Energy costs have skyrocketed, with petrol seeing record highs of more than 150p per litre in some places, and households hit with soaring energy bills - in line with the highest increase in inflation we’ve seen in 10 years. Understandably, many of us are worried about energy bills rising, but there are cheap and cost effective ways to reduce your bills without spending money on expensive boiler replacements or loft insulations.
Changing your light bulbs isn’t just about making your home lighting more aesthetically pleasing, it can also be a great way to save money on your energy bill. If you have halogen bulbs anywhere in your home – especially in high traffic areas that require lighting in order to be used – replace them with LED bulbs. LED bulbs save more energy than halogen bulbs and are available in different colours, so can provide a lovely bright glow to suit any preference.
Draught is usually caused by air seeping into gaps under and around doors, windows, outlets, and fixtures. Fireplaces, loft hatches or a loft that hasn’t been properly insulated, can also make your home extra draughty. If your house feels impossibly cold year round but especially during the autumn and winter months, draught proofing your home might be your first port of call. It’s a quick, cost-effective way of warming up your home and could really bring down the cost of your energy bills in colder months.
Draught proofing really just means blocking the gaps around the areas that are causing the draught. This can be done professionally, however it’s much cheaper to do a DIY job and there are a number of useful online guides you can use for help.
Turning off unused appliances is a simple task that takes just seconds to do and can make a small but welcome difference to your annual energy bill - every penny counts after all! If you’re likely to forget, or you have a bit more budget to play with, consider getting timed switches which can be controlled remotely or programmed to turn on and off at certain times.
Bleeding your radiators goes a longer way than you would imagine which is why it’s an incredibly important maintenance procedure to carry out, to ensure the continued efficiency of your heating systems at home.
Air can sometimes become trapped in radiators, which is common in unvented central heating systems. Once air becomes trapped in your radiator, the hot water is unable to travel around and heat the entire radiator. You should be able to tell that your radiator isn’t heating effectively just by placing a hand on it once the heating has been turned on and running for a while. Some areas of the radiator will feel much hotter than other sections and you may notice that your home takes much longer to warm up than it typically should.
Bleeding your radiators at least once a year will release any trapped air and in turn, allow the free flow of hot water, resulting in a better functioning radiator. Your central heating system won’t have to work so hard by staying on longer than necessary to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, and your energy bills should reduce.
With energy costs going up, some may be considering different ways to cover their energy bills, such as using a short term line of credit or setting up repayment plans with energy suppliers. If you have concerns about increasing energy bills and are seeking to create a more energy efficient home, consider looking into any grants or energy efficient schemes you might be eligible for.
This offers an £140 annual discount on your electricity bill, designed to assist people of qualifying eligibility with their winter energy costs. Some of the eligibility criteria includes those with a lower income, people that are in receipt of means-tested benefits or pension credit and people with young children, however criteria may differ depending on the supplier.
If you’re struggling to keep up with your energy bills and are in receipt of certain types of benefits, you can make payments towards your bills directly from your benefits. A small percentage - usually set by your Job centre or pension provider – is then taken out of your benefits and paid directly to your energy supplier.
Launching in April 2022, Ofgem are offering a capital grant of up to £5000 to homeowners, which goes towards the cost of installing a new heat pump.
This list is not exhaustive, so spend some time reviewing all of the schemes that are currently available, and if you’re unsure, contact your energy supplier directly and they may be able to assist you further.
Living in the UK, means your energy bill will usually be higher during winter months. It’s darker and colder meaning more energy use in the form of heating, hot water, and electricity, amongst a multitude of other things. That doesn’t mean it has to be astronomically expensive however, and whilst we don’t have much control over rising inflation and it’s knock on effect on household bills, we can to some degree, control our energy consumption. Start tracking your spending by monitoring your energy usage, so that you can get a better idea of how much energy you are using, when you are using it and where it’s being used the most within the home. This will help give you a clearer indicator of where you can cut costs and how realistic it will be to achieve for your household.
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