Energy bills are on the rise – so much so, in fact, that many households are now suffering from ‘fuel poverty’. As greater emphasis is placed on environmental issues and the economic downturn continues to bite, households are being forced to review their gas and electricity prices. Provided below is a guide to saving money on domestic energy bills.
1. Insulate the Home
Ensuring that a home is properly insulated can save significant amounts of energy each year. Electricity and gas prices are sufficiently high as to justify spending money on energy saving measures such as loft, ceiling and cavity wall insulation.
Insulating a property ensures that minimal heat is lost through windows, walls, doors and rooftops, thereby enabling households to spend less money on energy.
2. Install Smart Meters
Smart meters offer households the chance to see exactly how and when they consume energy. Although energy prices are undoubtedly rising, it is arguably the case that households spend far more than they need to on energy bills simply because they do not appreciate the power requirements of certain appliances.
Identifying power hungry appliances and implementing simple changes such as boiling the kettle for only as long as necessary, which can be achieved by ensuring the kettle is not overfilled, really help. Swapping an old iron for a newer, more efficient model, for example, means households are able to make informed changes using energy comparison from smart meters in order to save money on bills.
3. Use Appliances at Night
Energy brokerage services enable households to compare energy prices among the leading suppliers. To compare gas and electricity prices wisely, however, requires a little extra investigation. Some energy suppliers offer discounted tariffs for energy used during certain hours – usually in the evening or during the night.
It is possible, therefore, to save money on energy consumption by using certain appliances at night instead of during the day. Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers are often left to work at night to avail of these cheaper tariffs.
4. Request a Free Energy Comparison
Perhaps the most effective way to save money on energy bills is to review gas rates and compare electricity prices with the aim of switching energy suppliers.
Free brokerage sites exist to allow households to make an informed energy comparison between suppliers. While it could be said that energy markets are not especially competitive at the moment, it is well worth making an effort to compare energy prices – even the smallest of savings can make a difference over time.
To compare energy prices effectively, households must consider which tariff is right for them. Households can compare gas and electricity prices by requesting an energy comparison audit from a specialist brokerage firm.
5. Switch Off Appliances
Finally, unused appliances that are left on for certain periods of time can consume significant amounts of energy over the year. Whilst it is all very good advising households to compare electricity prices and install smart meters, little gain can be made if televisions, computers, DVD players, games consoles and satellite boxes are left on all the time.
Energy can be saved by switching off televisions and other such items of equipment at the socket instead of leaving devices on stand-by, which requires a small but constant supply of electricity. Computers need to be powered down correctly to avoid problems. If a PC is to be left unused for half an hour or more, it may be worth shutting it down; otherwise, the sleep or hibernate modes should be used to minimise power consumption during periods of inactivity.