With the steep increase in energy prices, you might want to know where you might be able to make savings.
We are all worrying about the energy crisis hitting our budgets hard. The average household will see a rise of about 7 per cent in its cost of living this year. With soaring gas prices and a higher cost of living in general, many of us have become increasingly worried about our energy bills.
Let us show you how energy is used in a typical household, which appliances use the most energy, and how much they could be costing you.
Where does your energy consumption go?
Surprisingly keeping the lights on, and cooking are not the biggest drain on your energy bills. Heating is by far the greatest use of energy for households. In 2020, heating of rooms and water represented 77.9 per cent of the final energy consumed by households. So, it’s definitely worth thinking about ways to better insulate your home to minimise heat loss or turning down the thermostat.
Even turning down the heating by 1 degree Celsius can result in energy and cost savings (about £128 a year) and small steps to insulate your home, such as draught-proofing gaps, could potentially save you £45 in a year. Homes can also lose some heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor, or through the chimney, so it’s worth trying to plug those gaps.
Effective insulation of your hot water cylinder is also important: even if you have thin spray foam or a loose 25mm jacket, you can benefit from increasing the insulation to a British Standard Jacket 80mm thick, saving £35 a year in the process. Insulating your water tank, pipes and radiators is also a quick and easy way to save money on your bills.
Installing a smart thermostat can make your heating more efficient by only warming the rooms that you are using. They learn how long it takes to heat your home, so they can have it at the right temperature at exactly the right time. They can also be controlled by your phone, which means you won’t have to come back to a cold home. If you installed room thermostats, programmers and thermostatic radiator valves, you could save around £75 a year.
You can save energy by upgrading your old boiler to a new A-rated condensing boiler with a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator controls. Based on fuel prices in March 2019, a detached house upgrading from a G-rated boiler could save around £300 a year.
It might also be useful to know which of your household devices use the most energy. Top of the list are washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers, which account for 14 per cent of a typical energy bill.
However, you can save money by using your washing machine on a 30-degree cycle instead of at higher temperatures, and reducing your washing machine use by one run per week for a year.
Avoid using tumble dryer for your clothes if possible. You can save £60 a year by drying your clothes on racks inside or outside in warmer weather.
Kitchen appliances, shower time
Fridges and freezers account for around 13 per cent of the average household’s energy bill according to the Energy Saving Trust. As these appliances stay on all the time and are among the longest lasting appliances in the home, there’s a big benefit to investing in energy efficient versions.
Meanwhile around 4 per cent of your energy bill is spent on powering kitchen appliances, including the hob, oven, kettle and microwave. The Energy Saving Trust recommends considering using a microwave, which can be more efficient than ovens at cooking, as they only heat the food and not the air space inside.
Save yourself £11 a year by avoiding overfilling the kettle
Did you know that kettles are one of the most used appliances in the kitchen? Many of us will admit that we often boil the kettle with more water than we’re going to use. You could save yourself £11 a year on your electricity bill by avoiding overfilling the kettle. You could also consider fitting an aerator onto your existing kitchen tap to reduce the amount of water coming out without affecting how it washes or rinses. An aerator is a small gadget with tiny holes – they attach to the spout of taps and are cheap and easy to install – and could save you £25 a year.
Another way to save money (and you may be surprised to hear) is that Cleaning your dishes in a dishwasher may be more energy efficient than washing them by hand. Make sure however, that you only run your dishwasher when it is full to reduce the amount of water you use. Reducing your dishwasher use by one run per week for a year could save you £14.
Turning to the bathroom, keeping your shower time to just 4 minutes could also save you £70 a year on your energy bills, according to Energy Saving Trust calculations.
Many of us enjoy a long soak in the bath, but did you know you can save a lot of money by switching to showers instead? Swapping just one bath a week with a 4-minute shower could save you £12 a year on your energy bills. Simple water use changes can save you money and reduce the amount of water you waste.
Don’t lose money to standby electronics
Another small step towards controlling your power use is to tackle “vampire electronics” – appliances left on standby that suck up energy even as they’re not in use. The Energy Savings Trust estimates that British households can save around £55 a year by remembering to turn appliances off, instead of using standby mode.
The organisation provides a few tips to tackle this: switch off devices at the mains rather than switching to standby when they’re not in use, and when you buy a new product, try and select one that is listed as having low standby power usage.