10 Ways to Save Money on Your Energy Bills

Besides your rent or mortgage, your energy bills are probably your biggest monthly expense. And, with the colder months looming just around the Energy Savingcorner, now is the perfect time to start thinking of ways to save money on your energy bill. If you’ve ever considered working out ways to lower your energy consumption, but then given up because it seemed too complicated, you’re not alone. For some reason, shopping smart is so much easier than using energy smart. Thankfully, there are a few simple things you can do that can save you money on your energy bills.

For those of us who don’t appreciate our mums telling us to just turn off the heat and use extra blankets at night, here are a few tips on how to save a bit of money on your monthly bills.

1. Buy 'Radiator Foil'

Did you know that almost half of the heat that your radiator expels is used to heat the wall behind the radiator? That means, on a good day, you’re getting just over half of the warmth for which you’re paying. Not only is this wasteful, it’s also very expensive.

If you want to increase the amount of heat you’re receiving from your radiator and decrease the amount of energy you’re using, go out and by some radiator foil. This is a type of foil that you can place behind your radiator to increase its effectiveness. Many hardware stores sell radiator foil in bulk, so you can get all the radiators in your house with one purchase. However, if you don’t know where to look or want to save a bit, you can use regular foil. It won’t be as effective, but it will still save you money on your energy bills.

2. Clear the Space Around Your Radiator

Have you ever been to a house that seems extremely cold? And then when you sit down in one of their couches, you notice that the back feels extremely warm? Many people, due to space constraints, place their furniture in front of their radiator, which just blocks off the heat from the rest of the house. If you want your radiator to work optimally, then you should clear the space around the radiator so the heat goes out. You’ll notice your home warms up much faster.

However, there is one place you can arrange furniture if you want to increase the effectiveness of your radiator. If you’re thinking of adding shelves to your home, try placing them above your radiator. These will work like reflectors and help push the energy out towards the rest of the room.

3. Use Nature

It can be tempting to close all your blinds and curtains when it gets cold in an effort to keep the heat inside. However, if you have windows that let in sun at any time during the day, you should open these up and let nature help you heat your home. Yes, it’s a bit chilly out, but the heat of the sun will do its job in your home. Plus, the light will help elevate your mood in the more gloomy months.

While leaving curtains open during the day is a great way to heat up the house, make sure you remember to close them at night. Curtains can help keep the warmth inside, which means you’re using less energy to keep your home warm during the night. Also, the thicker your curtains, the better. You can purchase regular thick curtains or buy thermal ones.

4. Protect Your Windows

Windows are one of the biggest ways a home loses energy. However, there are several solutions that you can use to keep them from increasing your energy bill. The most expensive one is to double glaze your windows. This is quite a process, one which will require a professional, and can cost you thousands of pounds. However, if you feel this is the only way to go, you’ll find double glazing to be extremely effective.

For those of us who can’t (or won’t) pay for double glazing, there are a few inexpensive measures that can be taken. The first is to purchase a glazing film from a DIY shop and line your windows yourself. This is fairly simple, but because the film will be broken whenever you open the window, you’ll have to do it every year.

Another option is to use bubble wrap. It sounds silly, but bubble wrap works as a great insulator and doesn’t need to be replaced every year. Plus, it’s extremely easy to apply. You just cut the bubble wrap into the size you want, spray a little water on the windows, and stick the bubble wrap to the window. And when you want to remove it, you can just peel it away. While it does obscure the view, it still lets in plenty of light.

5. Check the Cracks

If you have high doors, letterboxes, or even doggy doors, you might be losing some of your heating through these draughts. You can check if these areas are letting in cold air by simply placing your hand in front of the areas you suspect is the culprit. If you feel a bit of moving cold air, you might have a draught problem.

Thankfully, most DIY shops sell stoppers that you can use to place under your doors, over your letterboxes, and across your doggy doors. While this might not make a huge difference, it could still save you quite a few pounds on your energy bill each month.

6. Block Your Chimney

You might think that having a working fireplace would actually lower your energy bills each month, but unless you’re using it every day, it might actually be costing you. Chimneys let in extreme draughts that can sweep through your main living area and cool your home several degrees. If you want to keep your chimney from letting in that cold air, buy a chimney balloon to keep the draughts out.

If you think you’ll still want to use your fireplace at some point during the winter, there are also temporary options that you can use to block your chimney, like heat shields. These can be removed when you want to start your fire and replaced when you’re done.

7. Use Energy Efficent Lightbulbs

This is a concept that has been popular for years. There are now lightbulbs that use much less energy and last twice as long as regular lightbulbs. Most of us just don’t make the switch because we don’t think it will make that big of a difference. However, studies have shown that switching to energy efficient lightbulbs can save up to 90% of a lighting bill. So, if you only want to pay 10% of what you’re paying for your lights now, you might want to make the switch.

If you don’t want to switch out all your bulbs at once, try replacing the ones in your most frequently used rooms first. Then, as you need to switch out the others, replace them with the new energy efficient bulbs.

8. Use Water Efficient Showerheads

Sometimes a nice hot shower is the only thing that will get you going on a chilly winter morning. However, is your rain showerhead worth the extra money? You can purchase water efficient showerheads that can cut your water usage by about 30% a month. This way, you’re not only saving money on the water you aren’t using, you’re also saving money on the water you’re not heating. Sure, it might not make you feel like you’re showering in a waterfall, but having the extra money will definitely make it worth the switch.

9. Turn off Stand-by Mode

All the amazing electronics you have in your home didn’t just cost money to purchase, they’ll also cost you money to run. If you leave your computer or TV on stand-by mode, it will still use vast amounts of energy. The best thing to do is, when you’re not using a device, unplug it. This is true for every device, from your toaster to your TV. If you have several things plugged in one place, get an extension cord with an on/off switch so you can turn everything off from one place.

10. Use Direct Debits

You must know what Direct Debits are – they let you set up all your monthly bills to pay out automatically each month. This doesn’t just give you ease of mind, it will also save you money on your energy bills. Most people report saving around £100 a year, so if your monthly bills are rather regular, just set up for a specific amount to be taken out each month – if you have never got round to setting them up, now is the time!.  As a bonus, the Direct Debit company actually offers all sorts prizes and vouchers if you’re switching over and once you’ve already become a member. Who knows, you could win a little extra cash by switching! And, it has an app, so you can keep up with your account on the go.

What is the Verdict?

MoneySavingPigWill you be using these top tips to save money on your energy bills?  Or have you got better ones that you would like to share? We love feedback so please use the comment section below.

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