Energy bill with energy saving light bulb and shower head spraying water

It’s that time of year when the temperature drops, days get shorter and darker and for many there’s a choice between keeping energy costs down and heating the home.

A report by USwitch found that 69% of households went without heating at some point last winter to keep energy costs down*. According to The Energy Bill Revolution, there are 930,000 families living in fuel poverty, whilst energy companies continue to report increases in profits. The colder weather earlier this year saw gas consumption increase by 13%!

The average energy bill is now £1,495. Some providers have promised to use their profits to ensure customers get better deals on their energy costs. However, they have stated that they can’t guarantee how long this will last, blaming environmental levies and volatile prices in the wholesale market.

Increases in energy costs are blamed on power station closures coupled with the costs of importing energy.

Simple Steps

All of this adds up to a colder and poorer winter, however there are some simple steps you can take around your home to reduce energy costs.

Draught Excluder

Heat can escape under doors and draughts will make you feel colder. A simple draught excluder will help keep heat in the room and keep it warm. Save more money by making your own.

Reflect The Heat

Put reflective foil behind radiators in your home. This will reflect heat back into your room, making it feel warmer. B&Q have a range, alternatively you can buy them from Homebase.

Keep The Heat Inside

If your radiators are on, keep windows and doors around them shut. This will keep the heat inside your home, and stop it escaping into the environment, keeping energy costs down.

Free Boilers

Some people on low incomes may be entitled to a free boiler (worth up to £2,300) if their boiler is an inefficient one. To learn more, click here.

Short Shower

Everyone knows that taking a shower is better than a bath, but did you know this is only true if your shower is less than 20 minutes? If you spend longer than 20 minutes in the shower, you may as well just get a bath as power showers will use more water and energy.

Turn Off Taps

When brushing your teeth or having a shave turn taps off. Leaving them on wastes water unnecessarily.

Only Use What You Need

When boiling water, make sure you use enough to cover what you’re cooking. What’s more, use the kettle to boil water first, as this will save more energy.

Dry Outside

Only use your tumble dryer if you can’t dry clothes outside.

Turn It Down

Simply wearing an extra layer of clothing around the house such as a t-shirt or jumper and turning your thermostat down by one degree will save you money without you noticing much change. Turn it off in rooms you’re not using regularly and even keep it turned off in your bedroom- you may even find you sleep better!

Turn Off Lights

We all know this, but do we actually do it? Turn lights off when you’re not using a room and take electrical equipment off standby.

These simple measures will help you to keep your energy costs down when the weather becomes increasingly colder. Energy prices are set to increase, however, so there are links below this article for further information and advice on how to cope when the winter months begin to bite.
For more information on how to reduce energy costs, go to

 

* http://www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/news/2013/01/31/rising-costs-force-seven-in-10-households-to-go-without-heating/