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Everywhere we look there are articles on the price rises and posts on how to save on energy bills. I'm trying very hard to reframe all the price rises and find some positives in them, rather than being despondent and letting them get me down.
One reframe I have is that it is an opportunity to do a bit of good for the planet by reducing my consumption. Often I read about how to cut my consumption, but then don't actually do it, so I am feeling that this is a chance to put these thoughts into action and reduce my energy costs. That's got to be a positive thing.
If you would like to join me then read on for some quick and simple ways to save on energy bills, alongside reducing consumption.
Lighting - saving £50
LED bulbs are the cheapest to run. If you switch them for incandescent (pre-energy-saving ones!) bulbs or halogen you can make fairly hefty savings, as shown below. Even switching from energy-saving CFLs (the curly ones) can save you £30 a year.
By turning all lights out when you are not using them, you can save another £20 a year.
Standby - saving £55
Turning everything off standby can save you £55 a year. This simply involves turning everything off at the plug. If you think this is too much hassle you can even buy a standby saver, which will turn everything off at the same time.
Shower time - £126
By reducing the time spent in the shower to 4 minutes a typical family can save £65 each year. With 3 young adults in this house (only during uni holidays thankfully!) who seem to find it impossible to have a shower in that time, I think I might have my work cut out! However, it's definitely worth a try.
When they were younger we had a shower timer which was great at encouraging them to have quick showers. I wish I had kept the habit up though!
If you struggle to get your children out the shower too then an alternative is an energy-efficient showerhead. This might be worth thinking about, as they quote savings of upwards of £50 a year.
While we are on the subject of washing, did you know that swapping one bath a week for a 4-minute shower could save you £11 a year. If you have a bath every day then it's £77 a year!
Kitchen water savings - £75 (plus £55 for tumble dryer)
Most of us are probably used to only putting the required amount of water in the kettle when we boil it, thereby saving £11 a year. It may not seem much, but it all adds up!
By popping an aerator onto your kitchen tap you reduce the amount of water used, but still retain the same pressure and save £22 a year.
Reducing your washing machine use by one load a week and washing at 30 degrees will save you £28 a year. By not using a tumble dryer you can potentially save £55 a year. With a big family and a Scottish winter (or summer!) it is not always easy, but even reducing it by half will help you to make some savings.
By running the dishwasher once less a week you can save £14 a year, which may not seem much, but it's better than a kick on the backside, as my dad would say!
Heating and hot water
Heating and hot water accounts for around 55% of your energy bills, so the potential to save is greater here.
According to Which research a typical 3-bed semi can save around £75 a year by installing a thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator valves.
Google Nest has done research with customers and found that in the UK customers saved between 8.4% and 16.5% on their energy bills with a Nest Thermostat. This gadget learns what you like in the first week, then automatically sets up a weekly schedule that adjusts your household temperature to your preferred options. Through using this and the associated app, you can see where else you can make savings on top of the savings you will make from Nest controlling your household temperature.
Other suggestions for saving money on heating costs are cleaning out your radiators, checking that they are balanced, and ensuring that your boiler is set at the optimum level.
Simple hot water trick
Do you ever fill up the kitchen sink, then have to add loads of cold water before you can put your hand in the water? Do you do the same with the bath? I did, until someone pointed out to me that it was ridiculous to pay to heat the water up, then have to cool it back down!
Save on energy bills - total possible savings
It's difficult to know for sure, as some of these measures will overlap each other, but I reckon that if you implement all these measures the average household could potentially save more than £300 per year.
It's got to be worth a try, especially as these measures will actually help the planet as well as your pocket.
Hi, I’m Eileen Adamson, teacher, money coach, host of Your Money Sorted Teachers' Podcast and ex co-host of BBC podcast Clever About Cash. I help female teachers to become happier, healthier and wealthier.