Save up to £300 with these home energy saving tips ...
Like most households across the UK, you're probably starting notice the effect of recent energy price rises on your monthly budget. Industry figures have shown that wholesale gas prices have increased by more than 70% in 2008 alone.
On the plus side though, these staggering price hikes have created a highly competitive energy market with energy suppliers desperate to maintain existing customers and tempt new ones away from their competitors to maintain profits.
This buyers market together with the fact that much of our energy consumption is wasted, means that most UK homes can save up to £300 a year by simply comparing energy prices and making small changes to daily habits.
Are you paying too much for gas and electricity?
The difference between the cheapest and most expensive gas and electricity supplier can be as much as £100 per year.
If you've never changed your energy supplier or not compared prices recently, you could make huge savings with minimal effort by switching to a more competitive company.
Its simple to compare energy suppliers online and switching is easier than ever. But like any consumer purchase, you should follow a few guidelines before signing on the dotted line. Ask yourself these questions when comparing energy companies:
1.Are there any hidden charges?
2.Do the prices quoted include VAT?
3.Are you eligible for any special offers, incentives or discounts?
4.What is the supplier's complaints record?
You don't have to switch supplier to make savings. If you pay your energy bills by cheque you could save £50-£60 per year if you pay by direct debit instead. Switching to an online account can save you even more.
Small changes equal big energy savings
The biggest long-term savings come from changing your energy habits and being more energy efficient around the home.
As you start to see savings its a good idea to re-invest this money in energy saving products and appliances to reduce your energy consumption even further. The long-term savings will more than pay for the cost of purchasing and installing these measures.
Start using these no-cost energy saving tips around your home and measure the reduction in your next few energy bills. The more you apply the more you'll save.
- Set your heating to go off 30 minutes before you leave the house, and come on again 30 minutes before you expect to return.
- Turn the room thermostat down by 1 degree. This can save you around £30 a year.
- Make sure your radiators are not obstructed by curtains or furniture.
- Draw your curtains at dusk to help keep the heat generated inside your rooms.
- Insulate your loft space and consider cavity wall insulation too.
- Use energy efficient light bulbs which use less energy and last up to ten times longer than standard bulbs.
- Turn off household appliances such as microwaves, TVs, videos, music systems, and computers when not in use, as they continue to use energy when they are left on standby.
- Don't leave the fridge door open and try to avoid putting hot or warm food straight into the fridge as this increases the energy required to keep the contents cold.
- Defrost your fridge frequently and check the door seals. Avoid putting your fridge next to heat generating appliances such as an oven or boiler. If possible, keep the freezer in a cool room or garage.
Washing Machines, Tumble Dryers and Dishwashers
- Use a low temperature setting and only wash full loads or use a half-load or economy programme.
- In summer, dry your clothes outside rather than using a tumble dryer.
- When drying your clothes indoors, use a clothes rail instead of a radiator as this stops the heat from reaching the rest of the room.
- Modern dishwashers use less energy and water than washing up by hand.
- Use a pan which is the same size as the cooker ring to prevent heat loss.
- Use a lid on saucepans where possible, so the contents heat up faster and require less energy.
- Consider using pressure cookers, steamers and microwaves which use less energy.
- When using a kettle, only boil as much water as you need.
- If you live in a hard water area, limescale can effect the efficiency of your kettle. Look out for a buildup of limescale in your kettle and treat with vinegar or descaling solutions.
- Consider turning the thermostat on your hot water tank down to 60 degrees centigrade which is a comfortable temperature for most people and will save on your heating costs.
- If you have a standard shower it will use around 40% of the water required for a bath.
Energy Saving Tip: A lot of heat energy is lost up the chimney flume, so if you are not using your fireplace, block up the chimney using newspaper or cardboard to save energy.