30+ Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bills

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reduce energy bills

This time of year, I’m grateful for the credit I’ve built up with my energy supplier from not using much gas and electric during the warmer months.

It definitely helps knowing we have a little buffer since we use so much more energy during the colder months!

Even so, I am constantly looking for ways to keep our energy costs down so I thought I’d share a bumper round up of all the tips I’ve come across to reduce energy costs and to save more money.

30+ Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bills

Switch Suppliers

Firstly, the thing that is going to have the biggest impact on your bills is your energy supplier.

You can save hundreds of pounds a year by switching to a better deal. When we switched to Bulb our monthly payments changed from £149 a month to £118.

If Bulb could save you money, sign up using my link and we will both receive £50!

Warm Home Discount

If you are on a low income and receive certain benefits, you might be entitled to Warm Home Discount.

You could receive £140 off your electric bill (or gas if your supplier provides both gas and electric).

It isn’t paid to you but credited directly to your bill. Find out more here.

Install a Smart Meter

Whilst installing a smart meter doesn’t directly save you money, it can make you more conscious of the energy you are using and can change the way you use it going forward, which can save you money.

For example, a conventional oven can cost more than 3 times as much to run as a slow cooker – so you could save money by using the slow cooker more.

A heated airer costs a fraction of the expense of running a tumble dryer.

Sure these savings aren’t going to make the kind of difference that switching supplier does. But they’ll all add up just the same.

Submit Regular Meter Readings

We are not currently able to have a smart meter installed, so I monitor our usage by submitting regular meter readings so that my bills are accurate.

This way I can monitor to see the periods in which we are using more energy and think about ways to reduce that cost.

It also means that I can adjust my direct debit as required to ensure that we are not building up too much credit or that we are paying enough each month to fully cover the usage.

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Use Off Peak and Overnight Energy Rates

Some suppliers have different rates for times of energy use meaning that it’s cheaper to run appliances during certain times of the day and overnight.

Whether this applies to you will depend on your supplier and tariff but if there are off peak times take advantage and run your appliances during this time.

I’m not suggesting you vacuum at 2am but perhaps turn a load of washing on before bed (if you can close the door to it and it won’t disturb your sleep).

Turn Down the Thermostat

If you have your thermostat set for the heating to kick in at a certain temperature, trial lowering it 1 or 2 degrees.

The chances are you won’t notice much of a difference but over time this will help you save on your gas bill.

We used to have ours set at 20 degrees. I now have it set at 18 and I turn it down again in the night.

As we are a mid-terrace house and our daughter’s bedroom gets the sun all day, it tends to retain heat quite well for an old house (especially given that we live in a region that seems to have its own micro climate) so for us this temperature is adequate.

Use Blankets

We keep two blankets on the back of our sofa, so that if we’re feeling a little chilly in the evening, we can pull them off instead of cranking up the heating,

Don’t Block Radiators

Furniture or curtains covering a radiator stops heat from being distributed around the room.

Make sure you’re not wasting heat by blocking your radiators.

Turn Unused Radiators Off

A few areas in our home are pointlessly being heated so I have turned the radiators off.

We have a small utility nook with a radiator and a small entrance hall with one too.

These are spaces that don’t need to be heated so why pay to do so?

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Turn Down Radiators

This became a necessity for us when our daughter started moving around, rather than an attempt to save money but radiators don’t need to be on their highest setting.

Instead of turning them up to scalding, turn them down a little – they will still sufficiently heat the room provided they are bled regularly.

Bleed Radiators

Which leads me to my next point – make sure you bleed your radiators regularly.

Bleeding your radiators lets any trapped air escape and allows the water to fill and circulate better making them more efficient.

It’s easy to do – even I can do it. You just need a radiator valve key and a towel (to catch drips).

To determine if a radiator needs bleeding, put the heating on and feel the radiator. Does it take a while to heat up? Are there cold spots? Does it make a lot of noise?

Once you have determined which ones are an issue, make sure you turn the heating off and allow the radiators to cool – the last thing you want is to scald yourself when you are doing it!

Place the key into the radiator valve and turn anticlockwise (don’t turn it all the way) – you should hear a hiss which is the air escaping.

Leave it until all the air has escaped and then when water comes out turn the key to lock the valve again.

You might need to check your boiler pressure after doing this.

Install Energy Saving Light Bulbs

An energy saving bulb can save you up to £9 a year in electricity and up to £100 over it’s lifetime.

They are pricier than normal bulbs, but when you think about how many you have in your home it makes sense to make the change!

Clean Appliances

Appliances need regular cleaning to stay at their top efficiency so be sure to refer to your manufacturers manual and clean them as needed. (You don’t need to hoard manuals – google the make and model and you’ll find a copy online).

I regularly clean the filter on my vacuum as I notice the loss in suction when it gets dirty, but I don’t think too much about other appliances.

When was the last time you pulled out your fridge? Never? Did you know you should clean the coils on the back? They’re there to remove heat from the fridge, but they can get coated in dust making the fridge need to work harder to remove the heat.

You should also regularly clean out the inside too – remove food that is going bad and take out anything that is using unnecessary space to allow the air to circulate properly.

