When it comes to the energy we use at home, it’s impossible to avoid the headlines about how much gas and electricity costs have increased for everyone over the last 12 months.
The introduction of the government’s ‘price caps’ went some way towards alleviating the pain of these price rises. However, remember that the price caps are only a temporary measure, and the figures are based on the average house’s usage, rather than being an upper limit that applies to every household’s bills. What you pay for your gas, electricity or heating oil depends on your own usage, so you may well end up paying more than the so-called price cap.
Here are three ways you can use less energy at home – and reduce your monthly bills accordingly.
It may sound like a simple change, but prioritising downstairs heating during the winter can save you money on your energy bills. Focusing on heating the lower level of a home, where people spend the most time, and allowing that heat to rise will mean less energy is needed to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the entire house.
If a television, a computer or a charger has a ‘standby mode’, unplugging it (or turning off the power to it at the wall socket) when it isn’t in use is an easy way to reduce your energy usage. Left connected, these appliances (known as ‘standby appliances’, ‘phantom loads’ or ‘zombie appliances’) can still consume a significant amount of energy even when they are in standby mode.
If you have an older house, draught-proofing it will trap heat inside the house and prevent hot air from escaping around the door and window frames. Whilst professional draught-proofing will come at a cost, it can save about £125 a year* (based on a typical semi-detached home). There are cheaper and simpler alternatives – a home-made or cheap draught excluder can block up unwanted gaps and holes around a front door frame and keep heat from escaping. Similarly, it’s always a good idea to draw curtains and blinds at dusk in the winter.
Making small changes can go a long way when it comes to saving energy – and you’ll not only save money but also reduce your carbon footprint.
For more information visit the Energy Saving Trust website.
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