35 Ways to reduce energy costs in 2020

35 tips to reduce energy costs

36 ways to reduce energy costs in 2020. Very simple adjustments in our lifestyle can save money, so 50% of our earnings are not spent on energy costs.

It is estimated that on average we heat our homes for 8 hours per day. With making some simple adjustments we could potentially save £548 per year.

1 Lower your thermostat by 1 Degree

By turning down your thermostat down by 1 degree you can save on average 1% – 3% of your energy bill. This will save you approximately £80 per year.

2 How to find a suitable room temperature for you home

There is nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable in your own home. Either being too hot or too cold.

The normal temperature for a home is normally between 18oC –  21oC. During winter the temperature of our home is normally 18oC, but the thermostat setting is normally set at 20oC.

To help find the most comfortable temperature for your home, reduce your temperature to 18oC. Gradually increase your thermostat by 1oC, until you find the ideal comfortable temperature.

3 Turn your heating down at night

We all love to feel nice and snug in our beds at night.  Especially on those winter nights. But if it is too hot it can be unbearable.

If you like to keep your heating on at night, turn your heating down by approximately 5oC – 10oC. My heating is turned off, but it is set so that if the temperature drops below 7oC , it will automatically turn on.

4 How often should you bleed your radiators

Your radiators should be bled at least once a year. Bleeding your radiators will release any air that is locked in your system.

To bleed your radiators you need to turn your heating on as normal and allow your radiators to heat. Once there is consistent heat, using your radiator bleed key turn slowly. Gradually release any trapped air. Make sure you have a towel handy, as after the air has been released, water will seep from your radiator release valve.

5 Balancing your radiators

If you have radiators in your home that never seem to get hot or are just luke warm, and the value is set to high. Plus if you have already bled your radiators, it may mean that you need to balance your radiators.

Balancing your radiators involves adjusting your radiators so that the distribution of heated throughout your system is even. The radiator nearest your boiler will normally heat first and as the heated water flows through your system, gradually the other radiators will heat. 

You can balance the radiators yourself, but personally it may be worth the investment to have a professional do this for you. It can be frustrating and you will need specific tools to complete that task. By the time you have purchased these, this may have paid for the professional to complete the job.

6 Don’t block or cover your radiators

I have always thought that the location of radiators under windows in a house is stupid. The reason why radiators are placed under windows is to combine the hot air your radiators generate into the cold air that seeps in via your windows. A combination of this helps push the warm air into your room.

But this cannot happen if you block your radiators.  You will not notice any difference. For instance, if you have a sofa in front of your radiator, your sofa is absorbing the heat and it is not able to warm your room efficiently.

This relates to any furniture you may have placed in front of your radiators.

7 Is it worth purchasing radiator reflector foil?

radiator reflector

Radiator reflector foil is a cheap way to reflect the heat back into your room. It is placed behind your radiator. If you have cavity walls, then really you do not need to purchase this. But if you have sold walls, it is a purchase you need to consider. This can save you approximately £10 per year.

I purchased a 5m heat reflector bubble foil, 3.6mm thick which can reflect on average 95% of the heat back into your room. This cost me £17.86 and was worth the money. You will need to cut to size and place behind your radiator. The volume you will need will depend on the size and the number of radiators you have. 

There are cheaper versions, but this was recommended to me by a friend. It will take approximately 2 -3 years for you to see the benefit of saving, compared to purchase price.

Have a look at the radiator reflector foil I purchased from Amazon and see what you think.

8 Is it worth installing thermostatic valves on your radiators

If you have a smart heating system, thermostatic valves on your radiators are worth installing. The thermostat in your home will only control the temperature that it is located in, it will not control each individual room.

Installation of  thermostatic valves on your radiators is worth the cost. This will enable you to easily adjust each radiator to suit the relevant room. The radiator thermostat will automatically switch off when it reaches the correct set temperature. This will enable you to have the exact temperature that you want.

Because I have a Hive system installed already, I have purchased a Hive Smart valve as it integrates with my system easily,  I can control everything via my phone app. These are expensive and cost £53.99 each. They are available in white, and can easily be installed.

The positive side of the Hive smart valve is that you do not have to have a heating system installed. You can still control via the hive app. With other smart thermostatic valves I have researched, although they are compatible with Alexa or Google smart home system you still need to purchase the heating system in order for them to work. They are not compatible with any other system you may have installed.

Have a look at the Hive smart thermostatic valve on amazon and compare it to other valves available today.

9 Don’t heat rooms that are not in use

Everybody has rooms in their homes that they hardly use. Have you turned the values down on your radiator?  Are you heating a room you do not use?

