It’s energy saving week… how can you cut your bills? | SavvyWoman

It’s energy saving week… how can you cut your bills?

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I’m not a massive fan of ‘themed’ weeks but I was quite interested in some of the tips produced by the Energy Saving Trust as part of energy saving week. Find out more about how you can cut your bills.

It’s energy saving week… how can you cut your bills?

I think many of us know the obvious things (like turning down the thermostat by one degree etc.), but it’s still good to be reminded of the different ways you can save:

Insulate your walls

Not all homes can be insulated, but you’ll lose a lot of heat through your walls so, if you can insulate your walls it’s well worth it. The Energy Saving Trust says:

  • Check when your home was built. If your home was built between the 1920s and 1990s then it could be the ideal candidate for cavity wall insulation and you could save up to £135 on your annual heating bills.

SAVVY TIP: Many of the big energy companies offer subsidised loft and cavity wall insulation deals (free to customers over the age of 70).

  • If your house was built before 1920s and has a solid wall construction, you could think about installing internal or external wall insulation. The Energy Saving Trust says you could save up to £475 a year on your heating bills, although it can be much more expensive to install solid wall insulation than cavity wall insulation.

Look for the logo…

Look out for the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo when you’re buying new electrical appliances.

  • The logo is a simple and quick way to find the most energy efficient products on the market. If your old fridge-freezer is on its last legs, a new energy saving recommended one could save you up to £26 every year in running costs.

Boilers… is it time to switch?

The Energy Saving Trust says that if your boiler is over 15 years old, it’s probably time you thought about replacing it with a new energy efficient one.

  • How the figures add up: Replacing your old boiler with a new A-rated condensing model with a full set of heating controls will save you up to a quarter on your heating bills straight away – that’s up to £300 on average in gas heated homes.

SAVVY TIP: Condensing boilers have a bit of a reputation in the media for being unreliable, especially after the freezing winter last year. I can only speak from personal experience (and I’m certainly no central heating engineer!), but mine has ended up saving me hundreds of pounds. Like anything, certain brands are much more reliable than others, which is why it’s often a good idea to get a quote from an independent heating engineer who isn’t tied to one brand.

Look after your freezer

Fridge freezers work hard, especially in hot weather. You can do your bit by:

  • Closing the door. Don’t leave the door open longer than necessary, as cold air will escape.
  • Only putting cool or cold food in the fridge. Don’t put hot food in the fridge as it will warm it up.
  • Defrosting your freezer regularly. The build up of ice reduces its efficiency.

Insulate your hot water tank

An insulating jacket for hot water tanks only costs a few pounds and pays for itself within months.

  • Fit one that’s at least 75mm (3”) thick. The way you could save around £40 a year.

Close your curtains

As the days get chillier, closing your curtains at dusk will stop heat escaping through windows. This is an easy and free way to help you reduce you energy bills and stop wasting energy.

SAVVY TIP: If you have thin curtains, think about getting heavier ones for the winter or having them lined. Unless your front door is draught free, fit a curtain in front of it throughout the winter.

Draught proof your floor

Stop draughts and heat escaping by filling gaps under skirting boards with beading or mastic sealant. The Energy Saving Trust says that could save around £25 off your heating bills every year.

See double… And cut heat loss by 50%

Double-glazing cuts heat loss through windows by 50% and could cut your heating bill by up to £165 a year. If you can’t afford to replace all the windows, choose the rooms that cost you the most to heat, such as the living room and occupied bedrooms.

Related articles:

How to save money and energy around the home: fitting loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and draught proofing

Solar panels and wind power: what is the feed-in tariff scheme and how much money can you get for it?

Making money from solar panels – how to get started

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