When people say ‘bills’, what they usually mean is gas and electric – those basic needs can take a hefty chunk out of our monthly budget, so it pays to cut those bills down.
Yep, the energy companies may not want to admit it, but you can make serious savings without sacrificing on your own creature comforts. Here’s how…
Turn down the thermostat by 1°C
Whatever you’ve got your thermostat set to, it’s too high. It’s estimated that by kicking the temperature down by just 1°C you’ll cut a whopping 10% off your energy bill – which is not bad going for two seconds’ work. 1°C is so small, you won’t even notice it’s mildly cooler in the house, but you’ll notice the extra £40 a year you could save.
Walls, floors, doors, roofs – one sure-fire way of saving money heating bills is to insulate absolutely everything. Start with the roof, where 15% of that heat you’re paying for escapes.
Then assess the walls, depending on the type of wall, you’ll need internal or external insulation. Insulated cavity walls will save you on average £90 a year, while properly insulating your flooring will add an extra £40 of annual savings.
Check for draughts in doors
So now you have a beautifully insulated home, but there’s still another source of heat-loss.
What you need to do is ensure all doors are completely draught-proof. If they’re not, add excluders to the bottom of the door and fill in any gaps with sealant – draughts account for around 20% of a home’s heat loss, so this is worth quickly combating.
Put clingfilm over the windows
It might sound bonkers – because, in truth, it is – but putting clingfilm up over your windows has been shown to effectively insulate your home.
It works by trapping a layer of air which prevents heat escaping, and while it is technically effective, it’s not a long-term measure (you’ll want to research professional window glazing for that).
While you’re at the windows, it’s worth checking to see if they, too, are draught-proof which would make all your efforts for naught.
Shop around for a supplier
Not all energy suppliers are equal, and just as any bargain-hunter would, you’ve got to shop around for the best deal.
Fuel regulator Ofgem estimates that you’ll stand to save an impressive £100 a year, just from changing energy suppliers, so this is well worth investigating.
It’s fairly straightforward to find out who’s offering the competitive deals out there by hitting up the comparison websites.
Stop relying on electric heaters
When it comes to money-sinks, the electric heater is one of the biggest you can own these days. It gorges on electric, pushing up your bills for the sake of a little extra warmth.
There’s a much cheaper alternative in every house: Your radiators.
Sure, you might appreciate the blast of an expensive electric heater now and then, but your radiators also win points for being vastly more effective in heating your whole home.
Upgrade your heating system
Chances are, your entire heating system is getting on a bit now. And that means it’s not as energy efficient as the latest products on the market.
If your boiler’s over 15-years-old, it’s considered best practice to replace it anyway, but there’s nothing stopping you from upgrading before that time – although it’s worth noting that this is typically a long-term strategy, as the initial investment doesn’t come cheap. You could also look for 0% interest boilers to reduce the financial impact of that investment if you ever find that you need to upgrade or replace your old one immediately.
For boilers, you’ll want to look at the highly efficient condensing boiler, which stands to save you £240 a year. You can also install thermostatic radiator valves to any radiator not in the same room as the thermostat. These allow you to maintain varying temperatures for each radiator across the whole house.