This is a guest post brought to you by uSwitch.
Utility bills rising? Gas bill through the roof? Water costs rising in a way that our reservoirs currently aren’t? The recession has truly hurt many households and as the cost of living continues to soar, strategies for energy saving at home are more pertinent than ever.
In order to cut your energy bills; you need to audit your home. Electricity is one of the biggest domestic utility bills and before you carry out an energy comparison or start looking to compare gas and electricity prices between different suppliers, you should look first at your consumption. You can compare energy prices all you like – the ultimate cost will still be high if you are wasteful with your usage.
Look around the house and find out which items constantly waste power. A TV or computer monitor left on permanent standby will eat energy. Phone chargers plugged in will continue to use energy. Lights left on without energy efficient light bulbs in, heating switched on at every opportunity, gadgets and toys requiring mains energy – large plasma screens in every room, ovens left on for prolonged periods of time to cook a single frozen meal. All of these things will combine together to hammer your energy bills and cause those costs to rocket.
Start switching things off. Replace inefficient old items with energy efficient new gadgets – when it’s economic to do so. You can find kitchen appliances for example with AAA energy ratings for the ultimate in low consumption. Question too whether you need the heating on at every turn, or whether your family could wear sweaters. Put in energy efficient light bulbs – often your electricity supplier will offer these for free or at discounted prices. Take accountability and responsibility for your energy usage.
Then look at your energy suppliers. If you are still with a long-standing supplier on a contract term that you aren’t familiar with, chances are that you’ll be overpaying for it. Carry out an energy comparison at online and compare energy prices. On these sites you’ll be able to input a few basic details about your home and current usage and compare electricity prices. Similarly, if you have gas in the home – for boilers, fires or ovens – then you can compare gas and electricity prices and see if it will be more cost effective to have your provision from a single provider. Sometimes there are discounts applied, but do make sure you compare electricity prices for single fuel schemes for a genuine energy comparison.
Also, start to develop an interest within your family about greener living. Read up about it, kick off projects together, join groups and research the topic more widely. Kids are great for this, if they become interested in the green agenda and wider issues around climate change, sustainability and environmentalism, they’ll be more likely to support your own drive to cut the home bills and start energy saving in the home! Make it fun by getting an energy usage gadget to see what you’re currently using and challenge each other to cut it down. Start going outside in the evenings rather than slumping in front of gadgets – head outdoors, go for a bike-ride, cook in an old fashioned slow cooker, grow a vegetable patch rather than needing to buy and freeze veg from the supermarket every week. Creative thinking will go a long way to running your home more efficiently and having some fun in the process!
This was a guest post brought to you by uSwitch.