10 Tips and Tricks To Lower Your Energy Bill
After two years of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK now faces another crisis, one that will impact the budget of millions of Brits. Ofgem, the country’s energy regulator, recently increased its price cap by a record-breaking and disheartening 54%.
What this means in terms of energy bills and what we can do to reduce energy costs are the topics we focus on in this blog post. Saving energy around the home is easy when you know how, and we are here to share energy-efficiency solutions that will help your savings add up.
How The New Price Impacts Electricity Costs
If, before April 1st, the average annual energy bill for a household was between £1,277 and £1,370, under the new price cap, the energy bills for millions of homes could rise by around £700 a year. Recent research shows that the number of English households in fuel poverty is expected to reach a few million.
The price rise will hit low-income households the hardest, as the poorest will spend 10% of their budget on energy bills, while the wealthiest 20% of households are expected to spend only 4% of their budget on energy.
Given that wholesale natural gas prices have reached record highs in Europe over the last year due to various issues, including low inventories, and that the UK has relied heavily on gas as an energy source, the country is now going through one of the worst cost-of-living crises of the last decades.
Simple Ways To Cut Down The Energy Cost
In February, Rishi Sunak announced financial aids for residential electricity customers. According to the announcement, the mentioned category will receive a £200 discount on their electricity bills from October. However, this discount will be repaid in £40 instalments over five years. Additionally, most households will be given a £150 rebate on their council tax.
While these measures do help, they may not help enough. Still, there are simple things you can do to keep your energy bill at a reasonable level. Here are a few of our energy-efficiency tips.
Switch off unnecessary lights and unplug unused appliances
More often than not, we may get so caught up in our daily chores that we forget to turn off the lights when they are not needed or keep a refrigerator plugged in when it is half empty.
Appliances on standby power account for 10% of a household’s energy use, so switching them off when you don’t use or really need them could help you save even hundreds of pounds a year. Plus, you may want to enable the energy-saving feature on your computer and switch it off at the wall after use.
Insulate your home
If you haven’t already insulated your home, you may want to consider doing so. Although this may seem just another expense, it is actually an investment as you will save in the long run. A well-insulated home will prevent warm air from escaping from the house during winter.
This will lower the energy required by your heating and cooling systems, which will translate into reduced energy bills. You may also want to check the seals on your window and door joints to see if hot or cold air is escaping. The market now offers materials specifically made to improve seals, so if you notice gaps, it is best to get some from your local hardware store.
Use fans and external shading to keep your place cool
As we’ve said above, a well-insulated home will help you prevent the cool air from escaping during summer. However, if you want to take a step further to save energy and lower your energy bills, using fans for air circulation and cooling is recommended. Also, use external shading whenever possible.
Lower the use of hot water when possible
Hot water systems consume up to 30% of a household’s energy. Whenever possible, use cold water instead of hot. For example, you can wash clothes using a cold-water cycle.
Take shorter showers
Showers are, to many of us, not only a bare necessity but also a way to destress and relax. Longer showers will weigh on your energy bills, though. A showerhead uses 10 litres of water per minute on average.
Taking shorter showers is recommended if you want to use less water and thus less energy. However, if you don’t feel comfortable with this option, you may want to install a low-flow showerhead instead.
Run only full loads of laundry
Another simple yet effective way to cut down your electric bill is to do only full laundry loads. Think of it this way, if you cut one wash load per week, this means 52 loads per year in a common year, which further means a lower energy cost.
Turn off the water when not using it
Reduce hot water use by turning off the water when brushing your teeth, soaping under the shower, shaving, etc.
Hang dry your laundry
Dryers are energy hogs, so using them moderately is key. Stop using them altogether will help you cut down electricity costs considerably, but, unfortunately, that is often impossible. You could use them less instead.
Start line-drying your laundry whenever possible. Plus, make sure the dryer is about three-quarters full when you can’t do without using it. This means fewer loads and thus a reduced energy bill.
Use LED Lighting
On average, LED lighting will help you reduce lighting energy consumption by up to 90%. Now, that’s something worth considering.
Go for energy-efficient appliances
When it’s time to get new appliances, it is best to opt for models that can help you cut electricity costs long-term.
Saving With The Smart Cover Boiler Breakdown Insurance
While insulating your home will help you keep the warm/cool air inside so that you can enjoy an agreeable temperature all year round, this doesn’t tick all boxes. The boiler or central heating system may fail due to various reasons.
Since its components are subject to severe thermal and mechanical stress, a breakdown is likely to happen at some point. When that happens, you are left without heat and hot water. Besides the inconvenience caused by the lack of the two, you will have to find an engineer to help you fix it. This means time and money, given that repairs can be extremely costly.
Here is where the Smart Cover Boiler Breakdown Insurance comes in. Our boiler cover includes the price of repairs on your gas boiler and controls as well as the gas supply pipe connected to your meter. When your boiler breaks down, we’ll send one of our trusted Gas safe registered engineer to you swiftly no matter where you live in the UK.
If you’re interested in taking it a step further, you may want to take a look at our Home Emergency Cover. Unexpected and emergency incidents, such as boiler breakdowns, electrical supply failure, and leaks will weigh heavily on your budget and time. With our emergency cover, you will have peace of mind that if such an incident occurs, you will benefit from emergency repairs at a competitive cost and in a timely fashion.
To Sum Up
The challenging times we are going through call for lifestyle adjustments. The energy crisis will affect millions of Brits, but a few simple changes like the ones mentioned above and the right home covers can help you save in the long run.