It seems that not a day goes by without us being bombarded by the news of further increases in our energy bills. All of the so-called ‘big six’ companies have announced rises, leaving many of us wondering about the best way in which to stay warm and well-lit throughout this winter season.
Christmas is notorious for being a time of stretching our wallets and budgets to the absolute limit, so it could be argued that there has never been a better time to come up with ways in which we can save energy to keep the purse strings under control.
Of course, one simple way is to simply switch providers, but even if you do decide to take this course of action there are still a number of extra ways you can maximise the amount of cash you save.
One of the most basic tips is to just turn down your thermostat. There are always going to be times when we feel like there is simply no other option but to turn on the boiler and crank up the radiators, with the cold snap beginning to take a harsher grip on thermometers across the country.
Yet reducing the temperature of your home by just one degree celsius could make all the difference when your bill inevitably tumbles onto your doormat. In fact, figures from the Energy Saving Trust suggest that by a reduction of just one degree could help to cut your bill by ten per cent.
On a short-term basis, this might not sound like an overwhelmingly great deal, but it could knock £60 off your annual amount. That’s a saving too good to turn down for such a small change.
Heating your room is one thing, but without taking the right steps to ensure that you home is properly insulated, such steps will inevitably be in vain.
It is important to make sure that windows are not left open for prolonged periods, even though it can be tempting in order to get rid of steam or smoke when cooking.
Any draughts within the house should be addressed too and it is also important to close your curtains when the evening draws in, as this will prevent valuable heat from escaping.
Turn it off
It may seem obvious, but turning off electrical appliances when not in use is a great way to save money. It can be tempting to leave your Christmas lights on to impress the neighbours throughout the night, but the fact is that such an endeavour can often prove costly, not to mention that there are unlikely to be too many admirers of your stunning light show at three in the morning.
Finally, when it comes to cooking that all-important Christmas meal, there are still ways in which you can save energy.
When using your hob, always make sure you are cooking with the right-sized pan and be sure to keep lids on as much as possible in order to reduce heat loss.
The same goes for using the oven, as you should always keep the door closed whenever possible and try to make big batches of food (not that this should be a problem at this time of year), in order to make further savings.
Other ways you can improve your energy use include defrosting food overnight instead of putting it in the microwave and allowing warm food to cool down before placing it in the fridge.
Use Fiber-Optic Decorations
Fiber optic trees and decorations are a great option for energy efficiency as they only use a single light bulb located in the base of the unit. This means the who decoration is only powered from one source!
Turn it down and cover em’ up
To keep costs down consider dropping your thermostat down by a degree or two. The minor drop can save upto 10% on your heating bills and is usually unnoticeable. If you have multi room units, remember to only heat your active rooms. Simple quick fixes like keeping your windows shut and blocking drafts under door can also help you reduce the need for high heating costs.
Slippers are always the answer
Novelty slippers are both fun and frugal. keeping your feet warm can help you keep the house at a true temperature. Heat rises, and cold air falls, settling by the floor- So your whole body will feel warmer if your feet are warm.
Hats Help Heat
If you are really feeling the pinch, try wearing a hat indoor. You may look a little foolish ‘wintering up’ in your lounge but we loose about 45% of our body heat through our head- keeping it covered will help you fight the urge to flick the thermostat.
Switch to LED
Most LED lights use about 80-90% less electricity than a standard bulb. As Christmas lights are usually dimmed or covered anyway, LED’s are perfect low maintenance, low output options for the tree.