We all do, right? We all want to take control of the things we spend our money on, and especially with something like energy, in which our direct actions can ‘Reduce my bills’ from the energy suppliers.
Are we right in thinking that your energy bills feel like a bit of a tax? It’s something you pay without thinking twice about because you need the lights, the warmth, the power to charge your phone and laptop, right?
Well, we are going to give you FIFTEEN of the best tips for your home, which will not only save you an absolute fortune, but will reduce your carbon footprint and make your home more energy efficient too.
If you’ve ever said “I want to reduce my bills”, you could (in no particular order)…
1. Change provider and get a better deal
Using My Energy, you will find the cheapest deal for your area, combining not just quotes from massive multinational energy companies, but from independent suppliers who may operate in your region. You can save hundreds today just by switching, as we are connected to ALL major energy suppliers.
2. Change tariff
Unknowingly, you may have been stuck on the wrong tariff for way too long, unaware that by switching to a different tariff offered by your supplier, you could be getting better seasonal offers, or a package that’s better suited to your lifestyle.
3. Insulate your home
Without proper insulation, heat is escaping your home. Insulation is designed to keep a nice year-round temperature, meaning it will even keep your house cool in the summer as well as warm in the winter. Insulation protects against draughts too, especially those that come in through the loft. Don’t hesitate and decide to insulate your home with the safest, eco friendly spray foam insulation for immediate improvement of your living comfort.
4. Online customers get better deals
You may have lived in your home for a long time, and have been paying for your energy by cheque, or even pay-as-you-go in cash. “Reduce my bills” you say? Go online to find the best deals; Energy providers often have fantastic incentives for new customers to switch over to them.
5. Dress warmer in the home
It sounds like advice from your parents, but it actually holds a lot of merit. By dressing warmer, you can afford to reduce your temperature by a couple of degrees in the house. A reduction of 1 degree Celsius is equivalent to around £90 a year in savings! A couple of nice jumpers and socks would cost less than that.
6. Turn lights off when you leave rooms
Being smarter with how you conserve energy at home is one surefire way to answer the “how do I reduce my bills?” question. Turning lights off when you don’t need them is one of the simplest ways.
When you enter a room, you turn a light on, but do you always remember to turn it off when you leave? Encourage everyone in your house to do the same and watch how your bills drop!
7. Unplug appliances
Your TV has no benefit being sat on standby while you’re not at home, consuming a small amount of electricity, and the same goes for any electrical device that is sat on charge with full battery. As much as 10% of your electricity consumption is from appliances not actually being used!
8. Plant some trees around your house
Admittedly, this one is thinking outside the box a bit, but it holds weight. In the summer, trees provide shade on your home, keeping it cooler, and in the winter, the leaves block a lot of wind, keeping the average temperature of your house higher.
9. Replace light bulbs
LED lights are ten times more energy efficient than old-school bulbs, needing just 6W of energy, as opposed to 60W. Replacing every bulb in your home may cost a couple of hundred pounds, but consider that a £300 yearly electricity cost would be reduced to £30, and you can appreciate the potential savings.
10. Draught proofing strips (Weatherstripping)
Draughts are guilty of letting cold air into your home, and warm air out. They often come through the loft, the letterbox, windows, doors, chimney or fireplace and floorboards.
Fortunately there are solutions, one of which is ‘draught proofing strips’, which are an adhesive that stops the airflow. Another solution is a poly filler, especially for filling in small cracks or resealing window edges.
11. Energy efficient appliances
A washing machine can cost between £20 and £100 a year to run, and the figures are similar for fridges and tumble dryers too. Switching to energy efficient white goods in particular could save you as much as £300 a year, which would be enough to pay off the initial investment in just a few years.
12. Get a new boiler
“I want to reduce my bills”, great, replace your old G rated boiler. Of all of these savings, this may be the one that has the most dramatic impact on your energy bills, and can save you as much as £3,000 over 5 years, which is roughly the cost of purchase and installation.
Fancy new boilers are designed with energy conservation in mind and often include a cool programmer with a digital screen to help you manage your heat.
13. Smart Meter
Smart meters give you (and your energy supplier) real-time, high quality energy data which often makes you more responsive to your consumption, they can also report electricity faults to the distribution company and show you how your gas, electricity and water are distributed in the home.
Programmable thermostats come with a nifty digital display, and more advanced versions all provide an accurate temperature control via a mobile app, so you can warm your home up while you’re on your way back from work!
14. Home energy grants
The government is keen to reduce the nation’s energy consumption, as it means we will have more disposable income to spend in other areas that can boost the economy.
“Wait, the government want to REDUCE my bills?”… Yes! Home energy grants often buy the energy back for the grid in what is known as ‘clean energy cash-back schemes’. Some energy providers offer free insulation and boiler replacement as incentives to stay with them.
Pensioners and people on benefits can even claim a ‘warm home discount’ of £140, and pensioners can get a winter fuel payment of up to £300 if they were born before 1953!
15. Track your meter readings every month
As soon as you receive your bill, you should make a note of your meter readings and do the same every month, to see if there are any discrepancies. Underestimated and overestimated bills both cause various problems, so it’s good to check for yourself what you’re using, just in case.
Suppliers are required, by Ofgem (the industry regulator), to read and check the quality of your meter every two years, though some offer great customer service by coming more frequently.
If you notice a strange difference between your usage and your energy supplier’s figures, you must get in touch so that they can reimburse you for mistakes.
If you don’t find out for yourself, it’s unlikely they’re going to tell you, and the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) previously suggested that the UK is overpaying the Big Six by £1.7bn a year.