By turning the radiator values down, it does not directly save you money. It does mean that the rest of your home will warm more quickly. So you will be saving money in general on keeping the rooms you do use warmer and being more efficient.  This is because you are not warming a room to its maximum temperature, as it is not required.

10 Understanding the heat in your home

There will always be rooms in your home that you hardly use or rooms that never seem to be warm enough.  Mine is my lounge, it forever seems cold. But upstairs is like a furnace.

In order to solve this issue, I have reduced the temperature in my radiators upstairs and on my landing. Mainly so that you are not hit with a wall of warmth which is unbearable when you walk upstairs.

I have increased the temperature of my radiators downstairs in my main hallway and also my lounge. This has taken several attempts and has been a bit frustrating to try and find that happy medium. But I have noticed the difference, and it is a lot warmer downstairs. Plus with only really only being upstairs when it is time for bed I do not feel like I am wasting energy.

11 Leaving heating on whilst you are out

Some people will always argue that you should leave your heating on whilst you are out. I do not agree, although I do have the thermostat set for a minimum temperature to reduce the risk of burst pipes.

Why would anybody want to heat a home when nobody is present?  Even leaving your heating on low whilst you are out, is still heating an empty home. Potentially up to 8-9 hours depending on your circumstances.

Even leaving your heating on the lowest temperature whilst you are away, you will most probably still increase the temperature when you arrive home. So really you do not benefit from leaving your heating on.  Apart from paying more money to your energy company. Which I am sure we all hate.

12 Turn your heating off half hour before you leave

If you do not turn your heating off until you walk out of the door, this still is wasting heat. You are heating an empty home.  I always turn my heating off about half an hour before I leave. My home does not cool down that quickly so I will not notice this before I leave.

13 Does allowing your house to go cold increase any costs

If you allow your home to go completely cold, it will increase the cost to heat. Mainly because you will use more gas trying to heat your home to your required temperature. Set your thermostat at a minimum temperature but not freezing.

My old home was a 1911 building and did not have cavity walls. By allowing my home to go cold, it would take several days to be completely warm again. It was freezing. My current home does heat up a lot quickly and does not take days, but I will not allow my home to drop below a certain temperature.

14 Turn your heating on half hour before arriving home

This may seem odd, but I will always make sure that my heating is turned on half an hour before I arrive home. I do not want to walk into a cold home for the first reason. But the second reason is that I will increase the temperature on the thermostat or hit that boost button. 

I automatically think this will make my home suddenly warm. It will not, it will be warmer quicker but my boiler is having to work harder instead of steadily warming my home.

Although I have said previously not to warm an empty house, especially during the day. It does seem a bit contradictory, but it is not. I am not heating my home for over 8 hours whilst I am at work. Just for half an hour before I arrive home.

15 Leaving you TV on standby costs your £30 per year

remote control

By just turning your TV off whenever you are not using it will save you £30 per year. This is just for one TV. The average household today has at least 2 or 3 TV’s in their home. So by making sure you switch it off whenever you are not using it, you can save potentially £90 per year.

Leaving your TV on standby costs you money, make sure you turn it off.

16 Only use kitchen appliances that you need

kitchen

We all love our kitchen appliances, they save us so much time but they cost money each year. For instance a microwave, how often do you turn this off at the mains?

I do this every time I have finished using it. It has become a habit for me, but I probably only use it once a week. So why should I pay for an item that is just sitting there not hardly being used.

To switch off a microwave after using you will save £2.88 per year. Okay this is not a lot.  When you add this to other appliances that you leave on, it can build up to quite a bit of money wasted each year.

To fill a kettle and boil water for the exact amount you need you can also save yourself another £6.00 per year. So by being more careful, with just two items I am saving £8.88 per year.

17 Your freezer costs you 12p - 16p per day

frozen freezer

A freezer costs you between 12p to 16p per day to run. But this does depend on the size of your freezer. Make your freezer run more efficiently by clearing any frost build up. Don’t leave it half empty.  Make sure it is always about ⅔ rds full.

If your freezer is full, the cold air cannot circulate resulting in some foods over or under frozen. Plus your freezer will be working harder and costing you more money. If you do have a nearly empty freezer, fill some bottles with water and place them in there.

18 Reduce washing machine by doing larger loads

This may be hard, especially if you have children as it feels like you are always washing. By reducing the number of times you are washing, even by increasing the load volume you can reduce your energy bill by £5.00 a year.

19 Reduce usage of tumble dryer

tumble dryer

A tumble dryer costs on average 36p per hour, so if your tumble dryer is on for approximately 4 hours this is costing you £1.44 for one load only. 

During the winter it is hard to not use your tumble dryer. You do not always want clothes on drying racks inside your home.  Try using your tumble dryer for just the large bulky items such as towels or bedsheets. Use your drying racks for clothes only.

