significantly more than 10 downlighters.]
No cost solution: Never leave appliances on stand-by. Families can save up to £90 a year just by turning things off properly.
Low cost solution: Choose energy efficient appliances whenever it is necessary to replace one. Each appliance that has an AA or AAA energy efficiency grading could save you approximately £37 per year. Typical houses in the UK have at least 4 appliances so these savings quickly add up.
Go the extra mile: The extra mile in this department isn’t about spending a lot of money – it’s all about putting in some thought and effort. Using your washing machine on a 30 degree wash can save a third of the energy than washing at a higher temperature. Taking the time to hang washing out on a line rather than tumble drying can also save money. Don’t put your dishwasher on until it is full, and if possible, stop the dishwasher’s cycle when it gets to the drying stage, open the door and let the load dry naturally. When making a cup of tea, only boil the amount of water you will need. Specialised (but expensive) hot water taps have recently been developed to replace kettles and only provide the exact amount of hot water that is required.
HOT WATER AND HEATING
Low cost solution: If you have a shower that runs from your hot water tank or boiler (rather than an electric one) buying and fitting a water-efficient shower head will reduce the hot water you use with very little difference to your shower experience. A shower head will cost around £27 and a family of four will save around £75 a year on water heating, and another £90 on water bills if they have a water meter. Lagging your water tank, if you haven’t already done so, will cost around £25 and save in the region of £60 per year.
No cost solution: It’s staggering, but true, that turning down the room thermostat that controls your heating by just one degree can save £65 per year. Try turning the temperature down by 2 or 3 degrees to see if you are still warm enough without burning money!
Go the extra mile: If your boiler is very old, it is likely to be inefficient and will be costing you more money than necessary to run. It’s a big upfront cost but will save you money in the long-run if you upgrade. Of course, insulating your loft space and dry-lining internal walls are also fantastic ways to help your home retain heat and save money on heating bills.