Nowadays many people struggle with managing their households costs as energy bills can be expensive. Luckily, there are many ways that can help you save money on them. Energy Solutions has created a long list of things you can do to cut your energy bills. The tricks discussed below will also help you manage your energy consumption more effectively and reduce your carbon footprint. That makes the list relevant to those who are looking for more green energy solutions.
Save money on your energy tariff
- Revise and change your energy tariff – prices of supplies tend to change each year. Even if you got the cheapest deal when you were choosing an energy provider, it’s a good idea to compare the available tariffs at the end of the year and make a switch if you notice that some suppliers now offer more competitive prices.
- Switch energy suppliers – you might have only heard about the big 6 of energy suppliers, but in reality there are many more providers. It might be a good idea to compare offers from many of them and switch if you find one that offers more competitive prices than your current supplier.
- Do a home energy audit – many energy providers offer such services. It allows you to check the insulation in your house and the appliances inside.
- Choose a reputable energy provider – they will be able to advise you how to manage your energy consumption and spend less money on bills.
Save money on heating
- Keep windows shut – in winter that will help you prevent the cold air from getting into the house.
- Adapt the size of the heater to the room – if you use a small heater to warm up a big room you will end up paying a lot for the running costs but you won’t notice that the room is getting warmer.
- Keep the heater dust-free – it’s important to clean the heater regularly to make sure the dirt inside is not blocking the heat from getting out.
- Pick gas heaters – if you have gas supplied to your premises you should choose gas heaters over electric ones as they are cheaper to use. You can find an example of what gas heaters look like below.
- Service heaters regularly – every once in a while you should service the heaters to ensure they are working correctly.
- Wear warm clothes – it might seem simple but instead of walking around in summer clothes all year round and having the heating set to high temperatures, you should lower it and put on a jumper.
- Make the temperature lower at night – when you sleep you are under a duvet so you don’t need the room to be too warm. Moreover, it is often recommended to sleep in cool rooms as it can make your sleep quality better.
- Use natural heating – during the day keep your blinds open to let the sunlight in. Then close them at night to keep the warmth inside.
- Invest in smart thermostats – they can regulate the temperature so that the heating is off when you are not home but turns on, for example, half an hour before you come back from work.
- Insulate – if you add insulation to your house, in winter, less heat will be leaving so you will be able to keep the desired temperature.
- Check window seals – a lot of heat can be leaving the house through old window seals. Check them regularly and replace any that are not tight.
- Turn off the heating when you leave – many people leave the heating on when they, for example, go on holidays. Remember to turn it off to avoid paying a lot of energy you’re not actually using.
- Do not dry clothes on radiators – if you do it you will lower the temperature in the room. That’s why you should always use drying racks.
- Don’t block the radiators – make sure there is no furniture in front of the radiators so the heat can actually spread and fill in the entire room.
- Use rugs – they can keep your feet warm if you have cold tile floors
- Turn off heating in empty rooms – if there are any rooms in your house that are unoccupied having the heating on in them adds unnecessary costs to your bill.
- Install heat reflectors – they can be put on the wall behind the radiator to increase their efficiency.
- Add insulation in between floor joints – you should do that especially if your basement is unheated.
- Use insulation with the highest R- value – the rate indicates the amount of thermal resistance.
- Repair the leaks – if your roof is leaking or some water is getting into the basement you should fix it immediately as that can make your house feel colder and make you spend more on heating.
- Check your heating system regularly – hiring a technician to make sure everything works properly can help you save up to 5% on energy bills.
- Always close the external door – you can install a spring-loaded door closer to make sure they are never left open.
- Adjust the temperature in different rooms – not all the rooms have to be equally warm. If you and others from your household spend most of the day in the living room you can have a high temperature there but lower one in, for example, the kitchen.
- Clean the fireplace regularly – if you have it in your house make sure you inspect it regularly to make sure you get the most heat out of it.
- Use only fully dry wood if you have a chimney – that will allow you to generate the most heat.
- In the summer turn off cooling system – if there is no one in the room turn it off. The cooling system doesn’t take long to lower the temperature in the room so, even if it’s really hot, you should only turn it on when you need it.
Save money on lighting
- Pick energy-efficient light bulbs – they might be more expensive than regular light bulbs but in the long run, they will help you save a lot of money on electricity.
- Turn the lights off – it’s easy to forget about it, but you should always make sure you’ve turned the lights off when you leave the room.
- Don’t overlight – using too much lighting and too bright light bulbs will not only increase the price you’re paying for electricity but can also result in a headache and eye problems.