If your tumble dryer is on for 3 times a week this is costing you £4.32 per week and for half a year £112.32, which is not including summer. That is a lot of money.

Reducing the usage of your tumble dryer to just 1 load per week this will reduce your energy costs to £37.44 saving you £74.88 per year.

If you do not own a tumble dryer and are thinking about purchasing one, consider purchasing a vented tumble dryer. These are cheaper to run rather than condenser dryers. This is because the air is vented out from your home, and not converting the moisture as it drys.

20 Solving drafts from windows and doors

draft excluder

It is important to check your home for any drafts, as you do not want to be losing heat. The most common places to lose heat are windows and doors.  This loss of heat may cost you on average £50 per year. They are easy to rectifiy by purchasing single draft insulation. 

I have tried and tested a draft excluder that is suitable for doors and windows. Not only does it help solve your draft problems, it also provides soundproofing which for me is an extra bonus.

It is 10m of foam, which is self adhesive backing.  Very easy to install and cut where you need too. So far I have not had any issues and it has stayed in place. It cost £5.99 and it is worth the investment to stop heat from leaving your home. 

I have purchased other draft excluders prior and after a while they do pull away from the door. Which has been a waste of money and very frustrating.

Here is the link from amazon for draft excluder for you to view, or find an equivalent that suits you. I have purchased prior locally and from Ebay. Although Amazon is a bit more expensive, I wanted to make sure that the quality was present and I was not wasting anymore of money.

21 Other sources of drafts in you home

digital reader

If you are still feeling drafts in your home, it is important to find them as this is costing you money. Sometimes it can be hard to find where you are losing the heat. If this is the case, purchase an infrared thermometer, which has a digital display. This will provide you with the information you need.

The cheapest is Helect non – contact digital laser gun for £10.99 from Amazon. It is battery operated and works a treat. It will help you to quickly identify where you are losing heat. All you do is point the laser at areas and it will give you a temperature reading. 

There are more expensive ones available, but you really do not need to spend that much.  Consider how often you will use it.

If you live in an old home with an open chimney, if this has not been correctly draft proofed, it can cost you £15.00 extra a year in loss of energy.

22 Seal gaps and sufficient under flooring

One of my bugbears when I lived in an old building was the gaps in the floorboards. In order to stop this I had to remove my carpeting and lay ply on the floor and then a good underlay under my main carpet. It was worth the investment and cost me about £60 for the ply but the underlay was quite a bit more.

Although this was a large investment to purchase good underlay, considering on average you lose up to 10% of heat through your floors it was worth the investment.

23 Poor loft insulation costs you money

Poor loft insulation can mean that you can lose up to 25% of your heating. It is important to have loft insulation. The recommended loft insulation depth is 250mm to 270mm, so if you are under this you do need to consider topping this up or replacing.

To top up loft insulation on a typical detached house can cost approximately £310 but to replace you can pay up to £395. The savings for this can be from £25 per year to £240 per year.  Loft insulation is expected to last up to 42 years. Although I would expect it to be replaced between that number of years.

24 Lack of good wall insulation can lose you up to 35% of heat

Wall insulation is not cheap but you are losing up to 35% of heat from your home. For insulation cavity walls for a basic detached house can cost you from £720. This will save you on average £245 per year.

If you have tried all of the different solutions, then this may be worth considering as every penny helps. Although it is a large cost to pay out it is important to consider the ongoing savings.  How long it will take you to make the money back via your savings per year.

Read my article on grants, there are links that may help you. There may be a chance that you can receive help towards carrying out some of the work. Especially relating to wall insulation or if you need to upgrade your boiler.

Energy Saving – Grants available to help you

25 Insulation of your water tank

water tank insulaton

If your water tank does not have an insulation jacket on, you do need to buy one as this can save you up to £100 over a year.  Ideally the insulation jacket needs to be 80mm thick.

If the insulation cover you have is only approximately 25mm, then top this up and this will save you up to £25 per year.

Prices for these covers via Amazon range from £20 – £40. They are not expensive to purchase considering your savings.

26 Heating your water when it is not needed costs money

If you have a water tank, not only is it important to ensure that it is well insulated. But it is important that you are not continuously heating your water during a period that it will not be used. For instance, during the night or daytime when you are not present.

Normally your boiler will have a control to ensure that you can programme your water heating efficiently. If you are not using your hot water, then all you are doing is paying money to reheat it until it is used.

On average it will take 30 – 45 minutes to heat a tankful of water. So for you to have hot water in the mornings, make sure it starts heating a minimum of 45 minutes before you need it. The same for the end of day.

Also consider turning your water temperature down. This can be done on your water tank or depending on the boiler controller you can turn your water temperature there as well.

