Winter is fast approaching and as we start switching on the heating, we see our energy bills rising rapidly. By taking a few steps to cut down on your energy usage, you can enjoy lower bills every month. Here are some of our suggestions.
Lighting is one of our main sources of energy so it makes sense to start here when we’re trying to cut down. We’re not suggesting that you live in darkness but there are many ways to be smart about your lighting which you may not have thought of. Energy efficient light bulbs may cost you a little more to begin with but they save you a lot of money in the long run. They use up to 80 per cent less electricity, saving you money on your energy bills. They give out the same amount of light and last around ten times longer. Get into the habit of turning lights off when you leave a room – but not at the expense of your safety. Keep stairs and other areas well lit to reduce the risk of falling.
Nowadays, we use gadgets and gismos for everything we do. With all of these new electrical appliances we buy to make our lives easier, we forget how much energy they use and how this can increase our monthly bills. Make sure appliances such as your TV are switched off when you’re not using them (instead of just on standby).When you’re buying new appliances, have a look at the energy rating. Buying energy efficient appliances cost less to run and you can make the extra money spent on them back in no time.
3. In the Kitchen
The kettle and oven are two of most energy consuming items in your home. None of us want to sacrifice our cups of tea, but there are a few simple changes you can make that will have a big impact. Only boil the amount of water needed as boiling large amounts of water uses a lot of energy which is going to waste. Use the right sized pans when cooking to avoid wasting fuel heating empty space. If you are cooking for one, make extra and freeze portions so you are not cooking every day.
Many of us think that we have to wash our clothes on a high heat in order for them to be clean. However, switching even 10 degrees lower can give you the same results while saving your pennies on your energy bill. This time of year, it’s hard to save energy on laundry when you can’t hang clothes out on the line. Use lines when you can and use drying racks in your home. If you need to use the tumble dryer after they have been on the rack, it will be for a much shorter period than if you put your clothes in straight from the washing machine. Many people are now having water meters installed also so you are not over paying for what you use.
5. New Energy Supplier
You may be able to save money by switching to a different energy supplier. Many people stay with their energy supplier for years out of convenience, but you’d be surprised how much you can save by just taking the time to compare deals. You may even be able to get a better deal with your current supplier if you call them and let them know you’re looking for a better option. Switching suppliers is a simple procedure and does not require any changes in wiring or fittings. You simply receive you bill from a different provider.
6. Claiming all Benefits
As an older person, you are entitled to a number of benefits. Many people leave these unclaimed so make sure you take the time to check if you are receiving all that you should be. Some are means tested but others such as the Winter Fuel Payment are available to everyone. Read our previous article for advice on benefits.
7. Priority Services Register
All energy suppliers are required to have a Priority Services Register for those of pensionable age. Being on the register qualifies you for a range of free services and support, which may include:
Advance notice of disruption to electricity supplies
Password schemes for doorstep security
More frequent meter readings
Free gas safety check
These are just a few tips which can make a big difference. It’s better to make the change sooner rather than later so you can reap the benefits straight away. For more extensive information on how to cut down on energy costs, download the energy saving guide from AgeUK. If you enjoyed this article, you find our previous post on how to keep warm in winter helpful as well.