This post was last updated on March 26th, 2021 at 10:03 am
Energy bills are among those expenses you can never get around no matter what. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce your bill, without necessarily compromising your home’s comfort. Read on for some of the most effective ones, and how to execute them to get value for your money.
Use Gas Appliances
Natural gas is cheaper than electricity in most places, and buying all gas appliances has been shown to cut energy bills by up to 30 percent. That said, there’s more at stake than just the monthly bills when it comes to moving from gas and electricity to gas only.
If you currently have all electrical appliances, the upfront costs of making the switch can be incredibly high. Gas line rerouting and gas appliance purchase and installation can set you back upwards of £1,000. Make sure to make a comprehensive gas and electricity comparison beforehand to see if a switch will reduce or actually increase your energy bill.
Switch Energy Tariff
If you haven’t changed your tariff in a long time, there’s a good chance it expired, and you’re now on the default tariff. This can cost you a fortune in the long run and undercut your other efforts of trimming energy costs. Most energy suppliers offer tariffs that last a year. To avoid being thrown on a costlier tariff, set reminders so you can renew your tariff, or move to a cheaper option at the end of the contract.
Some people may be tempted to make switches three to four times a year, but this is no more effective than making a yearly switch nine times out of ten. Also, it’s worth noting that your supplier may charge you exit fees for leaving mid-contract, which may defuse the whole point of switching in the first place.
Adjust Your Thermostat
According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can save as much as £75 a year by reducing your room temperature by one degree Celsius. Instead of relying solely on the heating system to keep you warm, consider wearing warm clothes, closing your windows, and taking other measures to minimize heat loss.
If you don’t have a thermostat already, installing one and using it well won’t only save you on energy costs, but also reduce your carbon emissions significantly.
Enhance Your Insulation
Albeit installing a thermostat, thermostat radiator valves, and a programmer can go a long way toward trimming your energy bills, this technique only helps you lower your home’s temperatures. Insulation is different in that it lowers your bills, without requiring you to forego your comfort.
Cavity wall insulation, draught insulation, and loft insulation are some of the most affordable and effective ways to add to your heating control strategy this summer. Pay special attention to airtightness and thermal bridging when setting up your insulation.
Install Energy-Efficient LED Light Bulbs
LEDs and CFLs are the two most common types of energy-efficient bulbs. On a side-by-side comparison, LEDs have the edge over CFLs in that they are both more energy-efficient and longer-lasting. They are also more eco-friendly as they don’t contain lead or mercury.
Regarding the color spectrum, which is a big deal for most people, LED lighting has steadily evolved since it became commercially available several years ago. Warm white light remains the desired option for accent lighting, and cool white light the winner in task lighting, but home and business owners now have a wider range of options. You can get virtually any color now, including the color-changing bulbs valued for their aesthetic appeal.
Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
Home appliances look similar when you scan them with your eyes, but most are apples and oranges when it comes to operating costs and energy efficiency. To ensure you cut back on energy bills, start by understanding the impact of the size of the appliance you take home. Smaller air conditioning units, for instance, are believed to be less efficient as they need to stay on longer. That’s not to say huge conditioners are the perfect energy savers, though; oversized HVAC systems will have more frequent on-and-off cycles, which again, will yield efficiency problems.
Another thing to consider when buying appliances is the presence of energy-saving settings. This can help you regulate the energy consumption of appliances, such as dishwashers, depending on the amount of work they have to do.
Replace Your Windows With Energy-efficient Units
Installing energy-efficient windows or making changes to what you already have is another effective way to prevent heat from escaping your home. Check your windows for signs of deteriorating frames, operation difficulties like sticking and jamming, broken glass, holes, and gaps between the window frames and the wall, etc. If you notice one or more of these, perhaps it’s time to replace your windows. New windows will contribute to your energy efficiency strategy and improve your home’s visual appeal. All you need to do is to ensure your new windows were actually built with energy efficiency in mind.
Practice Better Water Heating Habits
Water heating is the second greatest energy consumer in the average home. There are two main ways to reduce the amount of electricity that goes into heating water: obtaining energy-efficient water heating systems and reducing the amount of hot water you use. On reducing water consumption, consider showering at cooler temperatures, having shorter showers, ensuring your heating systems are turned off when you’re not home and doing laundry with cold water.
Regarding water heating systems, it’s crucial to have a nodding acquaintance with the various heating systems on the market, so that you can make a more informed decision. Factors to keep in mind when replacing your system include energy efficiency ratings, available energy sources, your climate, and your hot water demand profile.
These are some of the things you can do to reduce your home’s energy consumption and trim your energy bill. Consider checking with an energy professional if you want an overhaul of your home’s appliances and energy consumption strategy.