Five easy hacks to save money on your energy bills including switching light bulbs
After the announcements today that millions of homes across the UK will likely pay hundreds of pounds more a year in energy bills, here's a look at some of the ways you can keep on top of things.
The average household will now pay around £1,971 a year, which is almost double what bills were a year ago.
So Matthew Jenkins from MyJobQuote has taken a look at how you can save around £462 a year, with five simple yet effective tips.
Heat your home efficiently – reducing bills by £55 a year
Matthew Jenkins explained: "The most common ways for draughts to escape is through gaps in poorly glazed windows and doors. However, heat can also escape through unused chimneys, unused vents and uninsulated walls.”
"The best way to help your home retain its heat is to install adequate insulation."
This can be expensive, so if you can't afford the pricier options then there are DIY methods instead.
He continued: "Buy draught excluders to cover up any gaps between your window and door frames, which will prevent heat escaping and cold air entering."
You should beware when it comes to open and unused air vents.
"The only risk with sealing up any ventilation is this means rooms are unable to ‘breathe’ and this can create further issues such as damp, which is a costly issue to solve," Matthew shared.
He added: "To avoid problems like this, leave internal doors open during the day, as this will allow air to properly circulate your home, rather than retaining heat in one room. Again, the best way to avoid damp is to improve the overall insulation of your home."
Dispute your council tax – if you have a claim, you could save at least £150 a year
Council tax bills increased by 5 per cent in 2021 and are expected to increase even further by 2022.
Matthew advises determining if you're in the correct band by looking at the value of your property.
You'll then have to compare it to what it was worth back in 1991, which was the year council tax bands were introduced in England.
He advises being careful though, as disputing if you can save money can have the opposite effect and increase the band you and your neighbours are in.
“This is why it is crucial to do your research and check the property’s value before asking for a reassessment," he advises.
Added: "If you are confident that you are overpaying for your council tax, then challenging is relatively straightforward and involves contacting the Valuation Office Agency, and explaining why you believe your bill is incorrect.”
Check your boiler – saving up to 30 per cent on energy bills
Another of Matthew's tips is checking your boiler is working efficiently.
"An older and inefficient boiler can cost you up to 30 per cent more than necessary and, on average, can cost you £350 more than a newer boiler model," he began.
Adding: "There are tell-tale signs to spot your boiler may need replacing to a newer, more efficient model.
"If you have noticed your gas bill has significantly increased recently then this is a sign your boiler is using more gas than it should be to heat your property.
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"Make sure you keep an eye on your bills as although bill increases are likely, anything which seems too drastic should be checked out.
To check your boiler pressure, he advises that there will be a pressure gauge on the front which clearly notes what level the pressure of the boiler is at.
"The ideal pressure for a boiler is usually between 1 and 2, although this can vary with different boiler models, with anything under 1 meaning low pressure and anything about 2.75 meaning high pressure. Both low and high pressure can mean problems with heating your home efficiently, resulting in cold spots across the home and costing more money than necessary," he explains.
Switch your light bulbs – up to £232 a year
Switching your light bulbs to more energy-efficient bulbs is an easy way to save money, Matthew explains.
He adds: "Although LED bulbs are slightly more expensive than normal bulbs, they use 80 per cent less electricity and can save homeowners £232 a year.
"Not only can you save money, for every traditional bulb you switch to an LED bulb, but you also save 5kg of CO2 emissions for that bulb’s lifespan, which is typically 10x more than a traditional halogen bulb.”
Reduce your room’s temperature – savings of £55 a year
A very simple trick which can save at least £55 a year on your heating bills is to reduce your thermostat by just one degree, Matthew says.
He shared: "If your boiler is working efficiently then reducing your thermostat by just one degree will save you money without compromising on your comfort indoors."
Adding: "If you find that turning down the thermostat makes a significant difference to the warmth of your home, then there are ways to help optimise your heating and radiators.
"One simple idea is to place a shelf just above a radiator to help throw heat into the room rather than letting it simply rise to the ceiling."
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