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Energy saving tips

Electricity bills can be one of our most expensive monthly outlays. But is it all down to the energy companies, or should we be keeping an eye on what we’re using? And how exactly can we save money?

We’ve created our own interactive house to help show some simple tips to keep down those energy bills.

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What can I do?

Let's look at those ideas in more detail, along with even more energy saving ideas. We’ll start in the busiest room in the house – the kitchen. There are a lot of energy drainers here:

• If you need to boil a pan of water, use your kettle. It uses far less energy than heating from cold in a pan. And don't aim to fill your saucepan to the top, just use enough to cover what you're cooking.

• When it comes to boiling water for tea and coffee, we overuse the kettle all the time. How many times have you boiled the kettle and walked away, only to come back five minutes later to boil it again? What a waste! Another goody way to save power is to only fill the kettle for what you need – not all the way up.

• Try to only use one bowl of water when washing up, and avoid wasting lot of nice clean water rinsing the plates. If you use a dishwasher, try to fill it completely before you put it on.

• We all want clean clothes, but these days washing detergents can wash at 30 degrees very effectively. Try waiting until you have a full load too – that saves on water as well as energy. Use an eco-wash setting if you can.

• Try to reduce the amount of tumble drying you do to save electricity where possible line dry.

• Help make your fridge's job easier by dusting around the back – if those coils get dusty it can make the fridge work harder. Don't overfill it and try not to leave the door wide open too – unless it's a while since you checked the sell-by dates!

Boiling over?

Are you heating rooms that aren't being used? Make sure all your radiators have thermostats on them – and use them. The Energy Saving Trust suggests that turning down your thermostat by just one degree could save between £80-85 per year.**

Secondly, when do you need the heating on? Setting a timer so the hot water and heating are only on when you need them will save money.

Thirdly, are you heating the outside? Check whether heat could be leaving your home and fill any gaps. Thick curtains, draught excluders, even a piece of putty in a small gap around a window will help keep the heat in.

On standby

Did you know that turning off appliances that are on standby and all your unused chargers at the plug could save you £30 a year?

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living room

Comfy and warm

Having carpet on the floors instead of wood or laminate will keep your home feeling warmer.

Light it up

Changing your 40W light bulb to a new energy efficient 8W could cut your energy usage by around 20 per cent. Also, turning off lights that don't need to be on is an easy money saver.

 

Wash for less

If you don't fancy walking down to the local river to bathe but you do want to save on water and energy, consider changing your shower head to an eco version. The Energy Saving Trust say that a family of four can save around £67 a year on gas and £100 on water with a meter.

 

Monitor your energy

Get yourselves a handy little energy monitor, it tells you how much money you're spending at any given moment. It'll make you more aware of your consumption and how to reduce it.

 

Long-Term Investments

If you are not planning to move in the near future then it may be worth looking at solar panels, which can make you money in the long run, as well as giving you free energy. Re-insulating your home is another good investment, as is replacing your boiler if it's getting old. Look online for information on grants that are available.

Compare

Hopefully some of our energy saving tips will make a difference in your home. But don't sit back and accept what you’re paying for your energy. If you regularly review your bill and compare it with other providers you could make significant savings by giving us pieces of information about your bill then we can tell you if you could save by going to another provider. And it takes very little energy to do that! Compare now.

**Saving applies to a typical three-bedroom home, heated by gas. Figures are based on fuel prices as of March 2016.