According to the Office of National Statistics, the average household spends around £1,249 a year on heating and power, making them one of the biggest annual costs for UK families. Most of this usage occurs between 6 and 9pm.
Energy bills can be reduced by making a few simple changes to the way you live, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are a few changes you can make around the home that could help cut down your average electricity usage. This can include using more efficient gadgets and appliances, from energy-saver lightbulbs to A+++ rated dishwashers, as well as replacing old appliances, and avoiding wasted power by switching unused devices off at the plug.
Draught Excluders - A cold draught can cause your flat to lose heat, which makes it more tempting to turn the heating up. Draught excluders or draught-proofing kits are a good way to prevent this, as can sealing cracks in floors and skirting boards. If you don't have double glazing, you can buy plastic lining for your windows to save energy and keep more heat in.
Energy Saving Bulbs - LED lighting is as bright as traditional bulbs and often more efficient too. Consider which lights you are using and when, do you need lights on in rooms you are not using and could you open curtains in the day, or just use a lamp if you are only sitting in one area? It’s surprising the difference small changes can make.
Turning Off Appliances - Leaving appliances on standby might be convenient but your games consoles, televisions and DVD players could be using as much as 80% of the energy they use when they are turned on! This could make up as much as £30 each year.
Heating - Turning your thermostat down by 1°C can save you as much as £60 per year. Wearing more jumpers, socks and slippers around the house, and putting an extra blanket on the bed means you won't be tempted to turn the heating up.
Smart Meters - There is a government push to provide more accurate meter readings and reduce the cost to consumers by ending estimated billing. Smart meters will give you near real-time information on your energy use. Through an in-home display, you can easily track your costs usage, and understand where you might be able to make reductions that could save you money. SMART meters are not compulsory and you can choose not to have one. Most suppliers provide a SMART meter and installation for free as part of the contract they offer.
Fridges and Freezers - Keeping them full means they don't have to work as hard and therefore they use less energy. Empty space in your fridge or freezer wastes not only space but energy too.