Six easy tips to reduce energy bill by £370 a year

Energy bills: Expert advises to 'close curtains' when heating is on

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The energy price guarantee came into effect on October 1, bringing average household bills up to a staggering £2,500 a year – a price untenable for many. With inflationary pressures permeating other items, such as food, transport and fuel, households across the country have been looking into effective ways to reduce costs at home. However, some easy tips could help Britons knock a sizeable figure off of their energy bills.

Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) rates soared once again in the year to September as rising prices pushed inflation rates back to a four-decade high of 10.1 percent.

With energy bills smashing record-high rates for many, it comes as no surprise to see the nation keenly searching for fast fixes to lower costs at home.

According to the Retail Economics-HyperJar Cost of Living Tracker, more than three-quarters of people surveyed have said they plan to use less energy while cutting non-essential spending this winter, in a bid to combat higher costs as discretionary budgets continue to deteriorate.

To help people on their journey to using less energy this winter, there are a few simple but effective tips they can use to save some money.

Save with washing

Washing machines are one of the most heavily used appliances in the home and while they may be convenient, they do use lots of water and can be expensive to run.

However, according to Energy Saving Trust, people could save around £34 a year just by making a few changes.

Money Expert’s Philip Stubbins said: “To save money, be sure that the washing machine is completely full before turning it on, avoid half-empty washes throughout the week, and try to reduce it to just one wash a week.

“You should also run your cycles on a 30-degree ‘eco mode’ wash to use less water and energy each time.”

Insulate the home

Although it’s not an instant fix, adding extra insulation around the home can help save a lot of money by locking in heat, which reduces the amount of energy being used overall.

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Mr Stubbins said: “Topping up your loft insulation will help you reduce the amount of energy needed to heat your home and save you around £35 per year.”

Install additional features

Installing a few extra add-ons to the home can be another simple but effective way of saving money on annual energy bills this winter.

Mr Stubbins said: “Investing in thermostatic radiator valves can help control the temperature of individual radiators, so you can make sure you’re only heating the rooms you’ll be using.

“This can reduce the volume of hot water going to the radiators, which uses less energy and can help save you money this winter.”

Take control of the heating

With the temperature dropping in winter, people may need to switch the heating on a lot more. However, having an efficient heating system that can be controlled easily will help reduce heating bills and could help save around £75 a year.

On top of this, turning the thermostat down by just one degree can save up to £80 a year, too.

Mr Stubbins said: “Look to set the timer for moments in the day when you’re at home to avoid wasting any energy. Many companies now offer advanced smart controls for heating systems that connect to the internet. Similar to a timer, but more advanced, these can help you change timings remotely if plans change.

“Adapting to smart controls can help add autonomy to your home schedule and give you the freedom to change your settings remotely. This will help you to only use energy when it is really needed.”

Technology aside, Mr Stubbins provided an additional, low-cost tip to enhance warmth in rooms.

He said: “When you are heating your home, a cheap way to help with keeping in the warmth is to add some reflector panels behind your radiators which help spread the heat around quicker. The panels reflect heat back into the room helping you feel warmer for longer.”

Draught-proof the home

Lots of homes have unwanted gaps around doors and windows, which can result in heat escaping from the home.

However, according to Energy Saving Trust, sealing the gaps and stopping this heat from escaping could help people save around £60 a year.

Mr Stubbins said: “If you have an open chimney, draught-proofing it with an inflatable pillow when it’s not in use could save a further £90 a year.

“You could also use draught excluders along doors to keep the heat in and install sealant strips around the windows to ensure they have a tight seal.”

Keep appliances clean

Appliances can gather dust or become dirty over time and this can impact their energy efficiency, meaning they’ll have to run for longer to achieve the desired result.

An example of this is the fridge and tumble dryer filters, which need to be kept clean to run properly.

Mr Stubbins said: “Make sure you dust the condenser coils to help this run as much as 25 percent more efficiently.”

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