How to Save Energy at Home: Hints & Tips

12th March 2018

By James Story

With rising energy prices and increasing problems caused by global warming, everyone is looking for ways to save energy in the home. From energy-saving quick-wins to long-term solutions, there are so many changes you can make to everyday life. Just small tweaks and lifestyle changes can make a big difference to your overall energy consumption.

Every little improvement counts when it comes to conserving energy and you’ll soon begin to notice the difference with your utility bills. In this article, we share our hints and tips on how you can moderate gas and electricity usage to reduce your carbon footprint and potentially reduce your utility bills.

 

Why Do We Need to Save Energy?

There are two main reasons why energy customers may want to cut back on their energy consumption. Firstly, to save money on their monthly bills. Secondly, to live a more eco-conscious life and be kinder to the environment.

Financial Benefits

Keeping an eye on how much gas and electricity you use at home can make a huge difference to your outgoings. There are so many ways you can cut back on consumption, some with little to no initial investment at all. No matter what your financial situation, you will be able to find easy ways to save a few pennies on your energy bills.

Environmental Benefits

The biggest benefit of reducing fuel consumption is being able to control our carbon footprint. Something which contributes to global warming and the negative results that come from the earth’s temperature rising. As climate change continues to be a growing concern, ice caps melt and sea levels will rise. This poses a serious threat to wildlife as well as to different communities around the world.

Global Health Benefits

Additionally, acting in a more environmentally responsible manner means creating a better world for everyone to live in. Reducing our carbon footprint can provide social benefits too, such as improving global health. The burning of fossil fuels creates pollution in the air and water, which has been linked to a number of diseases (such as cancer, heart disease and chronic respiratory diseases).

 

Can I Really Save Money Each Year?

Slight changes to your home can make a big difference, especially in the long run. Whilst the savings may only be small each week or each month, the money will add up over time. It also takes more than just turning your heating down or using fewer lights around the house to see a change in your expenditure.

To maximise energy efficiency, it’s important to combine a number of different approaches and techniques. The marginal savings made in each area could make a difference to your household cash flow.

There are also some home improvements, such as smart heating systems, that are worth forking out for. After the initial outlay, they can really help to drive down energy costs across the year. As an example, some providers publicise that smart heating helps to cut more than 25% of heating costs in some households.

 

Home Energy Saving Tips

Are you looking to start saving on your energy bills now? Here are some useful tips to help you cut back on consumption in the home. Please note that some of these hints and tips are only relevant to homeowners:

Turn down your thermostat – lowering your thermostat by just three to five degrees will make a difference in your home. The temperature change will be minimal, yet you will notice a reduction in your monthly statement. According to data compiled by Energy.gov, adjusting your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees during the daytime can cut your consumption by as much as 15% a year!

Use eco-friendly light bulbs – low-energy LED light bulbs use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. In addition to being kinder to the environment, LEDs are also safer to use as they emit very little heat and are safe to touch.

Turn appliances off at the switch – it’s easy to forget and leave everything on standby. You could save up to £30 a year just by turning appliances off at the main switch, according to Energy Saving Trust. Some satellite TV devices need to remain plugged in if you want to use their recording functions but everything else can be switched off straight after use.

Use less water – a lot of energy is used to treat water and pump it to your household, so try to conserve the amount you use. Do your washing up in a bowl instead of running the tap, only fill the kettle with the amount you need, limit your shower time, and minimise washing machine cycles. These are all great ways of reducing water and electricity usage at home.

Get double glazing – double glazed windows can reduce the amount of heat escaping from your building, making it easier and cheaper to heat your house. They have energy ratings from A+ to C and the higher the rating, the more efficient they are.

Add or roof insulation – this is a home improvement option that is worth investing in if you want to save money over time. The amount of insulation needed depends entirely on the size and spec of your property, but the cost of insulation is generally low compared to how much you can save per year.

Install smart heating – smart technology can help you control your thermostat at any time of day, from any remote location. Being able to monitor your heating data more closely will help you save.

Buy energy efficient appliances – look for the energy rating when shopping for appliances, and be sure to do a little research online before you buy. The ratings may differ for different machines. For example, the most efficient cookers have ratings of A+, whilst the most efficient dishwashers on the market are usually A+++.

Consider solar panels – these require a big cost upfront, but they work well for homeowners who wish to see long-term benefits. Not only can solar panels cut your monthly bills, but they also qualify for the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) so you can earn money on any surplus energy generated.

 

Advantages of a Home Energy Monitor

Another fantastic way to save money on your energy bills is to use a home energy monitor. These handy modern-day devices are easy to use gadgets that can provide you with a view of how much electricity you are consuming each day. The great thing about them is that they are available in many high street shops and are relatively cheap to buy.

They come in either handheld or tabletop form and are very simple to operate. With a sensor connected to your electricity meter’s power cable, the device can measure the magnetic field to see how much energy you are using.

Typical monitors are priced anywhere between £20 and £100, with some energy suppliers now offering these for free to their customers. It’s important to bear in mind that a home energy monitor can only screen electricity usage, not gas.

 

How Else Can I Save Money on Bills?

As well as taking special measures in the home to cut down on energy consumption, you should also consider switching energy supplier. Keep an eye on the market to see which tariffs are more cost-effective for your monthly usage.

Whilst the ‘Big Six’ energy firms still service more than 90% of homes in the UK, there are now over 50 different energy suppliers to choose from, so you don’t just have to compare tariffs from well-known names such British Gas, EDF Energy and Scottish Power.

These days, there are a number of smaller, independent companies offering green tariffs with 100% renewable energy. Not only are these energy plans designed to be more environmentally friendly, but they can also save you a lot of money each month.

 

How  to Find the Cheapest Energy Tariffs  

To find the cheapest tariffs for gas and electricity, we recommend conducting your search online via a reputable energy comparison site. Online comparison tools are a great resource for anyone looking for the best deals on the market.

Simply fill in a few details about your location and your current consumption (if you have that data handy) and get ready to compare gas and electricity offers from reputable companies. Whilst the major energy companies are well-known and established, there has been a lot of research in recent years to show that smaller firms are increasingly competitive on value for money and level of service.

Be sure to keep your options open and remember to shop around in order keep your energy bills as low as possible!

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