Energy saving tips as winter energy bills expected to be higher than last year
As Ofgem announced the new energy price cap last week starting from October, new figures from the Resolution Foundation demonstrate that while the cost per unit of energy is coming down, 7.2 million – or 35% of homes – in England will spend more than they did last winter. It is estimated that the average household will be spending about £1923 a year on their energy bills come October, down from £2074 last year. However, last year government subsidised discount knocked off £400 from every home’s energy bill in the five months between November 2022 and March 2023, which won’t be available this year. In light of the incoming strain on Brits’ wallets, with energy bills not expected to drop below £1700 for the rest of the decade, Mark Sait, the CEO/founder of leading online money saving and sustainability platform, SaveMoneyCutCarbon, outlines his quick and actionable tips to save on energy at home. Turn the thermostat down by 1 degree According to Sait, by turning down your thermostat by one degree you can save up to 10% on your heating bill. The World Health Organisation states that a home at 18° is the appropriate household temperature for a healthy adult. Therefore, if you tend to set your thermostat to 20 or 21 degrees, try setting it to only 18° as this reduction will help you save energy and money. Switch off your appliances from standby Although modern electronics use less energy in standby mode than their older models, having electronics constantly left on standby mode can make background energy use balloon, with televisions being the worst offender contributing to excess energy wastage. It is estimated that these ‘vampire energy appliances’ are costing homeowners up to £95 on their annual bills. Research from SaveMoneyCutCarbon, suggests the average amount of energy consumed by gadgets on standby or in a non active state is between 9% and 16% of a home’s total energy bill. Therefore, the money saving expert suggests the easiest way to stop wasting energy and cut your costs is to unplug devices from the wall and plug them back in just as you are about to use them.
Wash your laundry at colder temperatures Washing your clothes at a lower temperature is an easy yet effective way you can reduce your energy use and spending. Reducing your regular wash to 30° or even 20° can help reduce your electricity usage by up to 40% over the course of the year compared to higher temperatures. Fortunately, most laundry detergents still work just as effectively at a cold wash as they do at higher temperatures, so not only are clothes kept nice and fresh, but your energy bills are kept low as well. Use cold water for brushing teeth or washing hands Standard single lever mixer kitchen and bathroom taps tend to sit with the lever in the middle position, meaning that when the tap is ‘turned on’ (the lever is lifted) a mix of hot and cold water flows. Opening the tap in this position kickstarts your boiler into action, to provide you with the warm water it thinks you require. Grohe’s ‘Cold-Water-Start’ taps feature energy saving technology which limits the tap’s range of movement so that only true cold water flows when the tap is opened in the middle position. This means that when you turn on your tap, you are not also turning on your boiler, helping you save usually wasted energy and money. Try a water displacement bag With more parents working from home to mind their children, there has been a notable rise in water use, so, conserving water where possible is vitally important. Research shows flushing the toilet is responsible for up to 90% of water consumption in commercial environments. Therefore, the Save-a-Flush displacement bag is a simple way to save thousands of litres of water every year, and the best part is it is under £3! It works by displacing water in the cistern to save you one litre of water each time you flush your toilet. Overall, this easy to fit and zero maintenance device can save you an average of 4800 litres a year.
Switch to LED and save up to £100 LED lighting is the smart choice to help you save energy and reduce electricity bills. LED lights typically use less than a fifth of the power of traditional incandescent lamps. A typical household can save £150 a year by converting to LED – and these come in a range of warm, dimmable and coloured settings. By swapping out the energy guzzling traditional bulbs with LED lights that consume 10 times less electricity (a 6W LED equivalent), running costs per LED light will be 7.3p per day, 51p a week, £2.19 a month and £26.65 a year and £239.80 a year for a medium sized house. Mark Sait, CEO and founder of SaveMoneyCutCarbon, said: ‘What needs to happen is finding a way to be smarter with energy use. This can start with the least cost effective way – behaviour – ie not just turning your heating off but checking when your timer is set, and switching off appliances/boilers that aren't in use. Or, it can be low cost, sustainable swaps. ‘Small changes make a big difference. Not everyone can afford big solar panels, electric cars and so on, so education, behaviour change, community and coming together will make the biggest difference. There is always more to be done on our end – people just need the facts to know where to begin.’