Eco Happy (Solar Expert)

Published February 23, 2024

Energy costs are constantly on the rise, and with the cost of living these days, we need to find every possible way to save money. Ofgem’s price cap (the maximum you can be charged by suppliers) is set at £1,928 for the first quarter of 2024. In 2023, the energy price cap for the year was £1,834. This means the energy price cap rose by around £94 in the first quarter of 2024, alone.

If you reduce your energy consumption, you can save money. This is just one of the ways we will consider that will help you put some extra pennies back in your purse. Join Eco Happy as we have a look at some of the other energy-saving tips you can implement at home to help lower your utility bills.

Understanding Electricity Usage

To understand how to save on your electric bills, it is important to understand where all that electricity is being used and how much energy you need. To get the most out of your home’s energy efficiency, you need to do an electricity audit. This audit is an inspection of your home and its energy usage, so you can find energy-saving opportunities.

An electricity audit will be able to point out areas in your home that are adding the most to your energy bills. It will also be able to help reduce your carbon footprint. It allows you to find out where energy is being wasted or unnecessarily lost. It will also tell you how energy-efficient your appliances are. Once you know how much an appliance costs to run, you can decide which needs to be upgraded.

You also need to understand your energy bills. Other than your details, the name of your energy supplier, the energy tariff you pay (fixed or variable), and the tariff comparison rate, your consumption details are also shown. This is important because you can monitor if you are using more energy or less energy than in previous months.

Energy providers set different tariffs, so if the price isn’t right for you, you don’t have to stick to a single supplier. While tariffs do differ between regions, you still have the option of switching to a new energy provider to lower your electricity bill.

Energy-Saving Strategies At Home

Let’s take a look at some energy-saving tips and tricks you can easily implement in your home right now. The sooner you start, the sooner you can save money.

Choosing the right energy plan

If it’s time to switch energy providers, use a service like Uswitch to compare prices and services and make the switch to a new provider.

All you need is your postcode, the tariff name, and your bank card details if you pay by direct debit. Paying by direct debit also gives you better energy unit rates. You can compare energy prices between energy suppliers and choose which one is best for you.

To do the switch, you then supply your full address and details for the switch to happen. You will be informed of the switchover date and can start saving money.

Ensure you take regular readings on your meters and submit them to your energy supplier. This way, you won’t be charged an estimate. Instead, you will provide regular, accurate readings and receive regular, accurate energy bills. That means you don’t have to pay for more energy than you used. Most households have two meters. One for electricity and one for gas.

Efficient lighting strategies

Having an energy-efficient home is important because it can affect your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if you ever want to sell or rent the property. A low EPC rating means you will probably have a higher electricity bill because you will use more energy (luckily you can improve your EPC rating!). The first, easiest, and cheapest step is switching to energy-efficient bulbs. This could increase your rating by a few points.

Between CFL and LED bulbs, LED comes out as the obvious winner. Here is a quick comparison of these eco-friendly lighting options.

  • CFL produces 810 lumens from 15 W. It takes them a minute to fully light up. They contain mercury. They last up to 10,000 hours.
  • LED produces 850 lumens from 9 W. They are bright immediately. They contain no mercury. They last up to 50,000 hours.

In the long term, there are many benefits to switching to LED lights, including the fact that you can save energy and money. If you have 10 incandescent bulbs that you change to LEDs, you can save around £7 per year on each 60 W globe and around £14 per year on each 100 W globe. If you switch from a 50 W halogen globe for an LED, and you can save £5 per globe per year.

Water heating and conservation

The Energy Saving Trust says a typical household with four people uses approximately 345 litres of water per day. In fact, it’s estimated that 12% of your energy bill is just for hot showers and hot water taps.

To save on hot water costs, take shorter showers. The more hot water you use, the more energy is needed to heat the water.

You could also think about installing a new showerhead. With a modern low-flow showerhead, you could reduce your water consumption, thus reducing your energy usage.

You could save further by adjusting the water heating controls by one or two degrees. This small adjustment can save you around 5% of your energy bills.

