It seems we're going from one crisis to another over the last couple of years. We're currently in the middle of a 'cost of living crisis' following the lockdowns and restrictions that Covid brought with it.
As a home care provider, we are here to offer a little advice to keep your energy costs down. Whilst we may not be able to reduce your bills, we can offset the hiked prices by reducing the overall energy consumption within your home. Our carers always work with our clients to find ways of being as energy-conscious as possible around their home.
There are simple things you can do to cut down your energy bills:
Consider Your Lighting:
- Turn lights off when you leave a room, but not at the expense of your safety: Keep stairs and other areas well-lit to reduce the risk of falling.
- You could save £14 a year just by turning off the lights when you don’t need them on.
- By changing from traditional light bulbs to LED bulbs, you could save between £3 and £6 a year per bulb, depending on the type of bulb you replace.
Switching Off Appliances & Being Mindful Of Consumption:
- Switch appliances off when they’re not in use rather than leaving them on standby. This can save around £30 a year.
- Defrosting your freezer every six months will help it to run more efficiently. As an added bonus, you will have more room for storage!
- Many new appliances come with an energy rating. You should choose the best energy rating you can when buying or replacing these items.
Cut Down Your Water Bill:
- Shower instead of taking a bath. A short shower can use a third of the amount of water needed for a bath.
- If you prefer baths, consider filling the tub slightly less – the average full bath uses 80 litres of water, that's over 300 cups of tea!
- Fix any dripping taps: A dripping tap can waste the equivalent of half a bath a week. If you’re on a water meter, a dripping tap could cost an extra £15 per year.
- Do the washing up in a bowl rather than under running water to save around £25 per year.
- Only boil the amount of water you need for hot drinks.
- If you have a dishwasher, consider how full it is before using it. Always ensure it is at capacity, with no half loads.
- Wash up by hand if possible. This is far more efficient than using a dishwasher.
Control The Temperatures In Your Home:
- Use your heating controls, such as thermostats and timers, to heat your home without wasting energy.
- Do you need to heat your home at night? A timer set to the hours you are awake will drastically reduce energy consumption.
- Add an extra layer to keep warm rather than turning up the thermostat.
- If there are rooms you don’t use, like a spare bedroom, turn off the radiators in them and close the doors.
- Make sure you keep your living room (or the room you use most) warm during the day while you’re at home at 21°C (70°F) and heat your bedroom to 18°C (64°F) before you go to bed.
- Keep radiators and heaters clear so hot air can circulate.
- Don’t forget to draw your curtains and tuck them behind radiators (depending on where the radiator is situated) to minimise heat loss.
- Run the washing machine at a lower temperature too – you can often do everyday washes at 30°C. Washing clothes at 30°C uses around 40% less electricity over a year than washing at higher temperatures.
- Check if your appliances have an "Eco" or "Economy" setting. Most modern appliances will and you will see no noticeable differences in the quality of washing.
Have A Look At Your Windows:
- Make sure doors and windows are draught-proofed to avoid loss of heat. Fit draught-proofing strips and draught excluders around doors, sealing gaps around window frames and fitting covers to letterboxes and keyholes. This can save you around £25 a year.
- Are your windows in a good state of repair. If you can feel draughts coming in then it may require a little maintenance which will pay for itself in heating.
- Double glazing reduces heat loss as well as noise from outside. You could save up to £80 per year on heating bills if you install it throughout your home. This cn be an expensive option, however. So consider getting more than one quote from different companies and ask about their energy ratings.
- Prioritise any upgrades: You can choose to double-glaze only the rooms you use and heat most often to keep installation costs down.
Major Energy-Saving Changes For Your Home:
- Many home upgrades or repairs will require professional assistance. So please do research to ensure you have a reputable person carrying out the work. You can ask relatives or friends, or use online services like Check a Trader or Google My Business to check reviews.
- If you have no loft insulation, installing 270mm of new insulation could save around £135 a year. Most homes have some loft insulation but often not enough. Topping up your loft insulation will make your home warmer and save you money on your energy bills.
- If your home has cavity walls (space between the inner and outer layers of brick) the gap can be insulated. Insulating your cavity walls will make your home feel warmer and in a typical home, wall insulation can save around £150 a year.
Checking For Grants And Assistance With Energy Bills And Home Efficiency:
- Assistance changes quite regularly and may depend on your local authority and financial status.
- If in doubt, get in touch with your local authority and ask if any help is available for heating your home or making it more energy efficient.
- You can look at the .gov website to see if they have any schemes available here: https://www.gov.uk/improve-energy-efficiency
Help With The Cost Of Energy-Saving Measures:
- Larger measures can be expensive to carry out, but financial help may be available.
- The larger energy suppliers are part of a scheme, called the Energy Company Obligation, which may be able to fund or part-fund the work. You can get help from any participating supplier – they don’t have to supply your energy.
- Your local Home Improvement Agency or Home Energy Scotland may be able to advise you on making energy efficiency changes to your home or offer a handyperson service to make small improvements such as draught-proofing.
The good news is, that a few simple steps can offset the rising energy costs. Often retired persons or people who may rely on benefits are eligible for funding and assistance with things like energy bills or home efficiency improvement.
We home that the above guide will give you some ideas to save on your energy bills and make things more affordable for you.