How can small changes lead to big savings? Below are some top tips to help you save money and be more environmentally friendly at home, from solar lighting specialists, The Solar Centre.
Energy is one of your biggest bills – and one of the biggest wastes of money you will ever make. It’s hard to think about heating and insulation in summer, when the sun is blazing. But a bit of forward planning now could mean a cheaper and toastier winter, when it comes.
- Check your boiler and thermostat
You could save as much as £240 a year by installing a more efficient boiler. While the initial cost of a new boiler may seem daunting, it’ll work out as more cost efficient over the years.
While you don’t need to change your boiler unless it’s necessary, it’ll almost certainly be more efficient if you replace it.
In addition, installing a programmable thermostat will ensure the heating is controlled automatically when you may not need it (e.g. when you’re out or asleep). Having set times will reduce your heating bills significantly.
Heating water in your home uses a considerable amount of energy, around 17 percent of a home’s energy usage. In addition, the water is often kept at a higher temperature than is actually needed, so drop the temperature slightly to save those extra pounds. Installing a water heater blanket and insulating any exposed hot water pipes will help you to save too.
2. Block your chimney
You spend time and money double glazing and insulating your home. However, what many people do not think of is blocking their chimneys. A high-quality block could save you over £200 a year.
3. Fix dripping taps
Dripping taps typically waste 5,500 litres of water a year. There are essentially two types of tap: traditional taps and monobloc lever taps that control flow and temperature with a single handle. Traditional taps drip because an internal rubber seal, or washer, has perished and needs replacing. Monobloc level taps have ceramic cartridges that occasionally need to be replaced.
Save this water by tightening all taps with a spanner, or ask a plumber to do it if you’re unsure.
4. Regularly read your meter
Estimated bills should be avoided whenever possible as you may well be paying too much for your bills. Check your meter readings every three months and report these back to your supplier.
If your provider becomes a bit difficult when you ask for money back, remind them that credits must be refunded.
5. Invest in solar
While there’s a huge initial cost to install solar panels, you can save about £800 a year once installation has been completed.
One way to reduce bills is to switch to solar lighting for your outdoor lights. This is a cost-effective way of introducing solar, saving you money and being environmentally friendly.
6. Take advantage of free insulation deals
The government have set strict efficiency targets for energy suppliers, so ensure you check what could be freely available to you. For example: British Gas offers free insulation worth up to £1,000 per household.
7. Turn off appliances and lights when not in use
You can save approximately £30 a year by turning all appliances off standby mode when they’re not in use. Make sure you unplug them too, as they can still use energy when switched off but are plugged in.
Every time you leave the house double check that you’ve not only switched off appliances but also unplugged them. Turning off lights when you leave the house, or are not using a room will also save you a lot of money throughout the year, particularly in the winter months.
8. Wash laundry in cold water
Almost 90 percent of the energy used by your washing machine is to heat the water. Use cold water on a shorter cycle for any clothes that don’t need particular attention to reduce your energy consumption.
Even if you don’t want to wash laundry in cold water, you’d still save a lot of money turning your machine down to 30 degrees.
9. Save money on your food shopping
Are you a slave to brands? Does it have to be Heinz or Hovis? Well, you could be spending thousands of extra pounds a year, which could be better spent elsewhere. Using tools such as MySupermarket can help you compare deals and prices at 15 top supermarkets to ensure you are getting the best value, and the best deals.
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