Friday, 20 May 2016

Home energy hacks: 5 ways to reduce your household costs

Running a household takes a lot of energy and if you’re not savvy, your heating and electricity bills can soar. Luckily though, there are some relatively simple steps you can take to bring your spending down and more money in youchecking accounts. Keep reading for five tips that could help you to reduce your home energy costs.

1. Consider switching your energy supplier 
Firstly, it’s vital that you make sure you’re getting a competitive deal from your energy supplier. Just by switching to better tariffs, people often find they can save hundreds of pounds per year. This is true whether you’re connected to the mains or you’re one of the four million off-grid households and you use liquid petroleum gas (LPG) for heating and cooking. Swapping to a new provider may be easier than you think. For example, LPG providers Flogas offer to contact your existing supplier and arrange the switch on your behalf. Transitions like this can be completed within a couple of weeks and they may make a significant dent in your energy bills.

2. Switch to LEDs 
If you currently use traditional incandescent light bulbs, now’s the time to replace them. Did you know that swapping just one 60-watt incandescent bulb for an LED can save you over £7 a year? Just imagine how much money you can save if you replace all the bulbs in your home. It’s true that LEDS are more expensive to purchase in the first place, but they have a much greater lifespan than incandescents and so offer impressive value for money. It’s also important to remember to turn your lights off when they’re not needed.

3. Block draughts and insulate

We might be steadily approaching summer, but it’s still worth thinking about draughts and insulation. By making sure your home is more effective at trapping warmth and keeping the cold out, you can make your property more energy-efficient year-round - and this will be especially important during the colder months. Simple things like fitting draught-proofing strips around window and door frames, blocking chimneys that are out of use and using draught excluders on the bottom of doors can make a big difference. If your budget will stretch to it, you might also want to consider installing loft and wall insulation.

4. Lower your thermostat 
Just turning your thermostat down by one degree could cut your bills too. In fact, a typical home can save as much as £90 a year by taking this step. It might mean you have to wear an extra layer while you’re lounging around, but it’s surely worth it if it makes it easier to balance your budget. It’s also a good idea to turn radiators down in rooms you don’t often use, and try to make sure your heating is turned off when you’re not at home.

5. Switch to more energy-efficient appliances 
When it’s time to replace your appliances, look out for versions with high energy-efficiency ratings. Using the greenest models can save you a surprising amount. For example, expect to shave nearly £40 a year off your bills with the right washing machine, while efficient fridge-freezers and tumble dryers can save you around £62 and £100 a year respectively. Everything from your TV to your kettle has an impact on your electricity bill, so make sure you’re shrewd in your selection.

By following energy-saving advice like this, you could make major savings - leaving you with extra cash to spend on your family or put aside for a rainy day.

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