81 Ways to Lower Energy Costs

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Our list of 81 ways to save money on your household electricity, gas and water bills.

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  1. Check prices of other energy suppliers frequently – the gas and electric prices of most energy suppliers will vary from tariff to tariff. Keep an eye on the market and take advantage of any reduction in tariff price.
  2. Go duel fuel – having your energy company supply you with both gas and electric can save you up to 5% on the combined cost.
  3. Go paperless – get your bills online, most companies will offer a discount for going paperless.
  4. Never stay on a “standard tariff” – this the higher price that you are shunted onto after any discounts or cheaper tariffs expire.
  5. Pay monthly rather than waiting for a quarterly bill – some companies will offer a discount if you pay monthly rather than quarterly.
  6. Don’t pay by cash/cheque – it is costly and time consuming for the energy supplier/bank to process cheque or cash payments and this is why they offer discounts for online/monthly/direct-debit payments.
  7. Don’t get talked into a “Low Carbon” tariff that is more expensive but “better for the environment”. Your energy will come from nuclear power stations that are low carbon but still producing highly toxic waste, don’t pay extra for this.
  8. Have your central heating system power flushed – this improves the efficiently of pipes and radiators that are clogged with sludge.
  9. Top up your central heating with an inhibitor – this prevents sludge/rust from clogging up a system and improves efficiency.
  10. Have TRV (radiator valves) installed on your radiators – you can then reduce the heat in any room you are not occupying, such as a study/office room.
  11. Bleed your radiators – remove air bubbles and cold spots from radiators by bleeding them every now and again.
  12. If your boiler is past it’s best then consider a newer condensing one which can save you up to 30%.
  13. Tuck your curtain behind the radiator so the heat doesn’t go straight onto the window (an old but still applicable piece of advice!)
  14. Close/draw curtains in the evening – even if you are not using the room, as it will slow down heat loss through the windows.
  15. Turn down your hot water thermostat – does your bath and sink water really need to be that hot? Are you adding lots of cold water to cool it down? Could you save money by turning down the temperature of the hot water?
  16. Turn down your central heating thermostat – it’s more efficient to have your heating at a consistent lower temperature than to have the radiators excessively hot then turning them off for an hour before putting them back on again at maximum heat. Reduce the temperature by a couple of degrees and you can save money, especially during the winter.
  17. Have your central heating system/boiler inspected annually – it’s not just for safety reasons but for efficiency too.
  18. If you live off the gas network and are using expensive bottled gas then consider installing a BioMass Boiler.
  19. Buy and install radiator heat reflective foil – these are great if you have a window directly above the radiator.
  20. Check seals on windows and doors and replace them if they are causing a draft. Older doors can be sealed with this draft excluder seal.
  21. Install under door draft excluders to the external facing doors.
  22. Use door draft excluders internally.
  23. Don’t forget to change your clothing as the season changes. If you wear shorts and Tshirt all winter then your heating bills will obviously be high.
  24. Have additional loft insulation installed – you may be liable for a government discount, it could even be free.
  25. Have your cavity wall inspected –  if it’s hollow consider filling it with insulation, discounts may be available from government.
  26. Have any hot pipes in the loft insulated – bare pipes in a cold loft are just a waste of money.
  27. Insulate the back of your loft hatch – if it isn’t already.
  28. Consider installing thermal curtain linings.
  29. Install double glazing – a huge amount of heat is lost through windows, if you have single glazing then upgrading to double glazing will also increase the value of your property so it’s certainly an investment.
  30. Have your hot water tank inspected – you may be able to add additional insulation to it or upgrade it.
  31. Check to see if you are entitled to a government scheme such as Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments.
  32. Take a shower rather than bathing – use less hot water and you will also burn less gas.
  33. Programme your hot water to come on just before you need it so you don’t need to reheat for a second time that day.
  34. Programme the central heating to come on 20 minutes before you wake up and 20 minutes before you come home during the cold weather.
  35. If you come home at irregular times then consider a remote app which is used to start your heating/hot water via your mobile phone. This saves you programming your system the old way so it comes on when you won’t be home for hours.
  36. Avoid covering radiators with clothes unnecessary or by boxing them in. They may look ugly but they won’t work efficiently if they are covered or boxed in!
  37. Look at Groundsouce heat.
  38. Install products that use Greywater (maybe a long time before you recoup you initial costs though)
  39. Turn off electricals that are usually on stand-by – this can mean changing habits but a sticker/plaster on the remote control’s red button usually helps!
  40. Turn off lights when you don’t use them – again this is part of changing lifestyle habits which are a huge contributor to your energy consumption.