Smart device management

Did you know that a plugged-in device, even if it is in standby mode, increases your energy bills? If you leave your appliances in standby mode, your energy consumption increases by between 9% and 16%. While there is a huge convenience in leaving your appliances plugged in, this is costing you money.

Sometimes we may be a tad forgetful when it comes to switching off our devices and appliances. This is why it’s wise to invest in smart power strips, which can help with remote device management. You can remotely monitor these smart strips and have complete outlet control by using a mobile app.

Optimising heating and cooling

You could save up to 10% on your energy bills just by setting timers on your smart thermostat and turning the central heating down when no one is home. Installing a smart meter can also help you keep track of your energy consumption.

If you have a hot water tank, you can turn the boiler flow temperature down to around 65 degrees. If you have a combi boiler, you can manage the temperature settings for the hot water in your taps and the water in your central heating system separately.

Some radiators have thermostatic radiator valves, which are heating controls that allow you to adjust the temperature for each radiator separately. By turning down the heat in unused rooms, your energy usage will be reduced, and you could save money.

Proper thermostat positioning is also important, as it reads the temperature in the area where it is situated.

Another way to optimise your heating and cooling systems is by strategically using an electric heater or radiator. An electric heater will use almost all of the energy it consumes. It is also possible to get localised heat, so you are not relying as heavily on your central heating system, therefore reducing your heating bills.

Laundry efficiency

A laundry load uses the same amount of water and electricity whether it is full or if it has just a few items of clothing. It is better to do a full load to save electricity.

With modern washing machines, you can choose the temperature. If you opt for a lower temperature of around 15 degrees, you can still get clean washing and lower your energy costs.

A tumble dryer guzzles energy. Instead of throwing every load into the tumble dryer, you could save energy and money if you opt to air-dry your clothing. If you have the choice to dry your clothes in the sunshine, this is even better. Check your weather app before you do laundry so that you can choose the best day to air-dry your clothing and save on electricity.

Refrigeration best practices

It is important to maintain moderate temperatures in your fridge. If the settings are too high, everything will freeze. If the settings are too low, your food can spoil. The best temperatures are around 5 degrees Celsius for your fridge and minus 18 degrees Celsius for your freezer.

Service your fridge-freezer regularly to ensure it always works optimally. It’s also a good idea to never put it straight against a wall, leaving a gap for breathing room.

Regularly clean off the back of the fridge-freezer because dust accumulation can cause it to require additional power. Also, check the door seals on your fridge and freezer regularly so cool air does not escape.

Seasonal adjustments

The winter months generally mean an increase in your heating bill and a hike in your gas bills. You can control exactly how much energy you need by implementing some of our cost-saving tips.

Low-cost portable panel heaters use less energy. It may also be wise to get some thermal gloves, scarves, and thick winter socks to help ward off some of the cold weather.

You can also ensure your home is properly insulated so you don’t lose heat unnecessarily. Seal up any air leaks that are letting out the warm air. Invest in draught excluders for your doors and windows and thermal curtains for your windows. Transparent plastic film can also help retain the heat.

FAQs

What uses the most electricity?

Your heating and cooling systems add the most to your electricity bill. Next to that are your lighting solutions. It is always best to opt for energy-efficient lighting options, especially because of the high energy prices.

How can I get a discount on my energy bill?

There are grants and benefits available to help you reduce your energy bill. You can check if you qualify for a warm home discount, a pension discount, or even a child grant benefit. The UK government offers quite a few opportunities to help you reduce your electricity bill.

Does leaving a kettle plugged in use electricity?

Yes. Any appliance that is left plugged in still draws power. By unplugging your kettle, you could save money on your electricity bill.

Conclusion

There are effective ways to cut energy expenses and reduce electricity costs. Start by comparing energy prices and energy suppliers to get the right energy plan for your household.

Then switch your light bulbs and replace them with energy-efficient ones. Switch off unused appliances and switch lights off when you leave a room. Simple changes like these are the most effective, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

You can potentially save many pounds over the year, even into the hundreds. With a favourable turn towards eco-friendly solutions, the future should be greener. Not only are you helping the environment, but using less energy is also the most effective and practical way to reduce your monthly energy bills!

To find out more about living a greener future and reducing your heating costs, reach out to Eco Happy today.

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