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Published: 09/02/2016

5 simple life changes that will save energy – and money

Winter is definitely here. The temperatures are tumbling, especially in the mornings and evenings. It’s time to put the heating on. Many people are thinking about how they can keep their energy bills as low as possible. Luckily, there are some easy changes you can make.

Here are just five suggestions:

1 – Turn your heating down

According to Energy UK turning your thermostat down by just one degree can save you roughly £85 per year. You probably won’t even notice the difference in temperature. If you haven’t got room thermostats, consider having them installed. Energy UK says that installing a room thermostat could save you up to £70 per year.

You may also save money by keeping your heating on all the time but at a lower temperature, rather than trying to heat your home in blasts. Incidentally this is generally how underfloor heating works, by keeping your home at a constant, comfortable temperature year-round.


2 – Turn radiators down low in unused rooms

If your radiators or electric heaters can be individually controlled, consider turning them down to their lowest settings in rooms that you don’t use very often, such as hallways and spare rooms. If you’re only passing through or the room isn’t used, why heat it unnecessarily? The Centre for Sustainable Energy doesn’t recommend turning radiators off permanently in an unused room because it can lead to damp and mould.


3 – Banish those draughts

Unless you live in a house that’s only a few years old, it’s likely that some heat will be lost through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor or skirting, or through the chimney. The Energy Saving Trust says that draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most-efficient ways to save energy in a building. They say that draught-proofing around your home’s windows and doors could save you £25 to £50 per year.

Getting rid of draughts not only helps to stop heat being lost but it means you’ll be able to turn your thermostat down and save even more money.


4 – Install a water efficient shower head

Unless you have an electric shower, your shower probably takes hot water directly from your boiler or hot water tank. Fitting a water efficient showerhead allows you to still get the feeling of a powerful shower without using so much hot water. There are a variety of water efficient shower heads on the market. You can also get a water saving device that fits between your existing shower head and the hose. Some water companies will send these out for free.

If you’re on a water meter, saving water will save you money. You’ll also be doing the environment a good turn by lowering your energy usage and reducing carbon dioxide emissions as less energy will be used to pump, heat and treat the water.

According to the Energy Saving Trust: “if a family of four replace their inefficient shower head with a water-efficient one they could save around £65 off their gas bills and around £100 off their water bills (if they have a water meter) each year. That’s a total saving of around £165.”


5 – Layer up

If you want to save money on your heating bills, one option that’s completely free is to simply wear more clothes! Get cosy on the sofa by wearing warm slippers and a warm jumper. You could also wrap up in a blanket while watching TV. If you’re cold in bed, use a high tog rating duvet, wear cosy pyjamas and pop an extra blanket on top of the covers.

These are five simple ways to save energy and money on your bills this autumn and winter. If you’re looking to make a more significant change, consider your options for renewables.

Installing green technologies, such as heat pumps, will allow you to save considerable amounts of money on your fuel bills and reduce your home’s carbon footprint. For example, if you currently have electric heating, installing an air source heat pump could save 5,230kg of carbon dioxide per year and £650 per year in energy bills. Find out more about homeowner heat pumps here.