10 Really Simple Ways To Reduce Your Utility Bills
By David Holmes on April 8, 2008
We’re always being told of ways to reduce our bills and greenhouse gasses, these usually consist of expensive home improvements such as double glazing or energy efficient condensing boilers. So, I thought I’d put together a list of ways we’ve reduced our own heating bills without spending a fortune.
So here you go, 10 really simple things that you can implement that will start saving you money immediately…
1) Turn electrical appliances off
How often do you go to bed at night with the TV on standby? Just turn it off, however, it’s not that simple is it? you might forget so it’s worth investing in a set of ByeBye Standby Savers these are available from Currys and should pay for themselves within a year.
2) Turn Your Thermostat down by 1°C/1.8°F
Reducing you heating by just 1°C/1.8°F will shave about 10% of your heating bill, you probably won’t even notice the difference in temperature.
3) Put a Flush Bag in your toilet cistern
Call you local water authority or council, most offer these for free and save 1 litre of water for every flush. You can also order them online from Severn Trent Water.
4) Set your washing machine to 30°C/86°F
Washing clothes at 30°C/86°F not only saves you money but is kinder to your clothes. Unilever has put together an excellent guide to achieving best results whilst washing at 30°C.
5) Turn lights out when leaving a room
I’d like to think this was an obvious one but my kids seem to think otherwise!
6) Change Energy Supplier
Shop around and compare Gas & Electricity prices, you could find yourself saving up to £200 a year over your current supplier. When looking for a new tarriff bear in mind that it’s often cheaper to chose a ‘paperless’ plan that is managed on-line, also direct debit & dual fuel packages will earn you the biggest savings. Use comparison websites with caution, they often make assumptions about usage which may not reflect your lifestyle. The best way is to check your past bills & compare the tariffs side by side.
7) Use electrical appliances wisely.
a) Only boil as much water as is required in a kettle or use a new energy efficient kettle.
b) Only use washing machines & dishwashers when full.
c) Use tumble dryers only when really necessary, is it sunny outside?
d) Defrost your freezer at least once a year, this will reduce energy usage.
e) When buying new appliances ensure they are ‘A’ rated.
8 ) Check your hot water cylinder temperature
This can be a costly one, a cylinder shoud be run at 60°C/140°F. This is not only a reasonably safe temperature but is hot enough to kill off bugs, many cylinders are set a lot higher and are simply wasting energy. If your cylinder has a thermostat on it, check to see if it’s set at 60°C/140°F, it should look something like the picture below.
9) Energy saving slight bulbs
Lame and obvious I know, but they are important and could save you up to £60 per bulb throughout it’s lifetime.
I know I said I was keeping it to simple things but I think this is important as installing cavity wall insulation and also loft insulation can make such a difference. You may also find you can get it for free. if you are over 70 and are claiming certain benefits British Gas run a scheme called ‘Here to Help’ that offers free home insulation, can’t be bad.
Ok, I digressed a little there at the end but if you do everything above you’ll really notice a difference in your bills, not only that you’ll helping the environment by reducing your Co2 emissions.