How to Save Energy at Home

How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient and Stop Wasting Energy

how to save energy at home

Help with Your Energy Bills

how to save energy

If you’re a homeowner, you’ll be all too familiar with the dreaded task of paying your energy bill each month. With energy prices expected to continue rising until 2023, households shouldn’t expect this to get any easier. 

In fact, consumers are facing one of the steepest increases in energy costs this winter after the regulator lifted the maximum level of its energy price cap from 1 October 2021 to reflect surging wholesale market prices. 

So, it is more important than ever that we understand our energy bills and know how to save energy at home. Thankfully, there are loads of things you can do in your home to make it more energy efficient and reduce your energy bill. 

This article reveals the best ways to avoid wasting energy and minimise your energy consumption. These energy saving tips could help you save hundreds of pounds every year simply by turning off the lights, taking shorter showers and draught-proofing your home. 

From reviewing your energy bills to insulating your home and replacing your boiler, here is all the advice you need on how to save energy in your home. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started on cutting your energy bill today!

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What Uses the Most Electricity in Your Home?

save energy at home

If you’re asking ‘why is my energy bill so high?’, then you’ve come to the right place. 

By far the greatest energy users in the home are heating and cooling, contributing around 40% of the average electric bill. Other big contributors to your energy bill will include washers, dryers, ovens and stoves. In general, electronic devices like laptops and TVs are comparatively cheap to run – but, it can all add up. 

Here are the top 10 energy cost appliances in your home:

  • HVAC (heating and cooling)
  • Refrigerator 
  • Water heating
  • Washer and dryer 
  • Dishwasher 
  • Electric oven and stove
  • Lighting
  • TV and media 
  • Computers 

So, when trying to save energy in your home, it is a good idea to focus on minimising the use of the appliances that require the most energy.

How Many kWh Does the Average Home Use UK?

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So, what is the average household energy consumption in the UK? Well, according to Ofgem, the average UK household has 2.4 people living in it, and uses 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas. Overall, this works out at an average of 242 kWh of electricity and 1,000 kWh of gas every month. 

However, it is important to remember that this is just the average energy consumption for a 2-3 person household. If you live alone, you will likely use less than this. Meanwhile, if you have more than 3  people living in your household, your energy bill is likely to be substantially higher. If this is the case, continue reading to find out how to save energy at home. 

How to Understand Your Energy Bill

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The first step to saving energy in your home is understanding your bills. The information on a typical energy bill can be a tad confusing, but knowing what it all means can go a long way to helping you reduce your energy consumption at home. 

All regular energy bills should include the following: 

    • The name of the current tariff – you’ll need this when comparing prices and switching energy providers
    • The cost of energy in the last 12 months – this will show you what your consumption of electricity is for the last bill period 
    • An estimate of the next 12 months’ cost – this will show you what your provider thinks your energy consumption has been for the last 12 months
    • Conditions of contract – suppliers should outline the terms of your contract, including exit fees and end dates 
    • Information about discounts –  supplier should include details of discounts or premiums that may apply to your tariff compared to standard tariffs
    • Information about switching – suppliers must include a reminder that you can switch, along with advice on how to do so

10 Energy Saving Tips to Reduce Your Energy Bills

energy saving tips

Review your energy bill

The first thing to do when trying to reduce your energy bill is review it and see if you could get a better deal elsewhere. Usually, there is a wide range of energy suppliers all competing for your business, so it’s easy to find one to switch to. Choose from the likes of Shell, Ovo, Bulb, Octopus, Eon, Scottish Power, British Gas and more. 

However, cheap energy deals have vanished over the past few months, so switching energy provider now probably isn’t the best idea. If you haven’t switched your energy supplier or tariff recently, or were transferred to a new supplier when yours went bust, you’ll likely be paying out-of-contract rates. 

In normal times, these rates aren’t good value, but at the moment they are among the cheapest tariffs, so it’s worth staying put for the time being. However, the price cap on out-of-contract tariffs is likely to rise on 1 April 2022. Therefore, the best time to start comparing gas and electricity prices is during the weeks leading up to this change to protect yourself from more price increases. 

Choose energy efficient appliances 

Another way you can save energy in your home is by replacing your household appliances with more energy-efficient models. 

When shopping for new appliances, the most visual indication of their energy-efficiency is the EU energy-efficiency rating. This lets you know how much energy an appliance uses, as well as seeing how it compares to the energy use of similar appliances. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that, even if an energy-efficient appliance costs more to buy, it could save you more money on your utility bills in the long run. 

According to Which, here is how much money energy-efficient household appliances can save you per year: 

  • Tumble dryer – £106
  • Fridge Freezer – £76
  • Washing machine – £55
  • Built-in oven – £39
  • Dishwasher – £32

Overall, swapping your inefficient kitchen appliances for energy saving models could save you up to £308 each year.

Insulate your home 

Insulating your home is another great way to stop wasting energy by reducing the amount of heat lost through your roof, walls and windows. 

In fact, laying loft insulation to a thickness of 270mm in a non-insulated detached house could cut £580 off your annual energy bill, along with reducing your CO2 emissions by 1300kg. 

You can also make your home more energy efficient by replacing your single-glazed windows with double glazing. 

While many people are reluctant to make these big changes to their homes and pay the costs in the short term, it is well worth it in the long term, with many households reducing their energy bills significantly as a result. 

Get a new boiler 

Given that heating your house uses the most energy in the average UK home, this is an important thing to focus on when determining how to save energy at home. 

