The way you use energy in your home can have a significant impact on your bills. There are lots of ways we can all save money, from simple behaviour changes or investing in home “retrofit” measures.
Energy use in homes makes up 40% of carbon emissions in Lambeth. So, saving money can also help our planet.
Simple, low-cost tips
Avoid leaving electrical items on standby or charging laptops and mobile phones after they reach 100% to save electricity.
Double-glazed windows keep more heat in the home than single-paned windows. To improve single-paned windows cheaply you can:
- Make a second layer using cling-film
- Buy low-cost secondary glazing made from Perspex and attach it to your window with magnetic strips. To find out more, internet search: secondary glazing Perspex
- Open curtains during the day to allow light and warmth into the home and close curtains when the sun goes down to keep the warmth in.
- Replace traditional light bulbs with LED bulbs.
- Use appropriate lighting when necessary: e.g. low lighting to watch television, bright focused light for reading and studying.
- Turning down your thermostat to 21°C could reduce your heating bills by up to 10% and save more than £50 a year. Though this can save you money, you should still make sure that elderly people and the young stay warm.
- Adjust the flow temperature of your combi boiler to between 55 and 60 degrees, saving the average household around £112 per year. Find instructions on how to adjust your boiler.
- Prevent drafts using curtains, rugs and draft-excluders and keep internal doors closed. You can also fit draught-proofing strips around door frames and windows. Make sure that any open flues, fires, kitchens, and bathrooms are well ventilated while keeping internal doors closed. See Transition Brixton’s guide to “draft busting”.
- Make sure radiators are working efficiently by dusting the insides, regularly bleeding them and moving furniture away to ensure heat can circulate
- For radiators on outside walls, put radiator panels or aluminium foil behind them to reduce the amount of heat escaping. Programme your boiler and heating to come on only when you need it.
- Stay active - exercise will help keep you healthy and warm. Take regular movement breaks while working from home.
Use smart meters to help you manage your energy usage by tracking and changing your energy consumption in the home. Suppliers are installing smart meters as part of a government programme – you can request one for free with your energy provider.
- Take showers rather than baths and fit your shower with a water efficient showerhead. See Which?’s guide.
- Set your hot water tank to 60°C to prevent water from being overheated.
- Wash your clothes at 30°C, with a full load each time.
- Insulate your hot water pipes and your hot water tank with an insulating jacket to stop heat escaping.
- Defrosting frozen food overnight in the fridge reduces the time needed to cook it.
- Save water by washing dishes in a plastic bowl rather than running the tap.
- Save time and money by using a lid and right-sized pan when cooking food on the stove.
- Only fill the kettle with the water you need.
Switching energy Supplier
Some energy suppliers have started to offer fixed rate energy tariffs, which allows you to lock your energy price per kWh for a specified period of time. This can help with household budgeting, and it also offers protection if the prices start to increase again. However, you won’t be able to take advantage of lower prices if they continue to fall.