- Use natural light – instead of turning the lights on you should open the blinds and let the natural light in during the day.
- Don’t light all the areas – there might be some parts of the house where you don’t need too much lighting like, for example, the hallway. It might be a good idea to keep the lights there turned off at all times.
- Use daylight sensors – they will automatically switch the lights off when they sense that there is enough natural light in the room.
- Clean the windows often – if they are dirty they will be blocking the sunlight and you will need to turn the lights on and pay for electricity when it might not be necessary.
- Dim the lights – you could invest in light bulbs that allow you to change the intensity of the light. That allows you to only need as much light as you actually need and save money. The picture below shows how smart bulbs allow you to adjust the light in the room.
- Smart power strips – they require an initial investment but once they’re installed they will automatically shut off the current to those sockets where a device is fully charged.
- Read the light bulb labels – that will allow you to only get the bulbs that don’t consume too much energy.
- Use low-voltage lighting outdoors – if you have a patio you probably don’t need a very bright light there.
- Paint walls in bright colors – they reflect more light making the room feel bright even when the lights are switched off.
- Upgrade to LCD or LED TV – they are the most energy-efficient types.
- Turn off computers – if you are not using your laptop you should unplug it and turn it off instead of leaving it on screensaver or sleep modes.
- Unplug devices you are not using – chargers, TVs, microwaves, or coffee makers can be consuming energy even when you are not using. That’s why you should always unplug them every night.
- Extend your phone’s battery life – if you turn off mobile data, Bluetooth etc on your phone, your battery will last longer and you won’t need to charge it that often.
- Install home monitors – these devices allow you to check what in your house uses the most electricity.
- Use timers and motion detectors – that will activate the external lights only when they are necessary.
- Use LED light bulbs – this type of light bulbs is the most cost-efficient.
- Consider solar panels – installing solar panels on your roof might require a big initial investment but over the course of a few years, you will save a lot of money on energy bills. That’s because solar panels generate free electricity from the sun.
- Buy energy-efficient appliances – you can notice that many appliances have energy rating labels. The more stars they have, the more money you can save when using them.
Save money on water
- Take showers instead of baths – normally when you’re having a shower you use less power than when you full the entire bath with hot water.
- Buy a water-saving shower head – they can be purchased online and will help you use significantly less water than regular shower heads.
- Lower water temperature – even though it can be enjoyable to have a very hot shower, it can be a good idea to lower the water temperature slightly and save money.
- Turn off your hot water system – if you are going away for a few days turn off the hot water system as there is no point in being on if no one is going to need the warm water.
- Time your showers – control how much time you spend in the shower. The shorter your shower, the more money you can save.
- Fix leaking taps – if you notice that water is leaking fro your tap, fix it immediately to avoid paying as if you were using the water.
- Don’t let the water run when brushing teeth – use some when you need it, instead of having it run in the background.
Save money in the kitchen
- Don’t open the oven when cooking – every time you open the oven door to see if your food is ready, the temperature drops immediately. That’s why the more you open it, the longer the dish will take to cook. Similarly, each time you open the oven door, it will need to use more power to reach the desired temperature again.
- Make big batches – instead of turning the oven on a few times a day, make a lot of portions and cook it all together. This way the oven will only use the power once and you will have enough food for the rest of the week.
- Don’t use too much water – when you’re making tea or coffee only boil the amount of water that you actually need. If you boil too much, the kettle will need more time to boil it and will consequently consume more energy.
- Use the microwave – they use less power than ovens so if you want to reheat your food you should put it in the microwave.
- Defrost before cooking – that will allow you to make cooking time shorter.
- Clean the oven yourself – some modern ovens have self-cleaning options. While that might seem convenient, this function uses extreme amounts of power.
- Use glass and ceramic baking dishes – they transfer heat more effectively than metal trays so they can help you reduce cooking time.
- Make sure your oven is clean – dirt can make it difficult for the heat to spread. If you clean your oven frequently you will make sure that the heat goes directly to your food.
- Check the seals on appliances – if the seals are broken, your appliances will need more energy to reach a certain temperature.
- Only put cool food in the fridge – if you put hot food in the fridge, the temperature will increase. The fridge will need to use a lot of electricity to cool down again.
- Don’t preheat the oven – if you put the food in the oven and turn it on then, the dish may need longer to be ready but you will save money.
- Use residual heat – once you’ve finished baking, open the oven door and let the heat fill the room.
- Steam your vegetables – steaming your food requires less energy than boiling it. This method of cooking is also known for preserving its nutritional value better.
- Use the right hob size – if you are using a big hob for a small pan you are wasting a lot of energy.
