Home hacks to help keep your energy bills down – part 1

5 min read
November 01, 2022
energy saving ideas

October has hit many of us with a fear of the unknown, especially when it comes to our energy bills.

The Government’s plan to bring the price cap down with their energy price guarantee was an attempt to improve the prospect of poverty this winter for many (an average increase of 27% rather than 80%). But as a result of the changing tide of prime ministers, chancellors and members of the cabinet the ‘guarantee’ has already been reduced from a 2-year plan to end in April 2023, And now, with another new Prime Minister the future may be uncertain again.

Being thrifty this winter (and beyond) could be the key to keeping energy bills down for households.

We’ve previously written articles that highlight ways to improve your household energy consumption, focusing on changes you can make within the home. This also includes changes to the structure of a home, such as double and triple glazing, insulation and alternative green energy options.

Many of these require additional expense, which may not necessarily be available to everyone, particularly with the cost of living and inflation so high at the moment.

It may also be that you have some energy-saving structures in your home already. In addition to this, the government’s suggestion for insulation is based on a 1-2 bed property so those renting, those with larger houses and/or larger families may find that these improvements may not be right for your home.

That’s why we wanted to get your opinion.

We’ve approached members of the UK public to ask what your home hacks are for keeping your energy bills down.

As a result, we’ve found so clever and inventive actions that people have put in place to reduce energy consumption and, in turn, their bills whilst still allowing for comfortable living – no sitting in the cold and dark this winter! 

We hope these home hacks are useful for you and can help to give you some ideas to reduce your bills and stay cosy and warm this winter.

Energy home hack #1 – cold water for dishes first

‘I’m pre-washing/rinsing my dishes in a bowl of cold water to remove leftovers, then washing in a bowl of hot soapy water. I’m hoping this hack will reduce our water consumption by using a bowl of cold water, rather than just running the tap, as we’re on a meter and also reduce our gas consumption as we’re using cold water rather than hot.’

~ Sophie

Using cold water for pre-wash rinsing tasks is a great way to reduce gas usage, and using a bowl, rather than continuously running the tap. A running tap uses around 9 litres of water per minute, so by using the bowl you can ensure your water meter doesn’t creep up and get a shock when you get your bill.

Energy home hack #2 – hot water bottles

‘When at home, I’ve been using hot water bottles to keep warm rather than putting the gas fire or heating on. Couple this up with a snuggly blanket and I’m much happier.’

~ Ashton

Winter clothes aren’t always sufficient to keep out the cold, especially for those more prone to the cold such as older generations or young children and babies. Using hot water bottles, and warm blankets can help take the edge off a chilly night or postpone turning the heating on for a little longer.

There’s also been a surge in the purchase of heated blankets, which can help avoid turning the heating on all together. These methods can help reduce gas or electric consumption and make a big difference to your household bills.  

Energy home hack #3 – go off-peak

‘Now I’ve learned there are peak and off-peak electricity times, my family and I are trying not to use big electrical devices such as the washing machine or dishwater between 5 pm and 8 pm.’

~ Lee

Learning if your supplier has peak and off-peak electricity times can make all the difference to your energy bills. We do it with train tickets to save money, so why not with your electricity too?

Being savvy as to when you use electric appliances such as your washing machine could save you more than just a few pence! It’s also helpful to use these types of appliances at full capacity to avoid running more cycles than necessary.

Energy home hack #4 – DIY draft fixes

‘We’ve decided to draught test our house, finding any windows or doors that are letting in the cold and finding inventive and cheap ways to fix them. We’ve invested in some decorator’s caulk and are using this to seal any gaps around windows and frames, and using draught excluders (home-made rolled up towels), we’ve reduced the cold coming in and heat going out via our doors.’

~ Rosie.

To easily spot draughts coming into your house some great home hacks include using your hand to feel any air coming in under doors or near windows or placing a candle flame in different areas of a room – they flicker when they catch a draughty area.

DIY fixes can be a sure way to stop the cold from drifting in and any heat source you’re using from escaping out the window! According to The
Energy Saving Trust, fixing draughts can save you up to £125 per year!

Energy home hack #5 – Reflector foil

‘To make the most of when my heating does come on, I’ve fitted radiator reflector foil behind my radiators, so the heat is reflected back into the room rather than absorbed by the wall and lost.’

~ Tom

Research has shown that in a controlled test environment, radiator reflector foil can increase the temperature of the room by 6% (to explain, this is the difference of 1℃ in a room at 17℃, making it over 18℃). It was also found to reduce the heat lost to the wall and beyond by up to 30%.

Energy saving takeaways

What we can take from these useful tips is that we can still have the power to reduce our energy bills!

We can’t change the current prices for energy (see our previous guide on the unit cost of energy), but by implementing some energy-saving home hacks, we can still lower our outgoings on energy, and our carbon footprint. 🙂

At Resolver, we work with businesses that can help you easily compare energy prices from 100’s of different providers to ensure you’re getting the best price and saving even more. Our energy comparison tool can help you find the best energy deals and seamlessly switch at the same time.

Similarly, if you’re having difficulty speaking to your energy suppliers, whether this is to try to get the best deal they have on offer for your energy, to organise payments, or discuss any difficulties you are having paying the rising bills. Speak to us here at Resolver, we specialise in communication between consumers and companies to resolve issues and find the best solutions for all involved.

Watch this space for part 2! 

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