Looking to reduce your energy bills?
We are pleased to bring you the second part of the fortnightly series on ways to save on your energy bills – this time focusing on the most cost effective measures to reduce your energy bills that cost under £100!
To read the previous blog on free ways to save on your energy bills click here.
If you do have more than £100, you can read this blog to see how best to invest your money to reduce your energy bills.
With energy prices on the up and the cost of living pressures never greater; reducing the amount you pay on energy can help mitigate some of these points, and there are plenty of cheap and easy ways to do this!
Use heating efficiently and effectively is my number one tip for this winter. But how do you go about doing it without spending a fortune?
With the daylight saving hours upon us, we will see the increase in lighting usage and potentially the use of appliances as we stay in on cold wintery nights, which may lead to increased electricity consumption. So how can you still enjoy the same amount of consumption but at the same time cut your electricity usage?
Tip 1 – Improving your Radiator’s Efficiency
Radiators via central heating are one of the most common methods used to heat rooms. However, because they rely on convection to provide warmth to a room they often do not perform as efficiently as they should.
For energy efficiency of radiators to increase there are two areas that need to be looked at – one preventing heat emitted from the back of the radiator being lost through the wall and two, increasing the efficiency of how they operate.
A pack of Radflek radiator foil or reflectors starts about £20 and is a good little product that counters the first area, which is reducing the amount of heat from escaping through the wall behind the radiator. The aluminium reflects up to 95% of the heat back into the room. This means that the radiator (and therefore the boiler) does not have to work as hard, which allows you to lower the thermostat temperature without actually feeling a temperature difference. This should obviously help to reduce your energy bills and therefore save you money. Even better, GreenAge readers can get an exclusive 20% discount using offer code TGA20.
To get the precise amount of coverage you will need to count the number of radiators you have in the house and mark down whether they are small, medium and large. The bigger the radiators the bigger the packs of radiator foil you will need.
To improve the circulation of the warm air, and prevent cold spots in the room, radiator fans help move the warm air around and make radiators do more for the room.
Radiators can also get inefficient because of trapped air in them. The answer here is to get them bled – this can be done manually or with an autobleeder, but either way it is something you can do yourself to help improve your efficiency. TheGreenAge has produced a guide on radiators and how to bleed your radiator here.
Tip 2 – Energy Efficient Appliances
There are plenty of appliances around the home that we just can’t live without. Unfortunately, a lot of them are energy hungry inefficient appliances – so it is really important to see if you can switch to more efficient ones.
Eco kettle’s work by ensuring you don’t overfill your kettle. Heating water by electricity is extremely inefficient, but at least this device keeps wastage to a minimum. By shopping around a bit you could find yourself an eco kettle for around £40. Enjoy your cup of tea with the knowledge you are not spending more electricity than you need to.
Using a microwave to reheat food or cook a jacket potato is a lot cheaper than turning on the oven or the hob. If you don’t have one already, it really is worthwhile, and if you have one already, use it more!
Tip 3 – Replace your inefficient bulbs with LEDs
In most homes, lighting counts for around 15% of the energy bill. So just by simply changing your light bulbs to energy efficient LED ones will reduce these costs to about 3% of the total energy bill, which is a massive reduction.
LED bulbs are typically priced around the £15 mark, so you can obviously buy the cheaper CFL bulbs but they are not as good for the environment (contain heavy metals) and won’t last nearly as long as LED bulbs. For the same brightness, a standard LED bulb will not only require around 20% of the electricity needed for its inefficient counterparts, but also have a far superior life expectancy. Did I fail to mention that LEDs can also be dimmable?!
This means that you will not just be saving money by using less electricity, but also new bulbs will need to be purchased less frequently.
Don’t wait, get yourself LEDs today!
Tip 4 – Hot Water Jacket to insulate your water tank
Hot water tanks are usually installed with some form of spray foam insulation but most are only insulated with 18mm of material or less. With the poor insulation this means when the boiler heats the water, the tanks themselves lose a lot of heat and the water has to frequently be re-heated to get to the programmed temperature set on the thermostat.
A hot water jacket, which only costs about £15 in a DIY store can be a great little solution to save you instantly on your energy bills. The jacket is wrapped around the cylinder and tied with a piece of string that comes with it. Once affixed to the cylinder it will make it more thermally efficient and enable the hot water retention properties to increase.
A cheap and easy solution to put in place and depending on the size of you cylinder can help reduce your gas bill by £50 – £100 a year.
Tip 5 – Get yourself an energy monitor
You may be wasting energy in areas you didn’t know about. Therefore an energy monitor may be the ideal product for the home, as it allows you to take control of how you use electricity and hopefully lead you to reduce any unnecessary usage.
For £40, the electricity monitor is a neat piece of kit, using real time consumption data, as well as providing you with an approximate running cost estimation. The energy monitor allow you to spot the energy guzzling appliances and highlight times in the day when electricity usage is high – something you were may have not been aware of before.
Installation and set-up is simple, it only requires a wireless sensor to be clipped onto the specific cable near your electricity meter, and it has been shown that those who use their energy monitor consistently save a considerable amount of money.
There they are – 5 energy saving tips that you can implement by not having to spend a lot of money – all of them should help you to significantly reduce your energy bills!
Come back to us in two weeks’ time, where we discuss some of the more extensive things you can implement but still not have to spend a fortune to do so.