  41. Air dry clothes rather than using a tumble dryer if possible.
  42. Wash clothes at 30degrees unless they are very dirty.
  43. Use the “quick wash” feature on the washing machine if clothes are not very dirty.
  44. Swap light bulbs for more energy efficient ones.
  45. Don’t forget outside lights!
  46. Only use enough water as necessary in kettles and pans, the kettle is a major source of electricity use.
  47. Purchase an energy efficient kettle that only boils the exact amount of water you need, great for those who drink endless amounts of tea and coffee!
  48. Use lids on cooking pans, this can save money on gas and speed up cooking times.
  49. Check seals on the fridge and freezer –  have them repaired if they allowing cold air out.
  50. De-ice the freezer to keep it running efficiently.
  51. Consider motion sensor light switches that will turn off the lights if their is no movement for a specific period of time. Great for people who always forget to switch of the lights!
  52. Install a smart meter so you can monitor which of your products uses the most electricity.
  53. Install shut down devices to automatically cut power to devices such as TV’s, game consoles and DVD players after a certain time, perhaps at night.
  54. If you intend to stay in the property for a long time or are thinking of leaving the home for your children when you are gone, then installing solar panels could give you a return on your investment, especially as the government gives you money back via their feed-in tariff system.
  55. Wind turbines for the home come in various sizes, small cheap turbines installed on a very windy “perfect” location can not only save you money on your bills but also earn you cash through the “feed in” tariff.
  56. Read your meter regularly – you could be paying too much and losing out on interest.
  57. Fix leaking taps – it’s usually no more difficult then replacing a washer.
  58. If you are having a new bathroom installed, pay that bit more for an Eco toilet that uses less water. If you intend to live in the property for many years you may indeed recoup the extra cost.
  59. Install a rainwater storage butt so you can water the garden for free.
  60. Use a water efficient shower head – they use less water and if your pressure is good they can replace a costly power shower.
  61. Use electricity during off-peak hours, such as washing machine, tumble dryers etc. This only applies to Economy type tariffs where you pay more at peak times and much less off peak.
  62. If possible avoid pre-pay meters – these are 30% more expensive then standard meters.
  63. Never use electric convection heaters, not even for a short “top up” of warmth in the room – they are extremely expensive and usually consume a whopping 2000kw per hour.
  64. Adjust the energy settings on laptops and desktop computers so the screen brightness is reduced if the computer isn’t used for 5 minutes or so. Set the system to switch off if there is no activity after a certain period of time.
  65. Consider converting your loft from a traditional “cold roof” to a “warm roof” by having foam sprayed into the underside of the tiles. See this page for more information.
  66. When redecorating make sure you consider using light colours where possible – if you use blacks, browns, reds and other dark colours you will always be putting in the lights, even in daytime.
  67. Take advantage of natural light by not blocking windows, arrange furniture carefully and use curtain tie-backs.
  68. Install skylights to allow natural light into rooms that do not have a window.
  69. When purchasing new washing machines, fridges and other electrical devices check the energy efficiency ratings on the label or website. A fridge/freezer will be switched on permanently so you could make quote a saving over several years by choosing an “A” rated product.
  70. Look at the methods you use to cook and see if you can make a saving by using different cooking equipment. Regular use of deep fat fryers, kettles, grills and ovens all use excessive amounts of electricity. Pressure cookers,microwaves and covered pans are much cheaper to use.
  71. Use lower settings on hairdryers, straighteners or any other heat producing device.
  72. Avoid placing your fridge/freezer in direct sunlight or near an appliance that produces heat such as an oven.
  73. If possible, make sure there is an inch or two of space all around and above/below the fridge/freezer to allow air to circulate and to keep the unit cool.
  74. Adjust the temperature of the fridge/freezer so it’s not excessively cold.
  75. Don’t overload the fridge – do you really need ten bottles of cola in there? Perhaps one or two and the rest in the cupboard until they need chilling? The same rule applies to other items that do not need to chilled all the time.
  76. Change the filters/empty the bags etc your hoover regularly, clogged up filters mean it’s not running at maximum efficiency.
  77. When washing, shaving or brushing teeth – don’t use running water. Just fill up the basin instead.
  78. Remove dust build-up from bathroom ceiling fans and clean/replace filters in kitchen extractor fans.
  79. Remove dust build up on desktop computer grills/vents and any other vents on electrical equipment such as TV’s and console games.
  80. Use a damper/blocker on any chimney fireplaces to prevent heat loss.
  81. In hot weather, use a fan and not air conditioning which is expensive and inefficient.
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