As we lap up those last few days of sunshine and warmth, one thing is for certain: winter is coming. And with it, a good few cold snaps and blustery weather fronts, which will give us the perfect excuse to turn on our heaters and light our fires on those cosy evenings indoors.
Of course, even with a couple of welcome energy price caps on the horizon, your bills are likely to rise. Reducing the cost of your heating and electric is probably top of your list at this time of year, so here are a few energy-saving tips to help you keep on top of the numbers.
Making your home more energy efficient not only saves money on bills, but it can also improve your property value by around 14% too. From small-scale measures like adding lagging to pipes and draft excluders to doors, right through to major works like cavity wall insulation, there are plenty of options available. Use resources like the Energy Saving Trustto decide which will work best for you.
Heating accounts for 60% of energy bills, so an old, inefficient boiler can really hit you in the wallet. Bleed radiators to remove air bubbles and make sure your boiler is running smoothly with regular servicing. If it’s still not up to scratch, consider replacing it with a more efficient model for long-term savings. The same principle applies elsewhere in your home too. You can save up to £180 by replacing old halogen lightbulbs with new LED models.
Choosing the right energy provider can be a minefield – and then there’s the tariff to consider too. But put in the legwork and it’ll pay dividends in the long run. Experts say households could save between £200 and £300 per year by making the switch from standard tariffs to fixed-rate deals.
Fine-tuning your lighting and heating systems can make surprising savings. Just turning your thermostat down by 1ºC cuts heating bills by an average of £85 per year. Lighting accounts for 19% of the average home’s electricity bill, so flicking the switch to off when you leave a room can make a big difference too.
New smart technology is making it easier than ever to put these ideas into practice. Now you can find systems that let you control lighting and heating from your smartphone wherever you are, allowing you to adjust yours according to the time of day and local weather. Smart meters can even help you monitor your usage and pinpoint your biggest drains; they're available from most energy suppliers.