Here are ten simple things you can do to reign in those energy bills this winter.
It may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many people forget to turn off the light as they leave a room. A hundred watt light bulb switched on for two hours every day costs around £12.80 a year to run. A twenty watt light bulb switched on for two hours every day costs around £2.60 a year to run. It may not seem like much, but it all adds up and every penny counts!
How often have you left the room for a couple of hours leaving the TV, laptop or your Sky box on? A television left on for two hours a day can cost between £4 and £24 a year to run depending on the age and size. A computer left on for two hours a day can cost around £8 a year to run.
Do you switch things off at the wall or just leave them on standby? Most appliances don’t need to be left on standby. The difference can be huge. A computer left on standby can cost between £4 & £12 a year. Ten items left on standby each taking 2 watts cost around £16 a year. Switch off cookers and microwaves wherever possible (resetting the clock is a small price to pay). Switching off at the wall is best as switching the unit off often leaves the appliance still using power. This also helps reduce the risk of a fire in your home.
It’ gets darker earlier in the winter, but try to make the most of the sunlight while you can. Make sure curtains and blinds are fully open instead of switching on a light. Clean windows regularly both inside and out to make the most of the sun’s light.
Modern detergents work fine at this temperature and the saving in energy is well worth it. You use around 40% less energy washing at 30C and if you reduce your weekly washing routine by one cycle, you could end up saving around £18 a year.
Apart from things related to security, switch off everything you can at the wall such as immersion heaters, central heating (if the weather is not too cold), cookers, microwaves, TVs, satellite deceivers, internet routers, etc. You don’t want to waste energy while you’re away and it also significantly reduces the risk of fire in your home.
If you own one, use a timer switch to regulate your charging time. Mobiles normally take only 2 to 3 hours to fully charge. If you have cheap rate electricity at night run the charger(s) overnight. Remember to try and use the correct charging cables for your devices and don’t use frayed or worn down cables.
You’re not exactly against the clock on this one; you won’t lose lots of money spending thirty seconds gathering ingredients for that evening’s meal. However, if you’re stocking your fridge or making a brew, remember to close the door. Your fridge will have to work very hard to get the temperature back down if it gets warm.
You’ll boil your kettle on average four times a day. If you really love your tea (like we do at Newydd), you may be boiling it even more often than that. A full kettle will take around two and a half minutes to boil; or ten minutes every day. Over a course of the year, you’d be spending £58.60 on boiling your kettle alone. Filling your kettle just enough for your needs could save you around £45 a year.
Resist the urge to open the oven door; doing so means you lose around 25C of heat each time. Use your timer, the oven light and your nose to check if it’s done. Remember, the top rack of the oven is hottest while the bottom is coolest. If your oven has a fan, be sure to use it as it could save you 20% of your oven-related energy costs. Keeping your oven clean will also help your oven run more efficiently, directing the heat at your food and not being absorbed by the burnt on stuff at the back of the oven. If you have a dual oven, use the smallest one when possible.
For more ways to save, or if you’d like some help with your finances, head over to our Money Guidance page on our website. If you’d like to know more about financial inclusion, check out this blog post. Can financial inclusion help me?