6 Easy Ways to Control Your Utility Bills This Winter
After the tough year, we’ve all had in 2020, many of us are conscious of the need to cut down waste to minimize our household bills.
This is especially true if you’re one of the millions now regularly working from home, rather than from an office. Sometimes, all that’s required is that we look at what we’re currently doing, with a fresh pair of eyes. Here are some easy ways to reduce heating costs, while staying warm and toasty, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about as the freezing temperatures set in.
1. Choose your fuel supplier wisely
Heating accounts for up to 40% of household energy use. Use comparison sights such as meneysupermaret.com to find out if it will be beneficial to switch providers. Likewise, if you use oil to heat your home, when did you last compare your current supplier’s price and quality of service against other providers? It’s not only the price to look out for, a key consideration is how quickly they could deliver if your supply runs low. Well-established companies such as Beesley Fuels offer a 48-hour maximum delivery window, so even if you’re off-grid, you can stay warm.
2. Don’t waste heat
There’s no need to waste heat when you’re all tucked up in your warm beds or at work. Use the thermostat intelligently so it switches off 15 minutes after you go to bed, then comes on just before you wake up, and goes off again when you leave the house. If you’re working from home, ensure that the room you’re working in is comfortably heated – but the rest of the house can be cooler than when the whole family is at home.
3. Cut down on hot water wastage
Heating water is one of the biggest energy users in the home. Save energy by installing low-water showerheads, and put a timer in the shower to focus everyone’s minds. Full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine also increase energy-efficiency.
4. Insulate your home
Consider having your home inspected by a professional who can advise on cavity wall insulation and any government grants available to homeowners as an incentive. You could be eligible for the Green Homes Grant, a voucher worth up to £5,000. This can be used for up to two-thirds of the cost of the work, and can also include roof repairs if these are required to conserve energy.
5. Oldies but goodies
On those rare sunny days, make the most of it and hang clothes outside instead of placing them in the dryer. Pile some extra blankets on top of your duvet at night. Cook one-pot meals rather than using three or four pans, to save energy.
6. Draft proof your windows
It’s claimed that windows lose almost ten times more heat than walls, so think about how to minimize this, before the freezing weather arrives. If double glazing isn’t on your agenda, seal up any cracks and, if possible cover the glass with an inexpensive transparent insulating film to prevent the heat from escaping. It will soon pay for itself with the reduction in heat loss.