We have put together some energy-saving tips to keep those bills low with help from The Energy Team at Compare The Market.
Use a smart power strip.
Did you know, the average household is said to waste as many as 7,374 hours of electricity every year when a device is left on standby? Stuck at home, we’re bound to be using our electronic devices more often. Whether that’s while you work, or because you’re binging the latest Netflix hit. It’s natural to leave the likes of laptops, phones, televisions, routers and even printers turned on in the background. A smart power strip is a perfect way to combat these lost minutes. This device lets you choose what you want to keep on or turn off at any given time. That means you can prioritise what you do and don’t want to keep running.
Try to structure your day.
Setting a schedule for your day may not feel like it will have much of an impact on your energy consumption, but you might be surprised. It’s easy to work longer hours than normal when working from home. Setting a time when you turn all your devices off won’t just be good for your work-life balance, but will help you cut down on energy too. If you’re struggling to work out how you can manage your own time, consider; setting up a separate workspace that’s away from everything else in your house or creating a specific hour-by-hour routine, giving you time without devices or even making your schedule clear to the rest of your household, so they know not to disturb you at certain times.
Set streaming guidelines.
Streaming is a great way to wind down, but it can be easy to lose track of time. This won’t only affect your energy bills, but can also make your internet slower – not exactly what you need when you’re trying to chat to work colleagues. This is especially difficult if you’re part of a larger household. Setting a few rules is a great way to keep on top of your screen-time while lowering costs.
Looking for more tips to slash your energy use on streaming? You could; use low-powered devices. Instead of streaming a show on your television, consider watching it on a more energy-efficient device like a laptop or tablet. Or even change your screen settings. You can turn down the brightness and volume of your device to save on power. Streaming at a lower resolution will also help, though this may affect your viewing experience.
Be smart with your radiators.
As the weather gets cooler, you might want to keep your heating running through the day. But, this could make a huge difference to your energy usage. If you’re feeling the chill, why not try heating only the rooms you are using? Turn off the valves on all the radiators in unused rooms. That way, you can beat the chill with the least impact on your bills.
Try to make the most of natural light.
If you’re spending more time working from home, it’s likely you’ll have the lights switched on more than usual. But you don’t always need electricity to get the best lighting. Make the most of natural light in your home by setting up your office in the room that gets the most daylight. Open the blinds and curtains and let the sunshine in. You’d be surprised how quickly your eyes can adjust to natural light, even if it seems a bit dim at first. Also, be sure to turn off the lights in any rooms which you aren’t using. Daylight is free, after all.
Swap to energy-saving bulbs.
If you do have to turn the lights on, particularly after the clocks go back, make sure you’re using an energy-saving bulb. Both Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are more efficient than halogen lights with LEDs being the most efficient of all. Replacing a halogen light bulb with an LED of the same brightness could save you up to £2 a year, depending on your tariff.
You may not want to replace all your bulbs at the same time, particularly as they now last so much longer. Why not swap the bulbs in the rooms that you spend the most time in first. Whether that’s because you’re working from home or because you’re not out and about so much in the evenings. Then replace the others as they wear out. And remember, just flicking off the light switch every time you leave a room is an easy money saver.
Monitor your energy use
Energy companies tend to use local data to estimate how much gas and electricity you’re using. While these are often close to reality, it’s impossible for them to be completely right every time. By checking your own meters on a monthly basis, you’ll be able to make sure you only pay for the energy that you’re actually using. If you don’t already have a smart meter, it might be worth investing in one. These cut out the middle man, ensuring you get an accurate reading all throughout the year without having to check yourself.
Manage your energy smarter
Smart thermostats such as Nest and Hive, give you maximum flexibility when it comes to managing your heating. You can even control your heating when you’re out, using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Energy suppliers are currently working towards a full smart meter rollout. The goal being able to offer one to every home in England, Scotland, and Wales by the end of 2024. Why not ask your energy supplier about smart meter rollouts in your area? Smart appliances, lights, and plugs can also be programmed to switch off at particular times or when you leave the house, saving you money.
Click here to find out what to do if your energy supplier has gone bust
Looking for further energy saving advice? Visit The Energy Saving Trust’s website.