With the rising cost of living, many of us are looking for ways to tighten our belts. Which is why we’ve put together this simple guide that could help save you money by cutting down your energy bills. Find out how much you could save with these easy-to-follow tips and cost-effective home improvements, plus how long they will take to pay back their costs.
Energy saving tips.
Take a look at our quick and completely free changes that could help lower your energy bills and save you money from the get go.
Turn radiators down in less used rooms.
During the day we often use certain rooms much less than others. For instance, our bedrooms are rarely used before we go to bed at night. By adjusting the temperature in less-used rooms to 3°C cooler than the living room, you could save around £135 a year, or £68 a year if you reduce it by 1.5°C1.
Turn off at the plug.
Leaving devices on standby still uses a small amount of energy - and that really adds up over the year. It’s not just TVs and games consoles, but appliances such as kettles, toasters, and lamps. Remembering to turn off at the plug could save you £65 a year2.
Reduce hot water cylinder temperature from 70°C to 60°C.
Your hot water cylinder (hot water tank) stores and supplies hot water in your home. Heating water uses energy, so lower temperatures are less energy intensive. Reducing the temperature to 60°C (still within the recommended temperature range) could save you around £26 a year1.
Reduce boiler flow temperature from 70°C to 60°C.
Your boiler flow temperature is the temperature of the water whilst it is within the supply pipe. Lowering it to 60°C (still within the recommended temperature range) could save you around £43 a year1. Learn more about your boiler.
Reduce heating by 5 hours a week.
Check your daily routine to see if you are using your heating longer than you need during the week. For example, if your heating schedule overlaps with time you are out at work. Using your heating for 5 hours less a week (just 1 hour per working day) could save you around £16 a year1.
Closing curtains at night.
Shutting curtains and blinds around the whole house at night helps to insulate your windows and slow heat loss as your house cools, which could save you around £10 a year1.
Energy efficient home improvements.
These cost effective home improvements could help to save you money on your energy bills - and they all have a potential payback period of under 10 years.
Water tank insulation.
Insulating your water tank is quick and easy, and doesn’t require a professional installation. DIY water tank jackets can be fitted simply by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
To fit your own water tank jacket costs about £163, and could save you around £70 a year2 - a payback period of less than six months.
Draught proofing windows, doors, and gaps.
Unblocked draughts let heat escape your home and can create an uncomfortable chill as cooler air gets in. Blocking draughts around windows and doors, and from cracks between floorboards and skirting boards, can reduce your heating bill by trapping more heat inside your home.
Professional draught proofing costs roughly £225 and could save you around £125 a year2 - a payback period of under 2 years.
Smart thermostats allow you to control your heating from your smartphone, offering you additional flexibility for scheduling your heating. They can also enable you to control your heating by room, use a holiday mode to protect your pipes without wasting energy, and detect when you are out of the house to turn off unneeded heating.
Smart thermostats can cost up to £300 and could save you around £64 a year1 - a payback period of just over 4.5 years.
Installing window film on all your windows improves the insulation of the window panes (much like double glazing), and when installed on the inside can help reduce condensation. Professionally installed high-quality window film can last up to 20 years under the right conditions.
To apply window film throughout the house costs around £300 (though this will vary depending on if it is professionally installed and based on the quality of the film) and it could save you up to £43 a year1 - paying back in just under 7 years.
Upgrade loft insulation to 300mm thickness.
Many homes do not currently have the recommended 300mm of loft insulation. Upgrading can reduce heat loss in your home and reduce your energy use.
Installing 300mm loft insulation costs around £500 for the average household. If you are upgrading from 0-50mm of loft installation you could save around £291 a year1. If you are upgrading from 50-200mm you could save around £54 a year on average1. That’s a potential payback period of as little as 2 years (and no more than 9.5 years) depending on your home.
Cavity wall insulation.
If your home has cavity walls then you can install cavity wall insulation to reduce heat loss. This means it will cost less to heat your home. You can tell if your home has cavity walls by either checking your home’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or the pattern of the brickwork. If your home has an even brickwork pattern (all bricks appear the same length) then you probably have cavity walls.
Requiring a higher up-front investment, cavity wall insulation usually costs between £700-£2,700 depending on if it is deemed easy or difficult to treat. However, it could save you around £395 a year4 - giving it a payback period of between 2-7 years.
No matter your budget, there are a range of affordable options to save money on your energy bills - from changing your energy habits to improving the energy efficiency of your home. Find the right choices for your household, and remember that you may be able to benefit from many of our energy saving suggestions.
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