So, replacing an old, inefficient gas boiler with a modern, energy-efficient one could massively reduce your energy bill each year.

As a matter of fact, if you live in a semi-detached house and upgraded your old G-rated boiler to a newer A-rated condensing boiler with a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves, you could be expected to save up to £580.

Although buying and installing a new boiler could cost you a couple of thousand pounds, the savings could be significant. However, if saving money is your top priority, you should balance the savings against the cost of an upgrade. 

If this is something you’re considering in order to save energy at home, take a look at the government Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

Replace your light bulbs 

It might seem simple, but replacing your normal light bulbs with energy-saving ones offers an easy way of cutting your energy bills. 

Costing just £1.71 per year to run, an LED light bulb could cut around £180 from your energy bills compared with an old-style bulb. 

It’s also good to note that energy-saving light bulbs last longer than traditional ones, meaning you get more for your money in the first place. An LED light bulb can cost less than £3, and could even pay for itself through energy savings in just a few months. 

If you’re one step ahead and already use energy-saving light bulbs, make sure you use the best bulb for the size of the room or its job. 

Install central heating controls 

Installing heating controls, such as a room thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator valves, could save you up to £75 per year, as well as cutting your home’s carbon emissions by 320kg each year. 

Central heating controls should allow you to: 

  • Set your heating and hot water to turn on and off to suit you 
  • Set your heating to only heat the parts of your house that need it 
  • Set different temperatures for different areas of your home 
  • Maintain your home at a temperature that’s comfortable, without wasting heat

If you only have one thermostat for the entire house, every degree you turn it up will increase your energy bill by around 10% – so layer up before turning the heating up. 

Smart thermostats are also great for saving energy in your home. These work by allowing you to operate your heating remotely via the internet, using your mobile phone, tablet or computer. Some smart thermostats can even learn your routine or adjust your settings depending on the weather forecast. 

Whether a smart thermostat could save you money on your energy bill will be dependent on your lifestyle – how efficiently you control your heating already and whether you’d rather use traditional heating controls. 

Draught-proof your home 

To draught-proof your home, all you have to do is stop heat escaping by blocking any unwanted gaps around doors and windows. In a typical home, this could end up knocking around £25 off your energy bill each year. 

Here is how you can draught-proof your home and start saving energy:

  • Windows – use draught-proofing strips around the frames 
  • Doors – use draught-proofing strips around the edges and brush or hinged-flap excluders at the bottom 
  • Chimney – use an inflatable pillow to block the chimney if not in use 
  • Floorboards – use a flexible silicone-based filler to fill the gaps when your floorboards move 
  • Loft hatches – use draught-proofing foam strips to keep the heat in 

Unless your home is a new build, it is likely that you will lose some heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor or through the chimney. It’s super easy to prevent this from happening and a quick way to start saving energy.

However, if you’re willing to spend a little more money, hiring a team of professional draught-proofers to do the job for you can stop you wasting even more energy. 

Reduce your hot water use 

While you might only turn your heating on in the winter months, you use energy all year round to heat your water. Therefore, using your hot water wisely can significantly reduce your energy bills. 

One great way of reducing your water use is swapping your bath for a shower. Although you might enjoy a relaxing soak in the bath, switching just one bath each week for a 4-minute shower could save you £7 per year on your energy bills. To save even more energy and cut down on your hot water use, you could even fit an eco shower head.

Another energy saving tip is to use your heating controls to turn your water heating on and off. This means that you will only heat as much water as you need, rather than wasting energy on unnecessary hot water. 

See if you can get energy efficiency grants 

A great and easy way of saving money is looking for any energy schemes or grants that could help you pay your energy bills or support you with the costs of renewable heating. Some of these energy schemes include: 

  • Warm Home Discount (£140) – mainly paid to pensioners and those who get certain benefits 
  • Winter Fuel Payment (£100-£300) – for those born before 26 September 1955
  • Renewable Heat Incentive – quarterly payments for seven years if you install a heat pump, biomass boiler or solar water heating 
  • Boiler Upgrade Scheme – up to £5,000 to replace your current gas or oil heating with low-carbon heating 

These schemes are designed to financially help those who struggle to heat their home and pay their energy bills, as well as encouraging others to install more energy efficient systems in their houses. 

Turn everything off when not in use 

We’re all guilty of leaving lights on or forgetting to unplug our phones and laptops when they’ve finished charging. Well, if you want to save energy and reduce your energy bills, it’s time to start remembering. 

Doing something as simple as switching your lights off when leaving a room can save you £14 each year on your annual energy bills. Save even more by replacing your inefficient light bulbs with newer LED light bulbs.

While newer gadgets have limits on standby power consumption, older electronics don’t. So, make sure you don’t just leave all your gadgets on standby and expect them not to use up your energy. You could save around £40 every year just by remembering to turn your appliances off standby. 

Almost all electrical appliances can be turned off at the plug without affecting their programming. It might be a good idea to invest in a standby saver or a smart plug which allows you to turn all your appliances off standby mode in one go. 

So, now you know how to save energy at home, there is no excuse for spending loads on your energy bill. By following these top energy saving tips, you can significantly reduce your annual electricity bill and stop wasting energy. 

By taking just a few simple steps and making some tiny changes to your lifestyle, you can make your home more energy efficient and save hundreds of pounds every year. 

Discover how to save energy at home and get rid of that anxiety you feel every time you open up your energy bill. With energy prices only expected to rise further, this is more important than ever.

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