The energy market is becoming increasingly competitive and it is the consumer who is footing the bill. Below are a few simple steps you can take around your home to help keep your energy bills under control and help reduce your household CO2 emissions:
Most people can benefit from reduced electricity rates at night. Most Economy 7 rates kick in around midnight and end around 6 a.m. – check with your energy provider to obtain the exact times. Invest in some cheap timer switches and set your washing machine and dishwasher etc to start when the cheaper rates apply.
Switch off, not standby!
It is estimated that when you leave your TV on standby, it is still using up to 90% of your precious energy! All you have to do is get into the habit of switching off anything you would normally leave on standby. Think about other appliances too when not in use: unplug your mobile phone charger, computer, kettle, toaster – anything possible! In addition, when making a cuppa only fill the kettle with the amount of water required – kettles are one of the biggest energy-guzzling appliances around the home. The money saved will make it worth the extra effort.
To switch or not to switch?
The Internet is abounding with price comparison sites and a with quick search you can switch your energy provider to a cheaper one. On USwitch.com, for example, you input your current energy usage or expenditure and they display cheaper providers if possible. A fixed tariff can be an advantage, but don’t be seduced by this word – fixed doesn’t mean cheaper overall and once the period is over they may make massive increases. You could be safer opting for a provider that doesn’t offer a capped price and then switch should they increase too much; it is only half an hour at your computer after all.
There are added incentives to using these comparison services: some offer cashback for each switch you make, others may promise a free crate of wine! Other ways of reducing costs are paying your energy bill by monthly direct debit and switching to paperless billing; the latter being a way of further reducing your carbon footprint.
Keep it in the family
It is all very well introducing these energy-saving methods around your home, but your kids and family may not be so quick to join in. Explain to them how it will help the world around them, maybe affix a fun pendant to your bathroom light switch that they will want to interact with, or suggest that with some of the money saved you will be able to do something exciting together. Additionally, you can buy timer light switches that only stay on for a set period of time; this takes the hassle out of having to constantly check to see if someone has turned a light off or not and they will pay for themselves in no time at all.