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Six handy tips to save money and improve your energy efficiency this summer

The “Cost of Living Crisis” is a term that has been at the forefront of the national news over recent months. For many of us, it is causing a lot of stress and anxiety about the long-term affordability of rising costs. Almost everything in life is becoming more expensive, and understandably people are getting increasingly concerned.

One driving factor in rising costs is energy prices, with the unprecedented lifting of the energy cap earlier this year, which went from £1,277 to £1,971 for the average home. Ofgem, the UK energy regulating body, suggests that this price could rise again to £2,800 in October 2022.

So, now, more than ever, it has become crucial to consider things we can do to improve the short- and long-term energy efficiency in our homes, which should also benefit the environment and our bank balances. So, we’ve created this handy guide to give you some valuable tips and hints on how to improve your home’s energy efficiency, reduce your carbon emissions and lower your energy bills.

Handy Tips

The energy we use to power our appliances, generate hot water, and keep our homes warm or cool equates to 21% of the UK’s total carbon emissions. Here are six valuable tips to help reduce your energy usage this summer.

Understand your energy usage

When trying to improve your energy efficiency, perhaps one of the most important things to grasp at first is an understanding of your energy usage. To save money where it matters, you need to get a better picture of your energy consumption and habits. 

Smart Energy Meter In Kitchen Measuring Energy Efficiency

When trying to improve your energy efficiency, perhaps one of the most important things to grasp at first is an understanding of your energy usage. To save money where it matters, you need to get a better picture of your energy consumption and habits. 

A smart meter can help you keep track of your energy use and spending. You can also set a budget on your smart meter so that you receive a notification when you’re nearing your limit, encouraging mindful energy usage. Often energy companies will offer free energy consumption devices, so what have you got to lose?

Handy tips on reducing your energy bill

Embrace the outdoors

Summer is upon us, and even we Brits have been treated to a heatwave or two this year. So, embrace the hotter weather by spending more time outdoors; even a couple of hours a day could reduce your energy usage from appliances, lighting, and devices.

Love the smell of fresh laundry? Swap use of your tumble dryer for line drying. Not only will this save your energy usage in the summer months, but it will also reduce wear and tear on your dryer, stretching its life out longer for the winter months.  

Avoid leaving appliances on standby

According to the Energy Savings Trust, the average household spends £55 per year powering appliances left on standby in the UK. With families purchasing a greater quantity of electrical goods, it is worth keeping in mind that switching appliances and devices off could save you some pennies!

Plug socket turned off to save money on energy bill
Window Replacement for energy efficiency

Invest in energy-efficient windows and doors

Ineffective windows and doors are a leading factor in inefficient energy usage, with the average home losing 10% of its heat through its windows and 15% through its doors.

When considering the long-term impact of rising energy bills, an investment in replacement windows and doors could make a lot of difference.

Benefits

New replacement windows now receive energy ratings, allowing you a more detailed look at their energy efficiency. Double and triple-glazed windows, where the sealed unit has two or more glass panes, tend to be the most energy-efficient. This is because they keep heat in your home during the winter months and stop heat from entering your home during summer.

The efficiency of a window is determined by the amount of heat that passes through it as well as how much air and sunlight pass through the panes. Based on a rigorous testing programme, windows are then rated from A++ to G, with an A++ Rating being the most thermally efficient.

In order to meet the government’s thermal performance targets and current building regulations, all replacement PVC-u windows have to achieve a U-value not exceeding 1.6 (W/m2.K), where the lower the U-value more energy-efficient the window is, therefore certified to Energy Rating’ C’ or better. 

Consider your water usage

The Energy Saving Trust estimates that heating water equates to roughly 20% of your annual heating bill. So, while we don’t necessarily think about saving energy when using water, 20% of an annual bill is a considerable amount of money that is only set to rise.

Running shower is cheaper alternative to bath

This summer, opt to wash your clothes at a lower temperate. The average washing machine uses 50 litres of water per load, and heating all that water uses a lot of energy. Providing you have treated stains beforehand, using colder water washes is just as effective at cleaning your clothes.

Electric portable fan to keep you cool this summer

Keeping your home cool

While it is tempting to open windows and doors during hot weather, this could make matters worse by letting more warm air enter your home. Keeping windows closed with your blinds and curtains drawn will block direct sunlight from heating your home. 

You can then open your windows at night as the temperature drops to help circulate cooler, fresher air around your home.

Similarly, it is also essential to remain mindful of the use of fans and air conditioning units. While the cool air offers relief, it can significantly impact your energy usage when used for long periods. When in use, consider using your fan more wisely by positioning it at floor level to help circulate cooler air as opposed to warm risen air.

Are you worried about rising energy bills?

There are a variety of resources to help support households in this cost-of-living crisis.

Household Support Fund – Local councils, offer support to vulnerable households in England.

Warm Home Discount – If eligible, you could receive a £150 one-off annual discount on your electricity bill between October and March.

Citizens Advice

StepChange Debt Charity

Turn2Us

All big energy firms also have a hardship fund, so if you are worried about your energy bills, get in touch with your energy suppliers for more information and support.

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If you have an enquiry, why not get in touch and one of the team will get back to you.