The cost of energy has fallen significantly from it’s peak in March 2022 – but it is still a lot higher than it was before the global energy crisis began.
The cheapest and greenest way to use energy is to make sure that none of it goes to waste. That’s why we have put together a few simple ways to keep costs lower right now. We also share some longer term improvements you could make that will help your home use less energy and become greener for the future.
Understand your energy habits with a smart meter
If you haven’t already had one installed, getting a free smart meter is a good place to get started with energy saving.
Your in home display will make it easier for you to track how much you are using and spending every day – helping you to see in real time the cost of more energy intensive activities – like running the tumble drier for example. What’s more, having a smart meter also opens you up to join the National Grid’s flexibility scheme, and get paid for saving electricity during peak periods this winter.
If you’re a Good Energy customer, register your interest in getting a free smart meter here.
Stop heat escaping from your home
When we switch the heating on, around a quarter of that heat energy will escape through an uninsulated roof – leading to us quickly feeling cold and wasting a lot of energy and money.
Fitting loft insulation is a cost effective way to make your home warmer for less – and you normally get a return on investment in only two years through savings in your energy bills. Wall insulation is a little more expensive, but will still pay for itself in less than four years through savings in your bills.
Here are some quicker wins to stop heat escaping from your home:
Shut your curtains when it is dark: Upgrade to thermal curtains and make sure you shut them every night to trap the heat in your home.
Plug gaps: Can you feel a breeze around your doors and windows? Plug gaps with draft excluders to stop the cool air getting in.
Use timers, thermostats and your radiator valves
Heating controls such as timers, a thermostat and radiator valves can help to heat the rooms you use the most, exactly when you need it.
Timers and thermostats will automatically keep your home at a comfortable temperature, which is typically 18-21 degrees during the day and 16-19 overnight for healthy adults. Maintaining an ambient temperature in your home is usually more cost effective than letting your home get cold and then using a boost function.
Upgrading to a smart thermostat will give you even more control over your heating. For example, you can turn the heating right down if you’re away from home, and heat your home up again for your arrival.
And if you have some rooms in your home that aren’t often used, you can also turn down the radiator valve and keep the door shut.
Save energy by using less hot water
In a typical home, hot water accounts for over 10% of your energy bill. Which means that saving on hot water isn’t just good for the planet, it’s better for your bills.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that an 8-minute shower can cost from 11p-20p a time depending on whether you have a standard or power shower. For a family of four, that adds up to a couple of hundred pounds a year. You could consider cutting your shower by a minute or two, running shallower baths, and bathing children less frequently to save money on your energy bills.
You can also take advantage of the fact that a full dishwasher is more cost effective than washing the dishes by hand.
For greener water heating longer term, you could think about investing in solar thermal panels. Or, if you have solar panels, explore getting a boost system which diverts unused electricity to heat your water tank.
Save electricity by being smarter with your appliances
It isn’t just heating that you can save on. Here are some ways you can cut your energy bills by saving electricity:
- Swap lightbulbs for LEDs, and turn them off when you leave a room.
- Reduce how often you use appliances such as tumble driers.
- Batch cook meals to make the most of having the oven on. Cook using the hob or microwave more often than the main oven.
- Fill up your fridge and freezer to reduce how much electricity they take to run. You could fill gaps with bottles of water.
- Turn things off at the plug rather than keeping them on standby.
- Take devices off charge when their batteries are full.
- Look at energy efficiency ratings when buying a new appliance or device.
For saving electricity longer term, you could install solar panels and a home battery. Run your appliances while the sun is shining to make huge savings on your energy bills.
What can you do if you are struggling to pay your bills?
It will take much more than simple energy saving tips to support the growing numbers of people who are unable to afford their energy. The government and the energy regulator, Ofgem must do more to make sure energy is affordable for all.
If you’re finding it difficult to afford your energy, contact your energy supplier as they may be able to help set up a payment plan. You can also get independent advice about your energy bills from Citizens Advice.
Are you eligible for the Priority Services Register?
We can offer additional help for those that might need extra support to look after their energy account, through the Priority Service Register.
This includes nominating a trusted person to help you to look after your energy account, receiving your bills in different formats, having your meter read for you and getting a free annual gas safety check.