As energy prices continue to skyrocket, many of us are becoming more focused than ever before on reducing our energy usage as much as possible so that we can save some cash. There are countless suggestions for how you can save a bit of money on your energy bills, and generally, reducing the amount of energy you use tends to be the most optimal way to bring costs down. To help you figure out what you can do to cut your own energy bills down a bit, we've put together several tips that you can use today. Of course, these savings will vary from household to household, and there are no guarantees that you'll save money, but many of these are worth trying.
Analyse Your Energy Usage
Your first step here is to figure out how much energy you use daily. Certain days are likely going to be more energy-intensive than others, for example, if you work from home on certain days or on the weekends when you stay at home. But you'll generally see a pattern start to form when using a smart meter, and a device like this will also show you which devices and appliances you own use the most energy. More often than not, the highest energy consumer in a household is the fridge-freezer, as it's constantly turned on. Next, you'll have entertainment devices like gaming consoles, televisions, and high-power items like the kettle and coffee machine that heat water fast.
Identify Problem Areas
Once you've analysed your usage, it's time to isolate those problem areas. You must remember that you cannot completely cut out your energy usage unless you decide to go and live off the grid. You'll also find that there is a base standing charge by simply connecting to your electrical supply. You'll notice this when you go on holiday and vigilantly turn every electrical device off in your house that you can. Certain problem areas will be quite noticeable, and once you've spotted them, it's time to figure out some ways to bring those costs down as much as possible.
This first suggestion holds a caveat: you shouldn't be buying brand-new appliances purely to get an appliance with a better energy rating. While these more energy-efficient products will save you money in the long run and reduce your energy usage slightly, the amount of money you'd be spending on these new appliances will end up putting you out of pocket even with the money they'll have to help you to save. New appliances should only be purchased when necessary, but once you do, strive to pick one with a great energy rating so that the device's energy usage is much lower than the one you're replacing.
Much of the energy usage in your home will come from bad habits that you may have developed over the years. Simple things like leaving the lights on all day when they're not needed or filling the kettle to the max level for one cup of tea or coffee may not seem like a big issue, but when these things become a habit and happen every day, it definitely adds up. You could save a significant amount of money by trying to switch up these bad habits where possible. When boiling the kettle, for example, measure out the amount of water you need by filling your cup a little bit higher than usual to account for evaporation, and empty that into your kettle instead of filling the appliance directly from the tap.
Implement New Tech
There are some pieces of technology that you can use to help reduce your energy usage significantly, like the aforementioned smart meter. One piece of tech will actually help you to generate your own electricity, too. Having solar panels fitted to your property will help with freely powering your home, reducing your overall dependency on power from energy companies. In fact, if you generate enough power and end up with excess energy, as part of the UK government's Smart Export Guarantee initiative, you can sell that excess energy to the grid. So not only would you be entirely removing your need for energy from energy companies, but you'd be turning a profit, too, essentially turning your home into a small power plant. Solar power is a great option for those that can afford the initial costs. It can be a very good investment, helping you to save money on your energy for as long as you live at the property, and it will also significantly boost the value of your property, too.
Use Smart Devices
Certain smart technologies can help you save a decent amount of money over time. A smart thermostat, for example, can be controlled remotely and will allow you to turn your heating off if you forget to do so when you leave, for example. You'll also be able to set a proper schedule for your heating, which is much more cost-effective than leaving it on or having it on a basic timer system. Smart lights are another great option, too, as they naturally use less energy than normal light bulbs and also benefit from that same remote connectivity, allowing you to turn them on and off while away from home. You can also change the brightness of the bulbs, too, which naturally results in less energy usage due to the lower AC voltage.
Reduce Your Appliance Usage
Most of our large appliances are extremely handy and can improve the efficiency of our everyday life significantly. Sadly, many of them have a huge energy trade-off for this convenience, which means we have to choose between saving money and saving time. Take your tumble dryer, for example. This appliance uses a lot of energy to dry your clothes and bedding quickly, but there are other options. First, you could hang your washing outside on a washing line, allowing it to dry in the fresh air. You could also buy an electric airer, which will speed up the process of drying significantly more than a standard airer and will also use a lot less energy than an energy-hungry tumble dryer. Save your tumble dryer for when you really can't wait for specific things to dry.
Reduce Dependence On Central Heating
Heating a home is one of the more expensive uses of energy, and reducing your reliance on your central heating will naturally result in much lower energy bills, especially during the colder winter months. There are a few steps you can take to do this. First of all, you have to identify any critical areas around your property which let heat out. One of the most common problems is heat escaping via gaps in windows and doors, and this can be remedied by repairing or replacing them. This can be costly, but it will significantly reduce the amount of money you have to spend on heating your home. Similarly, improving the insulation in other areas of your home, such as the attic and walls, will also reduce the amount of heat that escapes through surfaces. You should also consider using simpler heating methods such as electric blankets, which are much more energy efficient than leaving your heating on overnight.