As we all know, renewable energy is the future. Indeed, as the UN so starkly warned last year, unless the world switches to green energy almost completely within the next decade, there may not BE a future for millions of people.
As such, governments all over the world are now moving fast (well, faster than before) to implement green energy strategies. However, when it comes to being energy efficient at home, many people are still on the back foot.
Most of us now understand the importance of ensuring lights are switched off when not in use, unplugging dormant appliances and not holding the fridge door open while you have a chat (ahem… guilty).
Increasingly, many of us are also switching to renewable energy suppliers like Good Energy, Ecotricity and Bulb – one of the leading providers in the space and one of the UK’s fastest growing companies.
Check out our ‘Good Top 5’ guide to green energy providers here.
However, few of us really go the whole hog and make our homes energy efficient, often fearing the initial outlay. According to new research from price comparison site MoneySuperMarket, though, this could be a big mistake.
Money saving energy hacks
The comparison giant has crunched the numbers and apparently, efficiency measures including energy saving lightbulbs and reduced-water shower heads offer an average of £6.92 in savings each month. With initial costs averaging at £762.59, it would take nine years and two months to pay for themselves. This, says Money Supermarket trumps the savings made using renewable energy providers.
Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket, comments: “Energy bills are one of the most significant regular payments made by any household, regardless of your living situation. If you’re looking to make some savings, you don’t have to make big changes to your home – simply switching to energy saving lightbulbs can be a good starting point.
“As a first step, it’s always worth reviewing your energy provider to see if you can save money without spending anything. Taking the time to search for a more competitive tariff can save you £250 a year or more.”
Below are some energy saving tricks that could start saving you money, as well as the planet, today:
- Energy saving light-bulbs – Fitting your home with energy saving bulbs would cost around £51.80 and could result in savings of up to £27.13 a month, which means they’ll have paid for themselves after two months.
- Lagging jackets – An investment of £15 to insulate your hot water tank could save around £1.67 each month on heating – meaning costs will be covered after nine months.
- Solar ovens – Solar ovens use just the light of the sun to cook food, meaning no energy is required and could save you £9.30 a month. They are a little more expensive at £188.64 on average, and will take a year and eight months to cover their own costs.
- Water saving shower head – Costing around £15.99, you could save 52 pence each month and this investment will be paid after two and a half years.
- Cavity Insulation – You could save over £10 per month on energy bills if you insulate your home correctly. With an installation fee of £466, you’ll begin to see a return on investment after three years and seven months.
Go the extra money-making energy mile
As well as implementing these handy hacks, the sustainably minded may also want to consider investing in renewable energy. Options range from massive £1 billion investment trusts giving money to wind and solar farms all over the world, to small scale community projects in your local area.
You can invest for as little as £5 with Good Egg Company Abundance Investment, or £25 per month via a regular savings scheme with trusts like Foresight Solar and Greencoat Wind. Returns range from 6 per cent to 16 per cent a year, and sometimes more.
(Risk warning: investments go down as well as up and you may not get all of your money back – especially if you pull it all out in a panic a month after you invest. Think long term for good returns).
To find out more, check out our series ‘How to Invest in Renewable Energy’.