The cost of energy has reached record highs over the past few months and suppliers across the energy market have increased their prices. This means that lots of people will be thinking about how to save energy this winter.
A few energy efficiency tips will not cancel out the immediate impact of higher bills, or solve the problems facing the energy industry. But they can help — after all the cheapest, greenest way to use energy is to make sure none of it goes to waste. That’s why we have put together a few simple ways to keep costs lower right now. And some ideas to consider for longer-term improvements that will help your home use less energy and become greener for the future.
Stay in the know about your energy
If you haven’t already had one installed, getting a free smart meter from your energy supplier is a useful way to make sure your bills are always accurate, rather than estimated. Your in-home display will make it easier to track how much you’re spending day to day – and also allows you to set budgets. If you’re one of our customers, why not register your interest in getting a free smart meter?
Only heat what you need
Heating controls such as timers, a thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) can help you make sure you’re not wasting heat energy. For example, fitting TRVs on every radiator means you can control each one individually, and only set ones in the rooms that you use most often to come on.
Timers and thermostats will help make sure your heating can automatically keep your home at a comfortable temperature (typically 18-22 degrees for a healthy adult). And upgrading to a smart thermostat will give you even more control, for example by easily enabling you to switch the heating off if you’re out of the house.
Stop heat from escaping
When we switch the heating on, around a quarter of that energy will escape through the roof, and a third through walls and gaps around doors and windows. Fitting loft and wall insulation is the most significant thing you can do to keep heat in. Quicker fixes include having thick, thermal curtains and closing them as soon as the sun goes down. You can also plug gaps around doors and windows with draft excluders.
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. Cutting your shower by just a minute or two could cut up to £10 per person, per year from your bill.
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.
Be smarter with appliances
It isn’t just heating that you can save on. Here are some ways you can reduce how much electricity you use as well:
- Swap lightbulbs for LEDs.
- 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.
Tips for working from home
During 2020, over 46% of the UK workforce was working from home at least some of the time. And lots of people are still not back in the office five days a week.
Check out our working from home tips for quick and simple ways to save energy during the work day – from setting up your desk somewhere with plenty of natural light, to making a thermos to cut down on repeated kettle boils.
You can also find out if you’re eligible for tax relief to get some financial support with your energy bills.
For more quick energy saving wins, check out our short video.
Longer term improvements
If you’d like to make your home greener and more energy efficient for the future, there are plenty of bigger changes you could make. And even though they cost money upfront, they will pay for themselves long-term through lower energy bills, and help make you more self-sufficient.
A good place to start is loft and cavity wall insulation, which could save you around £200 a year on heating bills. Find out if you’re eligible for any home energy grants to support with the cost.
Once your home is well insulated, you could look into lower carbon heating such as heat pumps. If you have a ground or air source heat pump, you could be eligible for quarterly Renewable Heat Incentive payments to help with the cost. This scheme is set to close to new applicants in March 2022, so apply soon if you’re having a heat pump installed.
What is Good Energy doing to support those affected by energy price rises?
Good Energy works hard to offer fair prices for 100% renewable electricity that also enable us to support our community of over 1,900 independent generators. These prices are influenced by the cost of electricity and gas on the wholesale market. Like other suppliers, the unprecedented increases in wholesale gas and electricity costs mean we have had to raise our prices. If you want to find out more about what’s happening in the energy market, please read our blog.
We also understand that it will take 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.