Households are facing soaring costs as the energy price cap increases once more this year. The average price of electricity per unit has almost doubled, going up from 28p per kWh to 52p per kWh, further bringing up living costs for UK citizens. As much as we can’t escape the rising costs of gas and electricity, we can do our best to incorporate methods that will help us keep the bills down.
You may be surprised to find out how much of our electricity and heating gets ‘wasted’ - meaning it is not used intentionally, bringing up the cost of our monthly bills due to inattentiveness. For example, it is estimated that up to 16% of electricity consumed in homes is used to power appliances when they are in standby mode. Switching off any standby devices at the plug alone can therefore help you save a substantial amount annually.
Conscious use of electricity and heating, as well as implementing some minor changes in your day-to-day life, can really pay off long-term when it comes to saving money. Plus, once you develop these habits, they’ll last a lifetime!
We have outlined some of the top-rated tips that will help you make your home more efficient and therefore keep your bills under control below:
Get more heat out of your radiators
A lot of the heat coming off your radiators is lost, either by escaping through poor insulation or getting trapped behind textiles and furniture. One easy method to maximise the flow of heat is to simply install radiator foils behind your radiators.
Radiator foils are thick flexible sheets laminated with aluminum foil that prevent the loss of heat through the wall as well as help improve the efficiency of your radiators by reflecting more heat towards the room. Moving around any furniture that may be blocking heat flow can also significantly improve the rate at which it is distributed throughout your house and reduce heating time.
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Draw your curtains
According to researchers from the University of Salford, drawing your curtains at night can reduce heat loss anywhere between 15% - 17%. Using thick insulating curtains can also help you see considerable savings over time, as they reduce the amount of heat loss and trap cold air that may be coming from your windows underneath the curtains.
Blinds can also be effective, however not as good as well made insulated curtains. What differentiates proper insulating curtains from regular curtains, is that they are made with a layer of acrylic foam between the two fabric layers preventing air flow through the fabric. Therefore if you are looking to make an investment, make sure to get the real stuff, as they are likely to last a lifetime, and help you save over time.
Draught proof your house
About 32% of all heat leaves through excessive ventilation or, simply put, poor draught proofing across a property. The good news is that draught-proofing your house can be done simply and on a budget. Your main areas of concern should be external doors, windows, and letterboxes.
Go around your house and conduct a short energy efficiency survey - check all nooks and crooks where cold air could be getting in. Doing this on a particularly cold and windy day, especially while you’ve already had your heating on for a while, will help you find the exact spots where cold air may be getting in through the outside.
You can use tape, silicone, or other draught-proofing tools easily available online to plug up any gaps and spaces where cold air may be squeezing through. Alternatively, a more costly but permanent solution could be to replace your windows and doors with ones that provide better insulation.
Install cavity wall insulation
Cavity wall insulation is a perfect solution for those who may want to add extra insulation to their home quickly and cheaply. It is reasonably easy to do, and an experienced team can usually complete the process in around two hours. Costing around £500 for a detached single-story house, it can provide significant savings by retaining heat over the years and bringing down the price of your heating bills.
Get your loft insulated
A quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home. Insulating your loft, attic, or roof is an effective way to reduce heat loss and bring down your heating bills. You can insulate your loft yourself or hire an external company that will do it for you. Insulating your loft will be slightly more time-consuming than cavity wall insulation, however, if you combine both, you will be guaranteed lasting savings on your heating bills in the future.
Choose LED lightbulbs
Love ambient lighting? Switch over to LEDs. You can easily purchase LED bulbs or LED lights which use almost 90% less energy than halogen bulbs. Alternatively, if you’re not a fan of bright lighting, opt for some atmospheric LED string lights, which will help you save on energy whilst adding a warm and cosy glow to your interior.