You’re sitting at home comfortably with your cup of tea when you hear those tell-tale signs of the postman coming down your drive. Clutched in his hands are a bunch of brown envelopes, and your heart begins to sink. You are about to be billed again, and you begin to wish you had employed more frugal lifestyle choices to avoid the burning in your bank account. Still, it’s of little consequence now as the bills have just arrived, but moving forward, there are a few things you can do to reduce your energy bills in the future. Consider the following.
- Wrap up warm. By layering yourself in clothes during the colder weather, you won’t need to have the heating blasting out at maximum power. Grab yourself some cosy slippers too, and even a hot water bottle to wrap beneath your dressing gown.
- Be sensible with your heating. If it’s the middle of summer, you don’t need your heating on at all. You can warm your house by opening your curtains wide and letting the earth’s natural heat supplier (the sun) do its job. On those chillier days, follow our previous tip, and perhaps wait until the temperature really drops before turning that thermostat up higher.
- Use a smart meter. Many energy providers are now helping you to keep tabs on exactly how much energy you are using at home with the aid of these handy devices. No longer will you need to endure estimated bills from your provider, as you will get a running update on what energy you are using, and a real-time account on how how much you are spending.
- Don’t stick with the same supplier. Energy prices are rising all the time, so take the time to research what other utility companies are offering their customers. With a quick online search, you can read reviews of other firms, as well as using gas and electricity comparison sites to help you find a better offer without a lot of fuss or hard work on your part.
- Be energy-efficient. Part of the reason your energy bills are so high is because of your own bad habits. Taking too many (overflowing) baths, leaving your appliances plugged in 24/7, not switching off lights when you leave the room, and washing half-loads in your washing machine, are just some of the terrible habits you should think about quitting.
- Educate your family. Despite what we just said, you may be the epitome of energy-efficiency. But what about your family? If your kids decide to spend hours under the shower, or leave their laptops and mobile devices plugged in, even when fully charged, it will be your pockets that bear the brunt of the financial burden. Therefore, sit down with each member of your family, give them some gentle reminders when they forget the rules you set, and remind them of the damage they are doing to the earth’s carbon footprint with their careless habits.
- Pay bills by direct-debit. Rather than adhering to a variable contract with your energy suppliers (where the price of your energy could go up or down), consider paying a fixed price each month through direct debit. If the prices do fall in the interim, you will normally be allowed a refund from your supplier, or, at the very least, have reduced amounts to pay in the next payment calendar.
- Use energy-efficient products. Most modern appliances now come with the energy-star rating, giving you the peace of mind that they won’t inflate your energy bills. Sticking to your rusty old appliances at home, on the other hand, is a guaranteed way to see your bills going higher and higher. So, from your dishwasher to your refrigerator, look for that guarantee when you are next shopping for something new. The expense will be worth it in the long-term.
- Insulate your home. Another expense initially, but one that will serve you well in the long-term. From a loft insulation to improved sealings on your doors and windows, you won’t lose the heat from your home through any gaps in your home. If you can’t afford to do major renovations to your property, there are ways you can insulate your home cheaply with some simple DIY methods. However, you may qualify for a grant from your local government, so it is still worth checking on what they can offer you.
Saving money is something we are all interested in, but by adhering to these tips, you will also be doing your bit to save the world as well. I hope you found this simple advice useful, but let me know if you have any further advice!
*This is a collaborative post.
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