With the recent news of rising living costs being a daunting prospect, worrying about not having enough money to pay off your bills is an ongoing concern for many, whether you live on your own or not.
However, you can make small changes around your home to reduce your usage of these pricey utilities to help cut your bills in 2022. From switching off lights to having a quicker shower, there are free and easy ways for saving money as well as embracing a sustainable lifestyle. Here are the most common ones.
#1 Swap To New Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Surprisingly, there are still a lot of people who count on those romantic old filament light bulbs to create an intimate atmosphere. Be wise and elevate your game!
By simply swapping them for newer LED or energy-saving ones, you can immediately cut the cost of your energy bills by a significant amount. So even during the dark winter months, your electricity bill will be notably cheaper than it was in past years. If you can afford it, invest in smart lights: they are another easy way to cut energy costs. Many of these devices use motion sensors to turn off lights when you exit a room and can be controlled by voice, making them convenient to use.
#2 Turn off Unused Electronics
One of the easiest ways to save money on electricity is to turn off electronics when you’re not using them and unplug appliances. Whether your laptops, tv or phone chargers, according to The American Department of Energy this way you could save 10% every month. A good idea would be to invest in good power strips: some of them have time delay settings that cause devices to enter sleep/hibernate mode during programmable periods of inactivity.
Ideally, if you plan to upgrade your system, you should look for sources of green energy. Electricity produced by wind and solar energy is dramatically more friendly to the environment than using fossil fuels, and renewable generating facilities are expanding rapidly everywhere. That means more opportunities for you to use green energy in your home and know that you’re doing your part to reduce carbon emissions.
#3 Have a quick shower
A one minute shorter shower will cut your energy bill by £4 a year for each person in your household, the British Energy Saving Trust estimates. On top of that, there will be savings on water if you are on a meter. Sometimes upgrading your bathroom with a low flow showerhead will help cut costs, too.
#4 Do your laundry at 30C
Going from a 40C wash to one 10 degrees cooler can make a big dent in your energy use. According to the magazine Which? “if you are running your machine four times a week you can save £13 a year off your bills – that is about a third of the running cost at 40C. Turning the dial down even further and washing at 20C as standard will save you £24 annually”, it says.
#5 Go easy on the tumble dryer
The most expensive time for you to dry your clothes is between 4 pm and 7 pm, so try to avoid using your machines between these hours. When it comes to drying your laundry, it’s also more efficient if you run a cooler cycle – even if this means it will take longer to dry. Whenever it’s possible, line dry your clothes.
#6 Use Draught Excluders
In the past, the humble draught excluder has been designed to blend into the background, but there’s no need to hide these ones away. They’re as beautiful and stylish as they are practical.
Placing draught excluders by doors and windows will help reduce the amount of heat leaking out of your home. From door brush strips to draught seals, including those softy polyester filled ones, it won’t be difficult to insulate your rooms. The good news is there’s a huge variety of styles available, from velvet, boucle and faux fur options to country-esque tweed ones.
#7 Turn down the room thermostat
Reducing the temperature of your home by 1C could save you £55 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust. If you have a room thermostat, it recommends turning it down to the lowest “comfortable temperature”, which it puts at between 18C and 21C. Get a programmable device that sets more efficient temperatures when you’re away or asleep.
Also, a very cost-effective way to reduce energy usage is to place tinfoil behind radiators, which will help reflect the heat inwards. This is easily done by using double-sided tape to place the foil behind the radiator, ensuring that the reflective side is facing inwards. If you wanted to spend a little extra, you could purchase radiator foil which does the same job but more efficiently.
#8 Upgrade your home appliances
When it comes to replacing broken or old appliances in your home like a fridge or dishwasher, purchase the best energy-efficient appliances you can afford. For example, Energy Star washing machines use 40–50% less energy and 50% less water than their less-efficient counterparts. You may even get tax exemptions for these kinds of purchases.