- Purchase a slow cooker – they are energy efficient and allow you to prepare healthy meals and save energy at the same time. The table below contains information on cooking times of popular dishes.
|meat cut||meat weight||‘ low ’ cooking time||‘high’ cooking time|
|Beef Roast||3 to 4 pounds||8 hours||6 hours|
|Chicken||6 pounds||7,5 hours||6,5 hours|
|Fish||3 pounds||3,5 hours||1,5 hours|
- Use lids – if you leave the lid on when cooking you will decrease the cooking time and use less power.
- Only put the dishwasher on when it’s full – if you turn it on when there are only a few plates inside you are wasting a lot of hot water.
- Rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher – bits of food can block the dishwasher and reduce its efficiency.
- Air dry your dishes – when the dishwasher’s cycle is finished, open the door and let the dishes dry on their own instead of using the heat drying option.
- Make sure your fridge and freezer are full – they run most efficiently when they are full because the food inside helps retain cold temperature.
- Choose the right size of the fridge – if you are a small household it might be a better idea to buy a smaller fridge and keep it full instead of acquiring a big one and having it half empty most of the time.
- Keep the lever handle on your kitchen tap at cold water position – otherwise, each time you use the tap the boiler will release a bit of hot water.
- Clean the coils at the back of the fridge – that will ensure that the fridge runs efficiently. You can use a vacuum cleaner to do it.
- Adjust fridge and freezer temperatures – the recommended temperature is for fridges is 4ºC and -18ºC for freezers. If the temperature in them is lower you will be wasting electricity.
- Switch to a dishwasher – most modern dishwashers use less energy and water than washing dishes by hand. When you are looking for a model to purchase you should consider it’s energy rating and pick the ones with A+ or A.
- Defrost your freezer regularly – if there are layers of ice inside the freezer will need to use more power to cool down.
- Close the fridge door – every time you open the fridge, it will need a while to come back to the right temperature. That’s why you should only open the door when you’re taking something out and close it immediately after.
- Use a BBQ – this way of cooking allows you to prepare food outdoors without using any electricity or gas. In the summer, you should have BBQs as often as possible. Not only are they fun, but also they will help you save money on energy bills.
- Use small appliances – mini ovens for example use about half the energy of regular ovens. If you are living on your own it might be a good idea to switch to a smaller model.
- Use the right dishwasher cycle – most dishwashers will have the option to use the economy cycle. If you use it you will be able to minimise the use of water and power.
- Choose a gas stove – they are cheaper to run than electric stoves and are more environmentally friendly.
- Thaw food before cooking – thawing it completely beforehand helps reduce heating time.
Save money on laundry
- Put on full load – even if your washing machine has half-load or small-load options, they tend to use more water and electricity when compared with full-loads.
- Choose front load washing machines – on average they use 40% less water and 30% less electricity than top-loading machines.
- Wash your clothes on cool cycles – washing machines use a lot of electricity to heat water so if you choose low-temperature cycles and wash your clothes at for example 30ºC you will save money.
- Don’t use dryers – they require a lot of electricity. It’s better to hang your clothes outside in the summer and use traditional clothes airers that you can have inside in winter.
- Clean the lint collector – if you use a dryer, make sure to clean the lint collector regularly to ensure it runs smoothly.
- Replace old machines – new models of washing machines are more water-efficient so even though buying a new machine can be expensive, it will be worth it as you will be getting much lower energy bills.
Save money on windows
- Use double glazing – that will help you reduce heat loss through windows by large margins.
- Choose the right curtain material – if a certain room tends to get very cold you might need to install thick blinds there. If, however, a room gets a lot of natural light during the day, thin curtains will be enough.
- Install pelmets – you can put them on top of the windows to stop cold air from getting into the house.
Save money on cooling
- Set the temperature to 24 degrees Celsius – the air will still be cool so there is no need to have the temperature lower than that.
- Don’t lower the temperature – each degree lower can make you pay 10-15% more for your energy bills.
- Use blackout curtains – in the summer they will help you keep cool temperature inside.
- Regularly clean cooling devices – make sure there is no dust in them as it can make them work less efficiently.
- Replace air conditioning with fans – they are cheaper to run and make the room feel cooler when you’re there.
- Use ceiling fans – they can make the cool air circulate better around the house.
Save money on outdoors facilities
- Insulate the ceiling – the most heat leaves the house through the ceiling so it’s a good idea to insulate it. Once you have the insulation in place make sure to check it regularly.
- Plant trees around your house – in winter they will act as an insulating layer and will make your house warmer. In the summer they will create shade helping you cool the house.
