Every year, the average household spends around £1,250 to heat and power the home, this is according to data obtained from industry regulator, Ofgem. This figure makes energy consumption one of the biggest costs that families around the UK have to budget for.
Because a large sum of money will be spent on energy bills, it makes a lot of sense to look at practical ways we can reduce our electricity and gas usage. Normally, the majority of household members will utilise power between 6pm and 9pm, with 8pm usually being the peak time. One of the smartest ways to save money is by compare and switching energy suppliers through a price comparison site such as Utility Saving Expert. You can instantly see the best value energy tariffs available on the market, and the switching process is now easier than ever.
The average four occupant household currently uses around 13 electronic appliances. This includes gadgets such as TVs, computers and other entertainment devices. Compared to 30 years ago, this is a big increase, when only four appliances were being used on average, according to data from Energy Consumption in the UK (ECUK) 2017 report.
Even though we’re using more electronic appliances than ever before, we’re still using a similar amount of energy. This is largely in part due to electronics becoming more energy efficient and receiving a higher energy star rating. However, as consumers, there’s still a lot we can do to further lower our household energy usage, saving us money and the environment around us in the process.
To reduce your average electricity usage in the home, there are a number of steps you can take. As mentioned above, using more efficient appliances is a great place to start. Energy saver LED lightbulbs consume much less power and last much longer too. It’s also worth considering replacing old electronic appliances and switching off devices that aren’t being used.
To reduce your average gas usage in the home, start by upgrading your gas appliances to modern efficient models. Installing a smart thermostat can also help you monitor your usage, giving you more control over central heating.
To save money on your energy bills, we’ve gone into further detail below on what you could do. Estimated figures of the amount you can expect to save have also been included, numbers obtained from the Energy Savings Trust.
Turn off appliances at the socket
By turning off appliances completely, you can save £30 on average each year. Although it may seem small, combined with the other tips, it really does add up. Timer plugs are a great way to schedule power for these devices if you’re likely to forget. For example, you could plug in your entire TV and entertainment setup into an extension lead which connects to a timer plug, shutting everything down at 11pm. Some smartphones even allow you to automate this through smart devices and applications.
Install a smart thermostat
You can use a smart thermostat to improve your home’s heating efficiency in a substantial way. This allows you to control which rooms will be heated, at what temperature and during which time of the day or night. Again, smartphone applications and appliances can be connected to make your home a smart home. For example, your mobile’s GPS could track when you’re within distance of your home and start heating up the house 20 minutes before you’re due to arrive. Installing a thermostat, programmers and radiator valves could save you £75 each year on average.
Turn down the heat
Nearly 50% of the money you spend on your energy bills will be for heating your home and water alone. You could save around £75 each year by just lowering your thermostat by one degree.
Energy efficient appliances
When you’re ready to replace an old appliance, consider purchasing a new one with a higher energy star efficiency rating. This will save you money over the long term and is a worthwhile investment. For example, an A+++ rated washing machine will use £65 less energy in comparison to an A+ rated one, this would be over an 11-year product lifespan. Again, it doesn’t seem like much, but adds up over time. However, an A+++ rated fridge freezer will save you around £320 in energy bills over its lifetime compared to an A+ model.
Time for a new boiler
When it’s time to replace your boiler, upgrading to a modern A-rated condensing boiler that includes a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator controls could save you around £300 per year. This is based on upgrading from a G-rated boiler and fuel prices from early 2019.
Don’t waste water
If you wash your dishes in a washing up bowl instead of having the tap running, you could save £25 each year. Purchasing an efficient shower head could annually save you about £18 per person. Those with a water meter will save even more.
In conclusion, each practical tip listed above should save you money, this can total a substantial amount if you’re able to combine as many of these as possible.