27 Reducing your shower time by 1 minute

This may seem silly, but if you reduce the time in the show by 1 minute and use a more efficient shower head you can potentially save £70 per year. This is only if you draw your water straight from a water tank or a combi boiler. 

If you have an electrical show then you will not make this saving.

Overall if you just reduce your showing time by one minute, then you can save £7 per year per person.

28 Changing your bulbs to LED

Changing all of your normal light bulbs to LED can reduce your lighting bill by up to 75%. A normal light bulb for an average of 4 hours in a month costs you £1.34 per month. If you exchange this to a LED light bulb the cost for using this light bulb is reduced to 27p per month.

As you can see this is a good saving. Although LED light bulbs can be expensive, they last longer. A normal light bulb has a usage of 2000 hours, where as a LED can last up to 15,000 hours. Although this does depend on the make.

Click here and read my review on LED light bulbs and other ways you can save money by changing.

29 Stop leaving everyday gadgets on charge

smart phone charging

By charging iphones, ipads and other gadgets during the night is a massive energy cost. Check the charge period for these items and turn them off. 

Often people leave their phones on charge overnight, and they do not need to. A phone, an ipad only needs to be charging a few hours. Switch it off and save money.

30 Upgrading your thermostat to a smart thermostat

If you have an old thermostat consider upgrading it. Upgrade to a smart thermostat and this can be controlled remotely. It is ideal for when you are not at home, or you are running late. Nobody wants to heat an empty home. Providing you have internet access you can remotely access your app and change your heating times.

31 Location of you thermostat

Is your thermostat located in an ideal area? My old thermostat was located by my front door, so the reading was never really correct for the location. If there was a draft, then my thermostat would keep heating, which was wasting energy.

Don’t have our thermostat located in front of a window that has direct sunlight. This will give false readings due to the heat from the sun. Your thermostat will automatically assume that it is warmer than it actually is in your home.

Consider purchasing a mobile thermostat. This will give you the freedom to move around your home to a more suitable location.

32 Check comparison sites for more suitable tariffs

When your contract is ready to expire, review all of the different comparison sites for the best deals. Don’t settle with your current provider. You will not always be given the best deals with them.

Check also on their website, and pick the phone up to them. See if you can push them for a better detail than the comparison sites.  

When you are renewing, check to see if the provider is linked to any cashback sites or nectar points. This is often the case. If it is nectar points this can help reduce cost at Christmas with food shopping. Cashback sites will often give you a lump sum back for just signing up to a site. 

Read my two different articles on cashback sites and also discounts you can potentially claim during winter periods towards energy costs.

3 Top money cashback site reviews – Must-have apps

Energy Saving – Grants available to help you

33 Buy energy efficient appliances

Purchasing energy efficient appliances can on average save you £80 per year per item.  Energy efficiency grading ranges from A to G. A is the most efficient appliance and G is the least. If there is an energy star then this means that it is more efficient than most.

The grading is based on how many Kwh are used to run the appliance.

34 Invest in Thermal curtains or thermal linings

Investing in thermal curtains or thermal linings can stop heat loss of up to 24% via your windows. They are also ideal for stopping drafts on external doors. Not only will these thermal curtains save money on energy bills, but there are also a couple of other benefits.

Thermal curtains act as a black out curtain. So for summer time, this will help to make your room dark during late evenings and early mornings. This does help when you have children. It can be a nightmare trying to get the kids to sleep when their room is still light.

During the summer, drawing thermal curtains can also help to keep your room cool. This is good for night time,.  By closing the curtains during the day at some point, you are helping to cool down your bedroom. This will make it easier to sleep at night and you will hopefully not have to have a fan on during the night.

35 Invest in a jumpers or throw on your sofa

This is probably obvious, but if you feel a bit chilly throw a sloppy joe jumper on. Something that is nice and snug. This will help keep the chill away instead of turning your heating up. 

Also purchase a cheap throw for your sofa. Something with a fleece underside. This will help keep your warm also, especially your legs.

They do not cost a lot, and you can pick some really nice ones up in the sales. Normally for only £5. It is easier and cheaper to buy these rather than  increase the temperature on your thermostat.

Summary

We all want to save money and hate paying energy suppliers. So I hope that some of these ways to reduce energy cost will benefit you. Help you save some money.

Some are very simple solutions, and you will need to test to see how they work for you. Others will cost extra money and will take some time to recoup the costs of the purchase from the savings. But consider the long term impact, not just this moment in time.

For instance, invest in the digital thermostats for your radiators. They do not need to all be done at the same time, but they are worth the investment. Also updating your thermostat will help you.

If you would like more ideas on how to save money, from everyday home saving to budgeting then please follow and subscribe.

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