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20 quick and clever ways to save on energy at home in 2022. Keep your energy bills lower and avoid your budget being hit too hard by this year’s energy price hike with these practical and realistic tips.
A lot of people in the UK right now are feeling the pinch of the cost of living crisis – particularly the way energy bills have simply sky-rocketed since April. The truth is, many people simply cannot afford to continue living the same way they used to – we’re outpriced.
Saving money and living frugally is, for many, a necessity. It’s not about scrimping a few pennies anymore – it’s about being able to afford hot water and electricity and food to put on your table.
This list has several real, helpful ways you can reduce your energy bill starting right now, and see a difference in your budget next month.
You might also be interested in this article on 8 Ways To Be Eco-Friendly And Save Money In 2022.
1. Consider installing a smart meter
A smart meter will enable you to monitor exactly how much energy you are using each day. Rather than simply estimating your energy usage, you’ll know how much you use and be able to easier identify the habits that are hiking up your bills each day.
Almost all energy providers are offering to install smart meters for their customers in the UK – you’ve probably already had an email or two about it in your inbox.
2. Have your boiler serviced to ensure it’s running efficiently as possible
If your boiler hasn’t been serviced in a while, you might be using more energy than necessary to get hot water through your taps. A boiler service will take around 30 minutes, but can be so helpful in reducing your bills in the long-run.
3. Turn off radiators in any unused rooms
This may sound like an obvious point, but heating up rooms you’re not actually in is a huge waste of energy! If you have spare rooms, an office, etc in your home that is rarely used when the heating comes on, make sure the radiators in those rooms are turned off so you’re only using energy to heat the rooms that really need that extra warmth.
You could even use a space heater to just heat individual rooms. We analyzed the cheapest type of heater to run based on hourly, nightly, and monthly usage for 2022 and 2023.
4. Wash your clothes at lower temperatures
Washing your clothes at 30 degrees instead of higher temperatures could save you 40% of the energy used each year. A great habit to adopt now is to start washing clothes that just need a general wash at 30 degrees, and give other items that need real stain removal (ideally, this would be needed much less frequently!) a wash at a higher temperature to make sure the wash is still effective.
5. Use your washing machine more efficiently
On the same theme, how efficient are your laundry habits currently? Cut down on your water usage by maximising the loads you put on every time – this can be harder said than done if you live alone, of course, but loading your washing machine fully each time can save you a lot of water.
In addition, hang drying your clothes and other items is the most energy efficient. In the summer, you could hang your clothes outside on a line – but a clothes airer works well inside for the winter or for those without access to a garden.
5. Turn the tap off
If you’re not yet in the habit of turning the tap off when brushing your teeth, this is definitely something to start. Those little habits really do add up over time.
In addition, it may be worth getting a washing-up bowl if you don’t have one already – filling a tub for all your washing will use up a lot less hot water than simply letting the warm water run!
6. Re-adjust the times your heating/water comes on
Could you adjust your heating to come on an hour later in the evening and morning, or turn off an hour earlier? If you’re worried you’re currently using too much energy, this could be a small but effective change to make to your home.
7. Keep doors shut
Keep draughts out and keep energy in by closing doors in your home – especially porch doors and the doors to rooms that can get a little cold. This way, you’ll keep the heat in your home for longer and won’t have to stick the heating on so often.
9. Cut down on your use of tumble dryers/ dish washers etc
If you have a tumbler dryer and/or dishwasher, you should know that these can be a huge energy drain – especially if you’re not really maximising their use. In the summer, opt for hang drying your clothes instead. If you just have a few dishes to wash, it may be more economical to hand wash them instead of running a whole dishwasher cycle.
10. Keep the thermostat at a consistent temperature
Try to set your heating at one temperature and leave it there! Constantly turning the temperature up and down can lead to excess energy being used in your home, so a better option is to keep it at one consistent level. Consider installing a smart thermostat to make this much easier to achieve – the smart thermostat will monitor your home’s preferences and adjust accordingly.
11. Layer up when needed
An extra layer really can make all the difference. If you’re trying hard to reduce your energy bill at the moment, next time you go to switch on the heating ask yourself, would an extra layer work just as well?
12. Use electricity during off-duty hours
The off-peak hours for energy usage in the UK are between 11 pm – 7 am. Some energy providers allow customers to have a tariff-based contract which means if you use energy in these off-peak hours, you’ll pay less for it than you would if using energy in peak hours. Putting a load of laundry on at 11 pm might not sound like the most organized way to live, but it could make a difference to your bills.
13. Buy draught excluders for your doors
Draught excluders can be great at preventing heat from escaping from your home, especially if you live in an older building where there’s a bit of a gap between the doors and the floor.
14. Use energy elsewhere
Have a gym membership? Why not take advantage of the showers and hairdryer there. Work in an office? Cook your breakfast and lunch in the office kitchen – maybe you could even shower there before work, too. Save on energy by being savvy about what you can do (ethically!) outside the home.
15. Opt for fans instead of air conditioning
Admittedly, the weather in the UK rarely gets hot enough to warrant many residents to fork out for an air conditioning unit – but for those who do have one, know that aircon can be a huge energy drain. Simply shutting the blinds to the midday heat in summer and using a fan to circulate the air is much more energy-efficient.
16. Turn off standby appliances
Not turning off appliances at the plug can still use residual energy – known as phantom energy load – which in time can add up to a higher energy bill than you need to be paying for! Switching off appliances like hairdryers, phone chargers, and even your kettle and toaster can all save small amounts of energy.
17. Check your roof insulation
If your loft isn’t properly insulated, you could be losing a lot of heat through it. This guide provides some helpful step-by-step instructions to check if your insulation is adequately fitted, and what you need to do if not.
18. Compare energy providers
When your energy contract is going to expire soon, it’s a good idea to shop around and see if you can save on energy by securing a better tariff with another provider. Ofgem provides some helpful information on what you’ll need to do this.
19. Install a shower timer
If you live in a house share or a large family, it could be a good idea to get a shower timer (~£15) to encourage everyone to take more energy-efficient showers and save on energy. If you have someone in your home guilty of taking 5-minute showers regularly, this could be a really useful little hack to promote shorter showers and thus less hot water and energy usage.
20. Check your double glazing
Finally, it may be a good idea to check your double glazing is installed properly to prevent excess heat from being lost through your windows or any gaps around the frames. Improperly fitted double glazing can lead to masses of energy being wasted on heating a home that loses the heat just as quickly, so this isn’t something to ignore.