Simple ways to cut your bills

There are plenty of small things we can do to reduce the amount of energy we use and save money. Try some of these simple tips below in your home to see how much you could save.

In the kitchen

Only boil the amount of water you need, instead of filling up the kettle. Boil the kettle for cooking instead of heating water on the stove – this will save time and is more energy efficient. Keep your pan lids on while cooking – you’ll save time as well as money. Defrost food overnight in the fridge rather than using the microwave.

When you’re washing clothes, make sure that the machine is full so you don’t waste energy on a load. Cutting back by just one cycle a week will save £5 a year on energy, and a further £8 a year on metered water bills. Setting the temperature to 30°C or using energy saving mode can also reduce the amount of energy you use.

Heating efficiently

Turn down the heating a bit. When you reduce your thermostat by just 1°C, you could save £85 – 90 per year. When it’s a warm day open the curtains to allow the heat in and close them at night, ensuring that they don’t cover the radiators to reduce heat escaping through the window.

Make sure your heating and hot water are only on when needed – if it’s very cold use your timer to set your heating to come on earlier and go off later rather than turning the thermostat up.

Close internal doors to keep heat in the rooms you are using, and turn your radiators down in unused rooms. Pull furniture away from radiators or heaters to allow the heat to circulate around your room. Check for draughts around windows and doors. Draught-proofing materials are a cost effective way of saving energy and you can buy them at your local DIY store.

Other energy advice

Turn your lights off when you’re not using them. If you switch a light off for a few seconds, you will save more energy than it takes for the light to start up again, regardless of the type of light. This will save you around £15 on your annual electricity bill. Energy saving light bulbs use less electricity than older style light bulbs.

Properties built after 1920 could benefit from cavity wall insulation. Without this insulation, up to a third of heat can escape. By having the gap in the brickwork filled, you could save up to £135 a year.

An uninsulated loft can mean you lose a quarter of all of your home’s heat through the roof. Insulating a loft is a cost effective and relatively easy way of saving money and the materials can be bought from your local DIY store.

Check energy efficiency labels when replacing appliances like fridges and washing machines. The more efficient the machine, the more money you could save. Turn appliances off instead of leaving them on standby – you could save £30 a year!

Electrical goods like laptops and phones can still use energy when fully charged, so make sure you unplug them once they’re charged up.

If you have an economy 7 meter, set appliances with timers for the cheaper night rates.

You will find these and other energy saving hints and tips at the Energy Saving Trust. You can also get advice from the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.