Here, with David Laing, who specialises in window installation in Newcastle, we look at the best options to reduce your energy bills
We all want to save money, right? For some it’s to afford those little luxuries in life, while for others it’s a necessity to get by. Worryingly, surveys show that six million Brits fear they’ll never get rid of their debt and a quarter are struggling to make ends meet each month. However, there are several ways you can relieve the pressure caused by household bills.
Replace light bulbs
A simple and cost-effective way to shave a little bit from your energy bills would be to change your lightbulbs. Did you know an LED light bulb only costs approximately £1.71 to run each year? That means that, compared to traditional bulbs, you could save up to £180 from your energy bills during the bulb’s lifespan.
If you have already switched, just remembering to turn your lights off when you aren’t in the room or don’t need them on will keep a surprising number of pennies in your bank instead of your energy supplier’s.
Get an energy monitor
This great handheld or table-top gadget can provide you with key information about just how much energy you are using each day. While this device won’t technically save you money, it gives you the opportunity to keep an eye on your expenditure.
Don’t get energy monitors and smart meters confused, though. While energy monitors help you to understand your electricity usage, smart meters send this information to your energy provider.
Turn off standby appliances
While you may think it won’t make a difference, turning off all your gadgets by the plug can save on average £30 per year. This is based on the average home with four occupants now using 13 electronic appliances. For homes with more gadgets, the savings each year can reach £80.
Monitor your laundry loads
While some people think stuffing their washing machine will cut back on the number of loads required, this can be detrimental to your energy usage if you overfill. Be sure to wash your clothes at 30 degrees rather than 40 degrees and you could save up to £52 a year. Also, many utility companies have plans set up to give you discounts for switching your power usage to off-peak times, so it’s certainly worth checking if this affects you.
Double glaze your windows
It’s a fact that all properties will lose heat through their windows, but double glazing can limit this considerably, providing great thermal insulation. It’s impossible to put a figure on exactly how much it can save you but depending on your type of home of energy provider, you could shave hundreds of pounds off your annual energy bills.
It’s also important to remember that, while the initial cost may be high, double glazing will increase the overall value of your property.
Cavity wall insulation
If your house was built before the 1990s, it’s certainly worth looking into wall insulation. The colder it is outside, the quick heat leaves your property if your walls aren’t insulated, meaning that you will need to keep your heating on longer for it to be effective. While it can be an expensive form of insulation, some people qualify to receive it for free.
Check your benefit entitlement
Depending on your age and circumstances, you may be entitled to receive fuel benefits. For those over 61, you will receive an annual tax-free benefit, but many don’t know about a ‘cold weather payment’ that is available. This is paid in the event of exceptionally cold weather – if it drops below zero degrees Celsius for seven days in a row. While they are often automatically provided, you may still need to apply.
This form of renewable energy can reduce your electricity bills considerably but are certainly not a short-term fix. While they could require an expensive outlay, you can save in the long run – and save more the further south you live.
It’s clear that being more conscious of your usage can help keep save money, as can making aesthetic changes to your property. Follow these steps and you’ll have a better chance of spending that money on yourself rather than your energy bills.