The current energy crisis – where the price of energy has increased to record levels – has left countless people concerned about the coming winter and paying for a big increase in their bills.
We won’t sugar coat it – things are going to get more expensive. There are still warnings of collapse for smaller energy firms. On top of that the latest energy price cap came into play this month which means most businesses will be putting up their prices.
But there are things you can do to cut your energy consumption. Try these tips and give your energy provider regular meter readings so you don’t get hit with a big bill based on bad estimates.
Cut your energy consumption
Smart washing: The big offenders for energy consumption in your home are ‘wet appliances’ – the term for goods in the kitchen that use water, such washing machines and dishwashers. Try to only use them for full loads, learn more about what that ‘eco mode’ button does and drop the heat as low as it will go. These machines have to heat the water they use and this can result in them generating a quarter of the cost of your energy bill.
Turn down the thermostat a notch: Getting a smart thermostat can save you loads, but if money is tight then that just isn’t feasible. But did you know that turning down the thermostat by just one notch can save you around £80 a year?
Switch off standby: Most electrical items can be switched off properly, though you might want to leave the smart TV / satellite / cable box plugged in if you don’t want to lose your favourite recordings. If it’s a faff to remember, why not get a plug with a timer on it?
Clear out the fridge: If your fridge is stuffed then it requires more energy to do its job, so keep it relatively clear and the temperature at an appropriate level. Most experts advise a level of 1 to 5 Celsius – take the temperature rather than rely on the dial.
Turn off the lights: Or even better, replace your bulbs with LEDs. This might seem like a hassle, but you could save up to £50 a year. If it’s too expensive to do in one go, replace them as the old ones die.
Get a smart meter: Yes, this did go horribly wrong last time round, so the Government scheme was scaled back while the technology was sorted out. The second generation of smart meters are available now, which are compatible with different providers of energy, so you can switch if you want (always check first though). Smart meters make it easier to monitor your energy consumption and keep on top of your bills.
Save money on energy and water: The Energy Saving Trust has lots of great advice on its website. A great one is fitting an energy efficient shower head and cutting down shower time by just one minute per person. A family of four could save £28 off their gas bills and around £47 off their water bills with a meter.
Be a good neighbour: If you know someone who is struggling, then pop round and check on them.
There are loads of support schemes available through your energy provider. These can result in hefty discounts to bills through the Priority Services Register . If you are struggling financially, there are lots of options available too – but speak up now and seek help.