We all love saving money but sometimes life gets in the way and it can be hard to find the time and motivation to make it happen. Luckily it’s often easier than you think and saving money at home can be quick and simple whilst making a real difference to the amount of money in your pocket. Here are some great hints and tips that can be achieved in moments whilst saving you hundreds each year.
Switch to LED Light Bulbs (Annual Saving: £120)
LED light bulbs use around 90% less energy than regular bulbs by making use of the latest energy efficient technology to generate light. They reach full brightness instantly and come in all shapes and sizes to replace the existing bulbs in your home. That means they can be swapped over in seconds, allowing you to start saving straight away.
Swapping just one 60 watt halogen bulb (the most commonly used bulb in the UK) with an equivalent 7 watt LED bulb will save will save around £8 per year on energy costs. Replacing all 15 bulbs found in a typical home will therefore save around £120. Modern LED’s also last up to 15 years so you’ll continue to benefit from some great long-term savings.
Shop Around for a Better Energy Deal (Annual Saving: £320)
It’s estimated that in the UK we collectively overpay on energy by around £2.7 billion per year by not shopping around. Comparing prices takes around 5-10 minutes and could save you hundreds each year. The process is simple and you get exactly the same supply but at a much better price.
Using an impartial OFGEM accredited tariff calculator such as that provided at Switch Energy Supplier you can compare prices online to find the best deals available to you. All you need is a copy of your existing energy bill and if you decide to switch you can complete your full details online and your new supplier will take care of the rest for you.
The amount you can save depends on your current energy use and the rate you pay on your existing tariff. Most suppliers offer the best prices to customers signing up for dual fuel tariffs (gas and electricity) and online tariffs which cost suppliers less to manage whilst allowing you to keep track of your energy use online.
Wash Clothes at a Lower Temperature (Annual Saving: £60)
Washing machines are one of biggest energy users in the home, however around 85% of energy needed for each wash is used just to heat the water. Washing clothes at 30 degrees instead of 40 degrees therefore reduces the amount of energy used whilst getting your clothes just as clean. You should also ensure your washing machine is full so you’re not doing more washes than necessary. A great way to save is drying clothes without a tumble dryer too.
Turn Off Appliances When Not in Use (Annual Saving: £55)
Appliances such as games consoles, televisions, microwaves, stereos and computers all use small amounts of electricity whilst not in use. Since they are often left on indefinitely, these small amounts start to add up over a long period. Turning off appliances at the wall instead of leaving them on standby takes seconds and will save a typical household around £55 per year.
Get to Know Your Heating (Annual Saving: £90)
Heating is typically the biggest cost in the home so understanding how to use your heating controls is essential to avoiding unnecessary cost.
One of the most common mistakes is turning up the thermostat in the hope that the house will heat up faster. The thermostat doesn’t control the speed at which your house heats up, it simply controls the final temperature. Setting the temperature too high therefore doesn’t warm the house up quicker but just means the final temperature will be higher. The amount of energy required to increase the heat by an extra 2-3 degrees over the temperature you normally enjoy could be huge and significantly increase cost.
Another common mistakes is turning the thermostat up when it’s cold outside. Your thermostat is designed to maintain a constant temperature in the home so it’s not necessary to turn it up further – if its cold outside your thermostat is already making your boiler work harder to compensate. In fact people often turn the heating up to a temperature that’s impossible to achieve which means your heating simply won’t turn off and just continues to burn fuel without making any difference to the temperature inside your home. Its bit like leaving the tap on when the bath is full and watching the water overflow, only in this case heat just keeps overflowing from your house.
Finally it’s worth remembering that our heating demands often change at the weekends when we’re not at work. A good thermostat will allow you to programme different settings for different days and times depending on your needs. Try turning your thermostat down by just 1 degree and you could start saving around £90 per year.
Cut Time in the Shower (Annual Saving: £85)
A typical power shower uses around 200 times more electricity than a regular light bulb and around 5 times more electricity than a hair-dryer. If your shower is rated at 10 kilowatts (10kW) and you pay 14 pence per unit of electricity then it costs £1.40 for each hour it’s in use. That might not sound like much but it’s around £42 per month just on showering. For a typical family of four you could be spending even more. Cutting 10 minutes per day from the total time your shower is in use will save around £85 per year.
Remember, don’t underestimate the impact of making small changes. It only takes moments and you could end up saving around £600-£700 per year, leaving you with much more to spend on the things that really matter.
Do you shop around and switch energy suppliers much? My husband switched us just yesterday and the savings are great. Loyalty gets you nowhere when it comes to energy suppliers.