Defrost Freezer

Do you regularly defrost your freezer? If ice builds up, a thick layer can act as insulation meaning the freezer needs to work harder to keep food frozen.

Regularly defrosting will ensure that it remains energy efficient.

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Keep Your Freezer Full

An empty freezer allows warm air to circulate when you open and close the door meaning the freezer needs to use more energy to keep it cold.

Fill empty space with bottles of water.

Dry Washing Outside

Obviously this is a seasonal one and fully depends on the weather, but on dry days hang your clothes out to dry.

I used my tumble dryer way more than was necessary when my daughter was first born to save time – even during the summer.

But a tumble dryer is very costly to run so if you can avoid using it, do.

Heated Airer

I mentioned this earlier but a heated airer is a fantastic alternative to the tumble dryer when it is too wet to dry your clothes outside.

They cost pennies to run.

Dryer Balls

If you do have to use the tumble dryer, you could consider buying some dryer balls.

Dryer balls can reduce drying time AND save you money as they make clothes soft without the need for fabric conditioner.

However, for dryer balls to work you’ll have to consciously think about the time you set on your tumble dryer – if you usually set it for 60 minutes, try 50 with the dryer balls and see if your clothes have dried sufficiently – and adjust until you find the right amount of time.

If you don’t want to buy dryer balls can make your own – or even tennis balls will do the job.

Use a Towel

An alternative to dryer balls is putting a dry, absorbent towel into the dryer with your wet clothes.

It supposedly absorbs the excess moisture from the clothes which reduces drying time.

The only snag being you need to remember to remove it after 15 minutes or it’ll redistribute the water it has absorbed.

I haven’t tried this, so can’t vouch for its efficiency but it’s been suggested to me on numerous occasions by others.

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Use a Fast Spin

Another way of reducing drying time is by putting the washing machine on an extra, fast spin once the load has finished.

This should remove more of the excess water before the clothes are moved to the dryer.

Use the Eco Setting

Lots of appliances including dishwashers and washing machines come with an Eco-mode.

Using the Eco mode means using less energy as temperatures are lower and therefore less energy is required to heat it.

Use Full Loads

Don’t put a half full dishwasher or washing machine load on.

Wait until it’s full (but don’t overload it).

Switch to a Thicker Duvet in Winter

This was not something I’d consciously thought about until my daughter was born and I was researching sleeping bag togs.

We use the same duvet year round and kick it off in the summer months.

But if you’re really feeling the cold during the winter months, it might be worth investing in a heavier tog for the season which you can switch out for your lighter quilt when the weather warms up again.

Seal Draughts

If you feel a draught, sealing it to stop the warm air escaping and the cold air getting in will reduce the energy required to heat a space.

If doesn’t have to be a costly solution.

You can purchase draught excluders cheaply, even a pair of stuffed old tights will do the job.

Thicker/Lined Curtains

A lot of the heat in your home escapes through the windows so thick, lined curtains are really beneficial to keeping the heat in the room.

I know of people who have a curtain that they can pull across their front door too – this isn’t a necessity in our house, but if you live an old house which is very cold, it’s something to think about.

Boil What You Need

Anyone else’s other half have the tendency of filling the kettle to the brim to make a brew for two?

Only boil what you need. It uses unnecessary energy to boil all that extra water and it’s just a waste.

Use a Flask

If you do boil too much water, pour it into a flask for use later – it’ll save you needing to boil the kettle again and will stay hot for hours.

Use Your Slow Cooker More

I mentioned this one earlier, but I feel like the slow cooker is the most underrated household appliance ever.

Honestly, I could probably write an entire post about the benefits of a slow cooker but aside from the frugal aspect of it costing less to run, here’s a few more benefits of the slow cooker.

You can make all sorts in it! You can put it on in the morning and when you get home for work tea will already be done.

You can make your standard curries, casseroles etc but did you know you can make other things in there too?

Wrap potatoes in tin foil for a slow cooker jacket spud. Slow cooker brownies are the fudgiest, gooiest creations I’ve ever ‘baked’ and you can even make hot drinks in it!

Hot chocolate and mulled wine are amazing in the slow cooker, and your house will smell delicious too.

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Use Pan Lids

For the times when you are cooking on the stove, make use of your pan lids.

They retain the heat and means you can cook your food on a lower heat which uses less energy.

You can also turn the heat off completely and leave the pan on the ring for it to continue cooking for the final few minutes without using any extra energy.

Turn Lights/Appliances Off

I don’t want this post to turn into a character assassination of my other half, but seriously?

Turn the lights off when you leave a room.

He’ll go and have a bath but leave the TV and lights in the living room on.

If it’s not being used – turn it off.

Shower instead of Bath

The average bath uses approximately 160 litres of water – which needs energy to be heated.

The average shower uses 20 litres per minute.

A quick shower will save a lot of water and energy.

Summary

The best way to save money is by being more conscious of how much energy you’re using but if you employ some of these tips and tricks you’ll be able to shave pounds off your energy bills!

Do you have any tips I should add to the list?

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