Money Focus: Switch and Save at Home

Switch and Save

Does your jaw drop when you see the utility bills? What on earth have we been doing?! You ask yourself. Hairdryers, hair straighteners, games consoles, laptops, electric blankets, kitchen appliances they all add up. According to Carbon Independent the average household’s electricity consumption in the UK is 4,500kwh per year, with around £40 a month going on electricity alone. Energy costs take up around a third of the average family’s monthly budget, with heating using around 45% it, including water. Appliances and electronics at 17%, lights 12%.

Investing in new, energy-efficient products is the quickest way to make a difference to your monthly energy bills. But, if you can’t afford to splash out on new appliances, do a regular ‘maintenance run’ on them by clearing any vents of dust and other debris that might be clogging them up.   

Freeze your Bills!

Fridge freezers marked A+ or A++ in terms of energy efficiency will save the average household £40 a year, and will also reduce up to 135kg of carbon dioxide emissions.

Boiler Blues

Boiler efficiency is rated on an A-G scale. If you’re the owner of a G-rated boiler (the kind the hums and splutters and seems to have a life of its own), then an upgrade to an A-rated equivalent will slash £300 off your bills in one year.

How Do You Pay?

Most energy companies have three methods of payment: cash/card, direct debit, or prepayment. It’s actually cheaper, by over 1p more per unit with some companies, to pay by direct debit. It takes just a few seconds to set up, and then you can just forget about having to pay the bills on time as it’s all done for you.

Use CFL or LED bulbs

It amazes me that people still use the old incandescent light bulbs. They last a fraction of the time that energy-saving bulbs do. LED’s use about 2% of the energy the old ones do, CFL around 25%.

Programmable Thermostat

These little gems cost around £20 – 100 to buy and install, but will easily cut between 10-20% of heating bill. It’s simple- set the timer to a schedule that suits your household, and it switches the heating off automatically when the house is empty, and switches back on again when you’re due home.

Involved your kids in saving energy, too. Teach them that switching off and unplugging games consoles, hairdryers, the TV and to not leave laptops charging in the socket is important for the planet, the family budget, and also their safety.

Good luck and happy saving!

Further reading

Advice on when to upgrade your boiler: Energykinetics 

Energy rates, British Gas

 101 Energy Saving Tips



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