Why are we writing a tips to save energy post?
Energy prices in the UK are set to soar across the board – initially brought about by rising wholesale prices, the recent war in the Ukraine and subsequent sanctions placed on Russia are going to make the Coming April price rises all the more unpalateable. Rises of some 50% were anticipated but these new unprecedented circumstances mean a sight more than this is likely.
With such enormous rises on the cards, this article aims to offer such tips and advice as are practical in order to offer money saving ideas going forward into this uncertain time.
Around 85% of UK homes have gas central heating fitted, so gas plays a big role in UK households. In addition to this, gas turbines also contribute around 33% of electrical energy generation. Energy companies have seen their costs increase in a dramatic fashion as the price of wholesale gas has escalated, leading to many of the smaller suppliers being forced out of the market.
The average household energy bill may rise toward £3,000 per year and over once the government’s energy price cap is raised in April, so our tips to save energy may be especially relevant.
The challenge that this will place on consumers into the future will be tremendous. Energy switches are currently a thing of the past, leaving price capped tariffs the only option on the table.
So what can you do about these rises?
The government is thinking about expansion of their discount scheme for low-income families and perhaps even cutting taxes on energy to help soften the blow – although a tax reduction would not result in any significant savings.
With this in mind, are there any practical tips that we can offer you?
You’ll probably already have heard many of these tips to save energy but they are more significant now than ever.
Be Smart….Install a smart thermostat
Smart thermostats can reduce your energy use by heating only the rooms that you are currently using, learning the dynamics of your home and how long it takes to it heat up and providing you the means to control temperatures from your mobile. Macgas can install a Smart System which could see a saving of around £80 a year.
Turning down your thermostat by just 1 degree
Another £60-80 saving per year to be had here by reducing the thermostat temperature control by a single degree. You probably won’t even feel the difference…but you’ll see it in your bills.
Appliances on standby should be turned off
Even when they appear to be turned off, appliances like computers, consoles and TVs, will still draw a small amount of power. Similarly with phone chargers left plugged into the wall. Timers for your extension cables can be handy in these circumstances, allowing you to set a time to turn off devices over night.
Whilst on the subject of electricity, you should fit LED bulbs
Not only do the last longer than old filament bulbs but fitting LED’s could save up to £40 per year. Tips to save energy don’t come any easier than that!
Do one less wash a week
Putting the dishwasher or washing machine on slightly less could trim up to £10 off your annual bill, savings can be increased if you use eco modes or wash at a lower temperature too. And it goes without saying that less use of the tumble-dryer can result in bigger savings.
Install the very latest boiler technology
New modern boilers are significantly more efficient than older ones. An A-rated condensing boiler could reduce your gas bill by up to 30% or more. These new boilers are also Smart Ready.
Invest in better home insulation
Heat loss through your roof and windows is the biggest issue when it comes to keeping your home warm. Therefore, loft insulation and double glazing should be high on your list of improvements as both are highly effective measures for cutting down on heat loss. The upfront investment can seem expensive – but if your home doesn’t have this and you plan to be there for a few years, the saving of up to £300 per year could well be worth it.
As well as insulation, draught-proofing is key
One of our obvious tips to save energy concerns draughts. Cold air blowing through your house making your thermostat constantly fight to maintain temperature means you could be wasting a lot of money. Ensuring that your skirting boards and floors are sealed, blocking up unused chimneys and using draught excluder around all your doors can help with keeping heat loss to a minimum and could offer savings of around £30 annually.
Monitor your energy usage
Having a smart meter allows you to view exactly how much energy you are using and when you are using it. This can offer a visual stimulus so that you can consider your own ways of reducing consumption.
Perhaps you should consider renewable energy alternatives?
Energy costs are at an all time high and governments around the world are pursuing ecologically sound alternatives to polluting oil and gas. As time goes on, the impetus to head toward renewable energy sources will only grow stronger so plan ahead now to avoid being left behind and paying extortionate prices for energy. Rather than one of our immediate tips to save energy, renewables installation has the potential to save you money well into the future but does require some effort in planning and execution.
These work by extracting heat from the air outside and using it to heat your home. It works kind of like a fridge works…but in reverse. Being classed as a renewable energy source, they are eligible for Government Renewable Heat Incentive schemes.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
In the same way that warmth can be extracted from the air outside, it can also be extracted from the ground itself. The earth beneath our feet – deeper down of course – is naturally heated and this heat can be used to provide significant warmth for your home….saving up to 80% on your annual heating bill in the process.
The initial cost of installation is quite high, but as they have a long lifespan (around 25 years) and are low maintenance along with being eligible for Government Funded Incentive schemes such as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme, it can be a very viable option.
Solar Thermal is a type of solar panel that uses the sun’s energy to heat up water to use in your home. Being very simple to maintain, enjoying a long lifespan and producing no emissions, they are environmentally friendly. Having a solar thermal system installed can also add to the value of your home.
Grants to improve your home
Having work done on your home to install these measures and make it more energy efficient can be expensive. Visit the government-endorsed Simple Energy Advice website for details of grants that could cover some if not all of the costs for improvements.
In conclusion then, if you have already addressed most of the points above in our tips to save energy, then there’s not really much else to do other than brace yourself for the coming rises. If you can apply any of the tips outlined then you should take advantage now of existing government grants to help cover the cost of improvements and ultimately save money in the long run.
If you’re ready to take action and investigate cost saving measures then contact Macgas to talk about your options.