Managing the family budget got seriously harder this year. The cost of petrol has gone up dramatically, as has the price of food and clothing. Probably the most worrying rise in the cost of living has come from our energy bills.
While we must still heat our home and use our appliances, the whole family will have to chip in to use energy more wisely. We cannot help but be reliant on the energy supply to our home, but we can do more to save as much money as possible. Here we offer some hints and tips for you and your family.
The Great Switch Off!
The odd light left on in a room when no one is home seems trivial. Equally, the standby light on the television and computer monitor can’t cost you that much, right? Well, the truth is that the amount of energy wasted in these ways is significant when added together.
On top of the standard items that are often left on, those appliances continue to suck energy even when not in use. Your toaster, for instance, uses almost as much energy while not toasting as it does when you are making breakfast. As they are known in the sector, these energy vampires are said to make up about 20% of your electricity bill.
Consequently, making it a family mission to flick the switch at the wall as often as possible will make a huge difference to bills. Everyone can play their part in making sure no electricity is wasted.
Timing is everything
Finding ways of using gas and electricity wisely often comes with timing. For instance, we often charge our phones overnight when the phone only needs to be plugged in for about an hour to be fully charged. Therefore, for the rest of the night, the phone is drawing energy that is being wasted. Timing your charging to the last hour before sleep or first thing in the morning can save money.
Equally, the television and streaming service devices are often left on because you are recording programmes when you are not home. A good alternative to leaving these items on standby is a smart socket. You can use the smart socket to time when the electricity comes on to correspond with the recording window for your favourite show. These sockets can also be controlled from your smartphone.
Equally, a smart thermostat can help you time the heating coming on to your coming home, and it can also help you control the temperature in the different parts of your home. Rather than having super-hot bedrooms because you have been heating the living areas, you can keep the heat down to a reasonable level and save money.
Make lots of small changes
The revolution in your energy use doesn’t have to be huge. Your kids don’t need to learn to love three jumpers, and you can still use the dishwasher. The tip to energy-saving is lots and lots of small changes. For instance, moving from standard bulbs to LED lights can make some difference to your energy use. Each year, you will save a tenner on each LED bulb, which can soon add up when you consider the number of bulbs in your home.
Turning the thermostat down a single degree is another small move to make. For every degree we lose on the thermostat, we save £80 a year. Again, this is not a complete solution, but it will add to the mix of other strategies to save money on energy.
You could also look at switching your energy deal entirely. You can find cheaper deals using a comparison tool and could make the change within five minutes, too.
Service and maintain
Efficiency is at the heart of money-saving with energy. If your appliances are broken or ill-maintained, they will be drawing more energy to do the normal amount of work. Your central heating is the best example of this. An unserviced boiler will be drawing more energy to heat your home than needed due to potential leaks and blocked filters. Your radiators fill with air, and if this is not released will take more energy to heat your room.
Equally, most of our heating is lost through the roof or through our windows, so leaving drafts to do their thing will be costing you money.
Within our control
While the energy cost feels out of our control, the amount we use isn’t. With lots of small lifestyle changes, we can save money and be more sustainable. Getting everyone in the house involved in this money and world-saving scheme can keep your bills down and teach your kids how to do it in the future.
Saving money on energy is a feature post