Price cap on energy bills
With the UK’s energy price cap rising by 54 per cent, households across the UK are preparing for a steep rise in energy bills this spring. “From 1 April, the cap will rise from £1,277 to £1,971 for a household on average usage. That means a £693 per year increase for the average customer.” There are several reasons for this, from the post COVID economic bounce back placing strain on supply, to a relatively windless summer in Europe and droughts in Brazil, which meant that the amount of renewable energy generated by turbines and hydropower for storage was much lower than estimated.
As a result of the increase in energy prices, we imagine that many households will be looking for advice on how to save energy. We’ve prepared 3 helpful categories on how to save energy in your home. Not only will this help you to save money on your energy bills but it’s also a great place to start, in saving our planet too! A lot of generic energy saving tips focus on big changes that are more relevant for homeowners, such as bettering insulation. Whilst being a really good way to cut costs and support our climate, we wanted to make our tips more accessible for everyone; to allow for homeowners and renters to save costs with small easy steps, whilst still being comfortable in their home.
- The average UK household spends £40 a year, powering appliances that have been left on standby! Standby is the energy used by appliances when not in use but not switched off at the plug. As well as appliances being left on standby, other additions such as smart devices, broadband modems and digital boxes use low levels of electricity even when not being used. We don’t often think to turn these types of appliances off, however as they’re often left on for 24 hours a day, the energy usage considerably adds up over time.
- Let’s talk about freezers. Did you know that freezers work best when they’re full? Freezers expend the most energy when they work to cool down the warm air that gets into the spaces, when the door is opened. So, even if your fridge isn’t full, filling it with ice packs, water bottles or packing blocks, can help keep your bills down! The freezer is one of the biggest household appliances, so it’s worth keeping them running as efficiently as possible. Defrosting your freezer can also help you save the pennies. Frost build-up increases the amount of work that the motor must do, and the harder it works, the more energy it expends. Keeping your freezer fairly frost free is another great way to save on your energy bills. It might sound excessive, but a recent survey suggests that keeping your freezer frost free can save you up to £200 per year.
Each household in the UK uses an average of around 345 litres of water each day! Did you know that heating water for use in our homes makes up about 4% the UK’s total carbon dioxide emissions? We’re all aware of saving water, but many of us don’t realise how much water usage contributes to our energy bills. Simple water usage tips can save money on your bills and do good for the planet at the same time.
- If a family of four replace their inefficient shower head with a water efficient one, they could save around £45 off their water bills each year and £35 off their gas bills – that’s around £80 each year.
- A running tap uses three litres of water a minute! You don’t need the tap running whilst you brush your teeth, wash your face or shave, so turn it off whilst it’s not in use. And when it is, using cold water instead of hot where possible, will save that little bit more. Once the tap is off, making sure it’s not dripping will save up to 5,500 litres of water a year. If you can’t tighten a drip, this can be fixed easily by changing the washers on the taps.
- Using a bowl to wash up rather than a running tap can save you money on your energy and water bills. It takes around 90 seconds to fill up a washing up bowl, but at least 5 minutes to do the washing up, so imagine the savings you’ll make by using a bowl! If you need to rinse utensils or wash vegetables, use cold water if possible and don’t leave the tap running.
Cleaning & Housekeeping
The last area of energy saving in the home we’d like to touch on is cleaning and housekeeping; a few simple cleaning tips will help your savings go a long way!
- Move your furniture around! If your sofa or any other bulky item is in front of a radiator, it will absorb a lot of the heat that the radiator gives out. This means you’ll have to run your heating for longer before the room heats up. Moving any bulky items away from the radiator will allow the heat to circulate freely.
- Open your dishwasher door just before it starts the drying cycle and air dry the dishes instead. This can save up to 50% of the energy your dishwasher uses!
- Use a clothes horse instead of drying clothes on radiators, or worse the tumble dryer. Assuming you don’t use a tumble dryer, hanging wet clothes on the radiator, again, means it has to work harder to get your rooms to a desired temperature.
- Close your curtains at dusk! This is even easier in the winter months, and it really helps to stop cold draughts from penetrating, keeping the heat within your home. As soon as the sun is back out in the morning, make sure to open them again and trap in as much warm sun throughout the day as possible. Even on wintery days, allowing light to come through in the day will still help.
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