With the cost of living soaring, you are no doubt thinking about ways to cut down on spending. Gas and electricity are a real worry for many families, even though we are now entering the summer months, because prices have gone up so much.
Since April 1, the price cap on energy bills for households has increased by 54 per cent and providers can charge up to £1,971. You might have noticed that your direct debits have increased over the past couple of months.
Luckily, the minimum wage has also increased – for workers aged 23 and over it has gone up by 59p an hour. For those aged 21 to 22, the minimum is increased by 9.8 per cent, from £8.36 to £9.18. It’s not a significant increase though, and energy bills will still be a major concern.
In order to help with your costs, the Energy Saving Trust has shared its tips to reduce the overall cost which can save you at least £100. Before we get on with the list, it’s important to note many appliances like washing machines and dishwashers also have ‘eco’ or low energy modes, so opt for these if you can to save more energy.
1. Turn off your lights
This one is pretty self-explanatory. You can save around £20 a year by switching off your lights when you leave a room or when you don’t need them on. Another way of guaranteeing you save more is switching your bulbs to energy-efficient LEDs.
2. Dry your clothes the natural way
The tumble dryer is great when you need a clothing item to dry quickly but it’s more beneficial to your bank account when you let clothes dry on racks in a well-ventilated area or even outside in warmer conditions. You can save £60 a year if you ditch the tumble dryer.
3. Turn down your thermostat
Most of us rely on boilers for hot water and heating. In order to reduce your heating bill you need to understand what type of boiler you have. If yours comes with a thermostat you can see a significant difference even by turning it down by one degree, you will save £105 a year.
4. Fit radiator reflector panels
Consider fitting reflector panels behind your radiators on any uninsulated external walls in your property. They reflect heat from the radiator back into the room and could save you around £25 a year on bills.
5. Only use the dishwasher when full
Having a dishwasher is handy but in most cases, we don’t produce enough dirty dishes to put the dishwasher on every day. It’s a good habit to make sure the dishwasher is full before you use it, it as this can save you around £14 a year.
6. Wash your clothes at 30C
A similar rule applies to washing your clothes. If you wash your clothes at 30C instead of higher temperatures and reduce your weekly use you can save around £28 a year.
7. Switch off your appliances
We all have a bad habit of leaving our appliances on overnight or when we leave the house. You can save around £55 a year if you turn your appliances off standby mode. If you’re quite forgetful, invest in a smart plug or standby saver which does the job for you.
8. Avoid overfilling the kettle
The kettle is one of the most used devices in any UK household. Many of us use more water than we need at times, but if you avoid overfilling the kettle you can save yourself £11 a year.
9. Block out draughts
Blocking out draughts can help keep heat in the house during winter. You can block any cold air from getting in with a draught excluder – and you needn’t spent money as they can be made with used plastic bags or bits of spare material. Heavy curtains can also stop hot air escaping or cold air getting in through cracks.