We are all very, very aware that energy bills are at an all-time high at the moment with no idea when this may change and it has many of us worried about usage, and our bills and left wondering how we can continue to afford this way of living. I’ve always thought that we have been pretty good at saving on energy because it is an area I have been hot on since upping my focus on protecting our environment. However, even with us going away for 9 days last month, our bill still came in much higher than I was expecting so I have gone back to reviewing what we do and what more we can do in order to bring this down. Of course, a lot of the energy we use/waste comes down to bad habits we get into, and some comes down to the fact that a lot of people are still working from home but there is no denying that we are in an energy crisis right now so let’s see I can help you to save money on your electricity bill.
Take a look at whether it is possible to switch electric companies right now. If you can make the jump to another company your top areas to check will of course firstly be their tariff, making sure that it won’t change in the near future. Secondly, I would look for a company that uses renewable energy as this is the future for our environment and should, in theory, cost you less as you won’t be paying the fossil fuel giants. Also, see if they offset their carbon and if they have future promises to help the environment. You may also want to look into having your own solar panels installed on your roof. It doesn’t hurt to do a little research and check what is available to you in order to help reduce those costs.
The simplest tip I am going to include in here so I am going to keep this short and sweet, turn your lights off when you don’t need them. Don’t use them when it is light, make the most of the natural light your home has, talk to your children about the importance of turning the lights off when they leave a room and don’t leave any on when you go out.
There may be times when you have been leaving a light on for example, if like us, you have young children who get up in the night and need to be able to see where they are going, the most common option is to leave a hallway/landing light on or perhaps you have a plug in night light? All of which are using up energy which is costing you money and isn’t good for the environment. A great solution to this is to purchase battery powered sensor lights that only come on at night and only when they sense movement. We use these lights from SaveMoneyCutCarbon and they have made such a difference. The kids know that these will come on when they get up and we get to save on our electricity bill.
Your basic light bulb may seem like the best value but these will use far more energy and produce more waste as well as cost you more in the long run. Depending on which energy-saving bulb you choose you could use up to 80% less energy and get up to 25 times more use out of it. There are three main types of eco-friendly light bulbs available on the market: halogen incandescent, LED and CFL. Each has its own pros and cons but the most energy-efficient choices are your LED’s and CFL bulbs. The main thing you can do is do your own research here, compare reviews and also speak to the staff in hardware stores; they should be able to help with your needs. What is important to note with these bulbs is that where we previously always looked at watts for choosing a light bulb, when picking an eco one, you will want to look at the lumens. For home use, you will need around 500 lumens and for large dark spaces, you will need around 1000 lumens.
Don’t Leave Me On Standby!
Did you know that electrical items that are left on standby still use up energy and, depending on the age of the appliance, this could be up to 15%? That means that even though you aren’t using it, it is still costing you money and using vital energy resources. The Energy Saving Trust believes that an average UK home wastes between £50 and £86 each year just by leaving appliances on standby so switch it off to ensure you are helping to save the planet as well as your wallet!
Items that are left plugged in but are not wired up to anything– for example, you remove your phone from the charger but don’t turn the socket off– will continue to use a small percentage of energy known as vampire energy (the amount will vary depending on the appliance, age, energy-saving modes and so on). If there is still electricity there I would also be concerned about fire risks. Turn it all off and unplug the item to be on the safe side.
Washing and Drying
We all have to wash and dry our clothes but a lot of modern-day habits are having a big impact on our energy use, electricity bills and carbon emissions. Many people wash every day, many are washing small loads and it is thought that a lot of this washing isn’t necessary. With a big focus on cleanliness and germs in the last few years, washing habits have increased with some people even stating that they wash towels after every single use! All this laundry is leading to an increase in energy usage which, in turn, increases your carbon emissions…
“Washing and drying a load every two days creates around 440kg of CO2 each year, which is equivalent to flying from London to Glasgow and back with 15-mile taxi rides to and from the airports”
Can you believe that one tumble dryer load will use around five times more electricity than washing? Plus using one is the equivalent of turning on 225 light bulbs for an hour! By reducing how often you wash and line drying instead, you will be making a big dent in your carbon footprint.
Boiling a kettle seems like a small task doesn’t it? But did you know that the humble kettle ranks as one of the hardest working small appliances in the kitchen?! An average 3kW kettle will cost around 12.5p to boil. Overfilling a kettle is a common habit many of us do but if you can change this and only fill it to the one cup you require you could bring that cost down to just 1p. To take it a step further why not boil one full kettle in the morning, pour the contents into a flask and simply make your hot drink using this water instead of boiling the kettle each time? If you are home a lot and are a big tea/coffee drinker this could save you so much money each month.
Eco Appliances and Settings
Switching over to eco appliances where and when you can will help to reduce your electricity usage as these will all run more efficiently. On top of this, they will have eco settings to choose from which again, will reduce the amount of electricity used. If you choose an eco dishwasher or washing machine you will also help to bring your water bill down too as these will use far less water than an old machine. Choosing a cooler wash and not using the drying option in your dishwasher can both also help.
I really hope these tips can help you in some way to save on your electric bill but if you need more help or advice please do speak to reputable organisations such as The Citizens Advice Bureau, The Money Saving Expert, Debt Advice Companies and your local Council. Please do not suffer in silence. If you have anymore tips for readers please do leave them in the comments below.
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