For the average UK household, our gas and electricity bills set us back a whopping £1,638 a year. While we can’t hide from the fact that we need to turn the heating on when it’s bitterly cold outside, there are a number of simple ways you can lower the cost of keeping your house warm.
Heating our homes accounts for half of our bills so it makes sense to be savvy when it comes to keeping nice and warm during the winter period.
- Reducing your thermostat by just 1°C can cut your heating bills by about 10% and chances are that you won’t even notice a difference in the temperature.
- Time your heating sensibly. For example, do you really need the house to be warm when you’re sleeping or at work?
- Remember, not all rooms are equal and using your radiator valves accordingly can be a very effective way to save energy. You may want the living room to be warmer for example because you sit in there watching television and there’s nothing worse than stepping out of the shower into a freezing cold room so you will probably want the bathroom a bit warmer as well. However keeping the spare room that nobody goes into nice and toasty is a waste of energy and money. You may also want to turn down the temperature in the bedroom if you only ever go in there to sleep.
It sounds too good to be true but believe it or not, you may be able to reduce your energy bills by doing nothing more than picking up the phone.
According to OFGEM, (www.ofgem.gov.uk/) 60% of us don’t recall switching energy providers but if you’ve been with your gas or electricity provider for a long time, chances are you’re paying more than you need to. Suppliers are always trying to lure new customers in with special offers and deals so shop around using a price comparison website and you could save yourself hundreds of pounds a year.
When our latest gas or electricity bill arrives, we think we’re paying to keep our homes warm. What we’re actually paying for however is heat loss – the lower the heat loss, the lower your energy use will be.
A great way to stop warm air escaping from your home is to install window shutters. Solid shutters are particularly good for heat insulation and do in fact have RV values similar to interior wood doors. They also have the added benefit of providing extra security, keeping out noise and they make a beautiful feature in any home.
Draught-proof your house
We know you’ve probably heard it a hundred times before but draught-proofing your house really is the cheapest and easiest way to reduce heat loss.
If you have leaky windows, doors, loft hatches, electrical fittings, floorboards, pipework or joints, foam and sealant will do the job. Alternatively, most places like B&Q have special draft-proofing kits which even novices can use.
Check your boiler
If you’re doing all the right things to reduce your energy consumption and the bills still aren’t going down, you may have a problem with your boiler. It might be painful paying a plumber to do the repairs or replace the unit but in the long-run you will save money if your boiler is running efficiently.
If you have an income of less than £15,860, you receive tax credits or benefits such as pension credit, you may be eligible for free loft insulation or a boiler upgrade under the Energy Company Obligations (ECO) scheme (www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/eco).