- Properly seal doors and windows – if there are any gaps the heat can be getting out.
- Install timers in pools – if your house has a pool a timer can help reduce pump run time.
- Install energy-efficient pumps in pools – they will keep your pool clean without using too much energy.
- Use pool covers – they will keep the heat in and allow you to save up to 90% on energy.
- Consider solar pool covers – if you need to heat the water in your pool solar pool covers are a great choice. This green technology will use the sun to warm it.
- Build a compost bin – if you create one in your garden you will reduce your household’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- Use an electric lawn mower – they are cheaper to run than regular ones. Their level of toxic emissions is lower as well.
Save money in the office
- Do not heat the rooms if the windows are open – this way the hot air is going to waste.
- Figure out how the heating system works – in offices they often offer energy efficiency functions that you can turn on.
- Reduce the temperature by 1 degree – no one in the office will notice and you can save up to 10% on the heating bill.
- Don’t allow the staff to change the heating settings – assign one person who can set and control the temperature in the office.
- Use timers – set them to take into account shift patterns so that the heating is not on when there is no one in the building.
- Turn off heating in meeting rooms – if you only use certain rooms every once in a while, turn the heating off there and turn it back on only when a meeting is actually taking place.
- Close window blinds at the end of the day – keeping them closed at night will reduce heat loss.
- Install thermostatic radiator valves ( TRVs ) – they stop the heating from being delivered to the warmest parts of the building that do not need it.
- Insulate pipes in the cavity above suspended ceilings – if they are not insulated you will be losing a lot of heat.
- Think of seating arrangements – you can try to put employees in the warmest parts of the buildings and use the colder parts for other activities.
- Install double or triple glazed windows – if you are thinking of refurbishing the office that would be a good solution to keep more heat inside.
- Use time switches – that will ensure that the lights are only turned on if someone needs them.
- Make the most of the natural light – move all the objects that are blocking the light entering through the windows.
- Install daylight blinds – they redirect light to the ceiling illuminating the room more effectively.
- Use presence detector lighting controls – installing them in places that are not used all the time like toilets or storage rooms can help you save money on electricity.
- Install skylights – thanks to them you can make the most of the natural daylight.
- Open windows instead of using air conditionings – in the summer, before you turn the cooling system on, consider if opening windows and doors would be enough.
- Clean ventilation system filters regularly – this way you will make sure that they’re not blocked and the air can be filtered effectively.
- Reduce the speed of the cooling system – there is no need for it to be always operating at full speed. You can match its speed to your needs.
- Install window interlocks on the air conditioning control system – they will automatically switch off the air conditioning if someone opens a window.
- Turn computer monitors off – everyone should do it if they are not using their computers for more than 10 minutes.
- Lower brightness on computers – the brighter the screen is, the more energy it will use.
- Use one communal printer – that will be a more cost-efficient solution than letting everyone have their personal printer.
- Use duplex printing – this option allows to print content on both sides of the paper.
Other tips to save money on energy bills
- Don’t use electric blankets – it can be tempting to sleep under one in winter but they consume a lot of energy. You might want to consider using a hot water bottle instead.
- Check hot water pipes – to save money always make sure they are well insulated.
- Block fireplaces if you don’t use them – that can help you insulate the house and keep the heat in.
- Unplug chargers – many people leave chargers plugged in even if the phone is not connected anymore. Even though they are not using a lot of energy then, they can still generate some charges.
- Verify which appliances consume the most energy – you can use energy monitors to find out. Based on that information you can decide to replace them or use them less frequently.
- Keep the garage door closed – cold air might be getting into the house through the garage.
- Print only when necessary – if you use a printer, you should wait until you’ve got a lot of files and print them together, instead of printing single documents separately. Each time you activate the printer it consumes energy, no matter how many pages you print.
- Decide how much energy you want to use – check your energy bills to see how much energy you consume now. Based on that you can set goals to lower your consumption before the next bill comes.
- Use laptops instead of desktops – they use significantly less energy.
- Adjust the temperature of water heaters – some of them have a high temperature set automatically. You should check it and set it to a lower one to save money.
- Control your bills – regularly checking how much you spend on energy allows you to monitor whether the tricks to save money on energy bills are working.
- Shop during off season – you can find many seasonal promotions offered by heating and cooling manufacturers.
- Change your habits – once you get used to turning the lights off when you leave the room or having quick showers saving money on energy bills will seem easy.
- Think through your purchases – before you buy any new electronic gear ask yourself if you really need it. You should consider not only its price in the store but also how much energy it will consume and how using it will increase your energy bills.