The New Year is a time for reflection – a chance for us to make changes to how we live or work and to decide what we might do to improve for the coming year. Many people make new Year resolutions and for many, these will surround saving money. One great way to save money is to reduce your energy use and to lower your bills.
Below is a list of resolutions that will both reduce the amount you spend on your energy bills, but will also save the planet by lowering your carbon footprint.
- Change your lights – by replacing your old lightbulbs with energy-saving LEDs you can save as much as £75 over the life of the bulb and it will last longer.
- Turn off your lights – don’t leave lights on that you are not using. Make it a habit to turn them off as soon as you leave the room.
- Use a thermostat to control your boiler and use them on each radiator individually. You can then control the temperature in each room – turning down the heat in the rooms you don’t use so often.
- Turn off the heating when you are out – use a timer to ensure that your heating is not coming on when you are at work. If you have a remote system such as NEST, you can even control your heating from wherever you are.
- Cook efficiently – try to use the oven carefully and cook as many meals at one time as you can. An electric oven can be very costly to run.
- Ask for a shower timer for Christmas and use it to ensure you never stand in the shower for longer than 5 minutes.
- Invest in insulation or take advantage of one of the energy company schemes to get it for free.
- Only heat your water when you know you’re going to need it. For example set it to start heating around one hour before your shower and for another hour in the evening.
- If your supplier offers a smart meter – get one. This can allow you to track your usage and will give you a clear idea of what you are spending and how your savings efforts are going.
- Switch energy companies at least yearly to take advantage of fixed deals that may be suitable for your needs.
There are so many ways to improve how you use energy around the house and the simple steps are often the best. If all else fails, invest in some warm blankets and cosy clothes and go to bed early. That sounds like a great way to avoid having the heating on and you get to enjoy a lovely early night.
Saving energy in our homes has long been an issue for most households and each new generation works hard to make energy saving a possibility for all. These days we use smart meters to monitor our usage, triple glazing to ensure we stay warm and carefully programmed central heating to give us the flexibility we need. In the days of our grandparent’s things may have been very different. They may not have had central heating, homes generally were single glazed and open fires were the norm.
While the way they lived then may have seemed quaint, they still had some excellent ideas for energy saving around the home that we can learn from today and in true old-fashioned money-saving style, they are usually not going to cost a fortune to implement.
Even our modern homes are somewhat leaky. Windows and doors are the most obvious places where the warmth can get out and these gaps should be plugged if at all possible to keep the heat inside where you want it. Door snakes are a great idea that is easy to make and do a fantastic job at stopping draughts under doors. Simply take a length of material and sew it into a long sausage shape. Fill this with rags, old socks, and some bean bag beads for stability and then place along the bottom of the door. If you are especially crafty you can knit one that will fit in with your decor.
Other gaps can be filled with simple scrunched up newspaper, plastic sheeting and old clothes or material.
Our homes these days are often open plan making it harder to heat our homes and impossible to shut off the room you are in. However, you should always close the doors of the rooms you can and do your best to keep the heat where you need it. In this way, you can use radiator thermostats to keep each room at the temperature you need and not heat those rooms that you are not using.
By planning your cooking you can take advantage of having the oven on for several meals rather than just one. For example, if you are cooking a casserole and will have the oven on for a couple of hours, add a cake or a batch of muffins at the same time. This will depend on the size of your oven, but there’s a good chance you can fit in at least a couple of meals into one cooking session. And when the oven is cooling down leave the door open so that heat comes into the room.
We expect you know loads more old-fashioned money saving ideas – but these will certainly help when the weather gets cooler in the months to come.