The average household spends £1,254 a year on heating and power, according to Ofgem. That’s about 2-3 weeks’ wage of the average worker in the UK.
Also, around 22% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from our homes, so cutting down your fuel use is a great environmental action you can take.
Everyone should be asking themselves - what am I doing to reduce my consumption and cut my bills?
How many of these mistakes do you make?
Ask Bill - top ways to reduce the amount of energy used in your home
There are easy solutions to saving electricity that take little time and effort:
Mistake #1 Always on. Banish the standby! By routinely switching your appliances off at the wall rather than leaving it on standby, you could knock £50 a year off your energy bill.
Mistake #2 Lights blazing - Turn off the lights! It is easy to switch off lights and by using energy-saving light bulbs, you can reduce bills by £37 a year.
Mistake #3 No Eco - opt for the most efficient product on the market. When it comes to buying any new appliances, going for one with a high energy-efficiency rating is worth the investment. If you’re unsure about the rating system, The Energy Saving Trust have created a handy guide to energy rating labels here.
Don’t get yourself all hot and bothered over the heating bill – see where you can change to increase your energy spending power.
Turning the thermostat way up – By turning down the thermostat by 1 degree, you can save 10% on your heating bill, up to £80 a year!
Mistake #5 Hindering the Heat - don’t disregard your radiator. Make sure that your radiators have room to heat up the space.
By moving furniture away from your radiator, you can help the heat circulate more effectively.
Regularly bleeding radiators too is a great way save you tears as it releases any trapped air and increases the heat they create.
Foil escaping heat – easy DIY reflective panels like bog-standard tin foil behind radiators helps to reflect heat back into the room instead of escaping outside.
Mistake #6 Letting draughts crack on - Saving is a breeze with draught proofing. There are easy solutions to keep your warm air in and the cold air out, meaning less energy needed to heat your home.
There’s no need to spend a fortune either – here are some easy DIYs to help make draught-proofing a dream.
Draft excluders and draft excluding tape around windows and doors are inexpensive and very easy to do
Towels can be draught excluders under doors too
Windows can be covered by bubble wrap and cling film – it makes excellent inexpensive double glazing
Even simply closing the curtains is effective in keeping the heat in
Be aware: some openings in your home are for ventilation, so make sure not to block those up to ensure fresh air can come in, especially in rooms that get wet, like the bathroom and kitchen – sealing these rooms too much can run the risk of damp and mould.
In the Kitchen
Mistake #7 Washing is a wipe out. Wash smart.
Wash clothes at 30°C or cooler – modern washing detergents work just as well at lower temperatures, and it will save you about £10 a year.
Only use your machine with a full load – two half-loads use more energy than one full one – and use the economy cycle whenever you can.
Wash clothes less often – hang things up to air after wearing, and you may find they don’t need a wash after all.
When a wash is finished, make sure the machine is fully turned off - if any lights are still on, they’re using energy - ultimately costing you money.
Mistake #8 The notorious tumble dryer. Air dry - energy-hungry and expensive to run, the use of a tumble dryer should be limited. Try to air your washing whenever possible instead. If everyone in the UK with a tumble dryer dried their washing outside during the summer, we’d save around £180 million a year!
Mistake #9 Blasting the hot water. Swap a bath or long shower with a five-minute shower. If everyone stuck to 5 minutes, we’d save enough water to supply one million homes a day.
Changing to inexpensive aerated shower heads can reduce the amount of water and so the amount of energy too, because there is less energy needed to heat it! Your water company may offer them for free here.
Mistake #10 Getting into hot water by leaving the tap on. Try running cold water where you can – not in the shower, of course, but when washing your hands and cleaning your teeth. It will save energy from heating up the water.