A few changes can equal big savings.

| By Rachael Thompson | Interiors

8 Helpful Ways to Reduce Your Home Energy Bills

A few changes can equal big savings.

Energy bills might be one of the less exciting topics to discuss, but it's one that many of us need to pay close attention to right now. Households are currently facing a spike in their energy prices due to supply and demand on the global wholesale market. Demand for gas increased as the Covid pandemic eased, and because the war in Ukraine has threatened supplies from Russia.

At the beginning of April, the price cap for a typical household rose from £1,277 to £1,971 per year. It increased from £1,309 to £2,017 for pre-payment customers.

Bills are expected to rise even further with UK energy watchdog Ofgem saying that the price cap could rise to about £2,800 from October. So what can we do to reduce our energy bills at home?

1. Take advantage of lower tariff times

If you're on a time-of-use electricity plan this means the price of power changes throughout the day depending on whether it's a peak demand period or not. Try to run your washing machine, dishwasher, and dryer at lower cost (off-peak) times in order to save money on electricity charges. If you’re on a single-rate tariff plan, however, there are no peak or off-peak periods, meaning you pay the same rate at whatever time of the day you are using energy. You can check which tariff you are on by looking at your bill.

2. Take advantage of good weather

Where possible try not to use larger appliances like dryers as they significantly increase your electricity bill. Take advantage of good weather and try to hang your items outside. Aside from the cost benefit to you, your linen will actually love you for it. Air drying helps preserve fibres, colours, shape, and elasticity, so we encourage you to use this technique where possible.

3. Install energy-efficient appliances

Cutting out the use of all appliances definitely isn't realistic, so your next best bet is to reduce your energy bills with smarter appliance choices. Energy-efficient models may cost more, but it will be worth it in the long run as they cost less to run and are more climate-friendly. When choosing your appliances, energy.gov.au says to make sure to consider;

- The best size and power for your needs;

- The cost of running the appliance compared to other models;

- The most energy and water-efficient model.

4. Ensure your home is thermally efficient.

According to the experts at Choice the bulk of our energy use (40%) comes from heating and cooling our homes. They recommend making sure your home is as thermally efficient as possible before you switch on your cooling and heating technology. This can be done by:

- Investing in insulation for your ceiling, floors and walls;

- Effectively sealing draughts from doors, windows, lights, and fans.

- Install double-glazed windows.

5. Invest in solar power

If you want to be in it for the long haul, Installing a solar system will allow you to generate renewable energy and reduce your electricity bills. Home solar is a clean, emissions-free, and renewable energy source.

6. Update your hot water system

An out-of-date hot water system can significantly increase your energy bills. Check to ensure your hot water service is working properly and explore modern, energy-saving systems.

7. Switch off power points

If an appliance is plugged in and not in use make sure to switch off the power point. Appliances often still use power when they're on standby and they will contribute to your bill at the end of the day.

8. Rug up

It's easy and tempting to just switch on the thermostat without considering putting on extra layers of clothing and making your room cosy for the cooler months. Laying down a rug if you have hardwood floors, wrapping yourself in a throw, and throwing on proper layers of clothing might just save you from having to turn on your heating.

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