Being aware of your energy use and amending your behaviour could save you hundreds of pounds a year:
Get an Energy Monitor – Continuously monitor your electricity usage and become more aware of where your money is going. People on average cut their electricity bills by 15%! Some electricity providers offer free monitors with some tariffs, but otherwise inexpensive Energy Monitors can be picked up locally or online.
Turn it off – When you’re not using lights, appliances, chargers and the like, turn them off! Turning lights off even for a matter of seconds will save more than is required to start them up again. Most appliances needn’t be left plugged in but use energy when they are, and phone chargers can use as much energy if left plugged in as they do when actually charging your phone! A family of 4 could save up to £100 a year if they simply turned stuff off!
Turn it down – In an era of cheap gas, we’ve been used to wearing t-shirts around our houses in the depths of winter, but every degree that you turn down your heating could save you £65! We’re not saying you should catch pneumonia, but try clicking the thermostat down a degree each week and wearing a jumper before you turn it up again. 20°C is plenty; the World Health Organisation suggests 18°C is ok for someone appropriately dressed; and it’s much healthier to sleep in a cooler environment, of say 14°C (depends on your duvet!).
If you live in a solid-walled house it may also benefit your bills to leave the heating on low all day, to keep heat in the walls and avoid the need for a blast of heat when you return in the evening. You can work this out for yourself by taking meter readings – but remember you must also take into account the outside temperature!
Kitchen Appliances - You could save at least another £50 a year just by being careful about how you use your kitchen appliances. Only boil the amount of water you need, hang your washing to dry outside whenever you can, and set your washing machine to 30°C which is perfectly adequate for washing clothes – it’s the bubbles that do the washing, not the heat (although an occasional 60°C for your bedding and towels is a good idea to kill off the bugs).
Next steps – After these simple steps, come those that will cost you money – but consider re-investing the savings that you made above! Some of them are very simple and inexpensive, such as changing your shower head or lagging your hot water tank, so maybe think about those first before moving on to more expensive options.