If you dread the sound of your energy bills hitting the doormat then you might need to have a look at this. The average UK household spends around £1,400 a year on gas and electricity, or £120 a month. Living a three tonne lifestyle would see you spending around £600 a year. That’s a saving of around £800 a year, and a tonne or more of green house gas, or g.h.g. for short (depending on how you heat your home, and how many people live in it.). Of course you want to be comfortable at home, but the costs can quickly spiral out of control. If you reach for the heating controls every time you feel the slightest bit chilly, and run the air con throughout the summer, then your savings are going to be more limited -and your carbon footprint will be high. If we assume that you are similar to me – i.e. keen to reduce your spend/ carbon footprint, and are happy to put a jumper on when its cool, but don’t want to be uncomfortable at home, then the scope for big savings improves considerably.
Here are the top things you can do quickly to slash that £100 plus bill each month:
Change your energy supplier
Most of us are on ‘standard tariffs’ if we’ve been with the same supplier for a long time. These are usually higher than a switch tariff. You can quite feasibly save £300 a year or more by switching. For an idea of exact savings, use a comparison site.
Turn stuff off when you’re not using it
Come on. It’s really flipping easy. Saves a fortune. Costs nothing.
Get an electricity monitor
An electricity monitor gives you an idea of how much electricity your household is using at any moment in time. Just as athletes have a ‘resting pulse rate’, your home has an amount of energy that it is using, even when all of the usual appliances are turned off. Put your energy monitor somewhere where you can check it easily, then keep an eye on it.
Replace your ‘energy vampires’
When you’re buying a new electrical item, cost is bound to be a big factor in deciding what to buy. But the headline price is only part of the overall lifetime cost. Sust-it.net is a website that lets you make these tricky comparisons quickly and easily. The difference in running costs of appliances can be huge, and at least you have a complete picture of the costs when you are buying that shiny new home appliance. Similarly, knowing how much energy an old appliance is using can help to decide whether its time to take the hit and replace it. Running costs for old items can be a bit eye watering for older or poorly designed appliances, and savings on your electricity bill can quickly outweigh the upfront cost of the new shiny thing.
If you’ve done all this….
…then you are probably ready to think about maybe installing some other energy saving measures on a larger scale. These can include improving your home’s insulation, biomass heating, solar electricity, solar hot water, and so on. These can all be fantastic, but they do usually require more spend and more effort. Some are clearly not right for everyone, but they can also make huge reductions in your home’s running costs, as well as increasing your comfort levels.