Overview and Quick Fix
Electricity bills and wholesale prices have continued to rocket in recent years. People are becoming ever more dependent on household appliances and new technology, which, in turn, is increasing energy consumption and creating huge profits for the suppliers.
One of the quickest ways to make savings is to use a price comparison website to ensure you have the correct supplier. This will enable you to compare leading suppliers in your area and advise you how much you could potentially save on your bill by switching. Alternatively, it you are reluctant to change your supplier, you could always contact them and ask for a price match. Companies generally want to retain customers where possible, so, if you are persistent, there is always a chance you could cut down costs by making a simple telephone call.
Insulating your roof can also make a huge dent in your electricity bills. This will reduce the amount of heat lost as heat rises and insulation will therefore reduce your energy consumption. In general, it costs around £200 - £250 to have your loft insulated. A typical saving would be £150 - £180 per year. This means that from the second year, the insulation will have paid for itself and will continue to save you money thereafter.
If cost is an issue, some suppliers now provide grants for certain customers to make their homes more energy efficient. Some are even offering free cavity wall insulation subject to your home being suitable.
Around The House
A good habit to get into is to turn off your lights when you leave the room. An average light bulb uses 1p of electricity for every hour it is switched on. This may not seem too extravagant, but if you times the figure by the number of lights you have in the house and the number of hours they are used, over a year, this can easily start to mount up. You could also use energy saving bulbs. These generally last longer than an ordinary light bulb, so you don't need to replace them as often. They use less energy to run.
Leaving appliances on standby can cost more than you think. A television left on standby consumes 70% of the energy it would use when it is switched on. Switch off your appliances when not in use or use a Standby Reduction Device. This is likely to cost you around £10 - £20 to buy, but is effectively a remote control that will switch off all your devices at once. It will pay for itself much sooner than you think. Appliances such as computers, DVDs, phone chargers, washing machines and games consoles could all benefit from this.
In The Kitchen
You can reduce energy consumption in the kitchen by making sure you never put hot food in the fridge and never over fill your fridge. These actions will mean your fridge has to work harder to maintain a constant temperature.
When possible, dry clothes outside or on an indoor line. Avoid using tumble dryers unless absolutely essential and wait until you have a full load of laundry before switching on your washing machine.
Use the correct size pan when cooking and where possible, always use a lid. This will cook the food more quickly and use less energy. When boiling the kettle, only boil the amount of water you actually need.