From topping up your insulation to draught proofing your home, our top energy efficiency tips will help you save money and cut down on those bills.
The ‘cost of living’ is probably a phrase that you’re tired of hearing. It’s everywhere, and it’s frightening. However, the reality is that this is something we are all going to face in one way or another. The good news is that there are quick and simple actions you can take to cut down on those rising bills.
We’ve rounded up 10 of our top tips for increasing energy efficiency and saving on your bills. These will help you minimise your carbon footprint while keeping more pennies in your pocket.
What is energy efficiency?
First thing’s first – what actually is energy efficiency?
Net zero, sustainable construction, responsible retrofit, water neutrality… There are a LOT of phrases to get your head around. But it’s simple, really. Energy efficiency is taking steps to lower your energy use in order to minimise carbon commissions and, as a result, do your bit to tackle climate change.
From residential to commercial buildings, the UK’s built environment is responsible for 25% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and 50% of global emissions; so, it’s a good place to start!
There are many ways to save energy around the home. Read on for our handy hacks and start saving money (and the planet!) today.
How to save money on your energy bills during a cost of living crisis.
1. Get clear on what you’re paying for.
First thing’s first – where is your money currently going?
Smart metres are a great way to figure this out. If you see a sudden spike after using a certain appliance, it’s a sure sign that you may want to avoid using it. This means you can keep an eye on your energy usage and make adjustments if it feels necessary.
We also recommend checking in on your bills rather than going straight to the figure owed. Granted, energy bills can be confusing – Home Energy Scotland has put together a good guide on understanding them a little better.
2. Use the eco setting.
The eco setting on your appliances is there for a reason. Yes, it will take a little longer, but you’ll get the same result and it’s far more energy efficient.
Dishwashers, boilers and washing machines will all have an eco setting. It works by heating up the water more slowly. Select and save.
3. Draught proof windows and doors.
Unless your home is a (very!) new build, you will likely be losing heat through draughts around your doors, windows, gaps in the flooring and through your chimney. You can get this done professionally (from cheaper more simple approaches – such as fitting caps over your chimney – over to actually replacing your doors and windows etc) or DIY it (check this article out by Energy Saving Trust for some ideas).
Yes, this can cut down your bills, but it’s also going to make you far more comfortable in your home.
4. Turn off those lights.
It may sound obvious, but a study conducted by Utility Design found that 6.5 million people left their lights on during the day, which resulted in an astronomical 37,440,000 kg carbon dioxide emission per day. This equates to 62 flights around the world.
So, chances are you’re one of those 6.5 million falling prey to unnecessary lights. Not in the room? Switch them off. Got enough natural light? Switch them off.
5. Don’t heat empty rooms (and be sure to keep them closed!).
When it comes to warming your home, turn your radiators off to start off with and then only turn them back on if you actually need the room to be heated.
For example, if you’ve got a spare room that isn’t currently occupied, there’s little use in heating it up. Save yourself the money and the energy.
While you’re working your way around your rooms, keep those connecting doors closed. That way, you can keep the heat enclosed far better.
6. Top up your insulation.
Effective insulation is SO important. Insulating both your loft and cavity walls can save you as much as £290 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust. In addition, adding insulation around your boiler can improve your energy efficiency too.
You can also shave off pounds from your energy bills by swapping your single glazed windows for double glazed and updating any old insulation around your property.
7. Unplug, unplug, unplug!
Not actually using an appliance? Then why is it plugged in?!
MANY of us are guilty of overcharging our devices. Not only does this actually damage battery life, but it’s adding needless digits to your bills. Unplugging your appliances when you’re done with them could even save you about £60 a year on your electricity bills.
8. Opt for the shower (and spend less time in there).
Sure, a long hot bath is pretty blissful – but it costs a considerable amount more to run a bath than to take a shower. If you’re looking to protect your wallet, opt for the shower more often than the bath.
Once in the shower, aim to reduce your time in there. It costs to heat water, so even cutting your shower by a few minutes every day can make a difference.
9. Standby, bye bye.
The standby setting on appliances rinses energy – and that’s a fact. Almost all electrical products can be switched off at the plug without upsetting their programming. This is a worthwhile action as you can £65 a year just by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode.
10. Check in energy schemes and grants.
There are some energy schemes and grants available now to help pay your energy bills and to support you with the costs of renewable heating. According to Which, these include:
- Warm Home Discount – £140 (increasing to £150 in October 2022) mainly to pensioners and those who get certain benefits
- Winter Fuel Payment – £100 – £300 per winter for those born before 26 September 1955
- Boiler Upgrade scheme (launched in May 2022) – up to £5,000 to replace your current gas or oil heating with low-carbon heating
- Help with loft insulation and boiler costs from energy suppliers.
Check in and see if there are any you can take advantage of.
Let us hope you take the confusion out of carbon neutral goals.
Here at Buildpass, we are experts when it comes to sustainable construction. It’s what we do – what we are passionate about.
If you have a project coming up or ongoing and need a helping hand making it more energy efficient, we can help. Book in a free sustainability consultation today.