Including tips in saving electricity and how to become more energy efficient
Trying to find energy-saving tips for the whole family is hard. Not knowing how much energy you use day to day can leave you feeling like you have no control.
By making small changes to the way the household think can really help save you money. You may have to make a small investment to really see a change in how much you spend, but by just doing small things like switching off your non-essential appliances and drying clothes outside could mean the difference between being able to afford a holiday this year.
Becoming energy efficient is a great way to start saving money as a family.
Saving energy tips
There are many ways you can save money on your energy bill straight away. Thinking about energy conservation with these tips below can really help you see a difference in your bill.
Start by switching your supplier to reduce your energy bills. It’s easy using a switching service like Ooki. If you’d prefer to do it yourself then start by using a price compassion site or by ringing around to find the best deal for you.
Moving to a monthly direct debit could save you over £80 a year. Being able to take the money straight away means that the energy supplier doesn’t have to risk chasing you for late payment. (Always check your bill and query straight away if something is wrong.)
Green energy doesn’t have to cost more. It might not be much, but companies like Bulb who pride themselves on going green can save you money.
Don’t want to switch? Then call your current energy supplier and ask to be moved to the cheapest deal. It may come as a shock, but many households are on what’s called a Standard Tariff which can be quite costly. A quick phone call should have you switched to a cheaper deal without much hassle.
Check your direct debit is right. Knowing your home energy usage is the first step to being able to plan how much your bill will be. Get your correct meter reading and tell your new supplier straight away to stop any big and surprising bills.
Energy savings can be made if you swap before your deal ends. Just because you’re on a fixed contract doesn’t mean you can’t switch. Ofgem says that suppliers can not charge you exit fees if you’re in your last seven weeks of your fixed term deal.
You can swap suppliers even if you rent. You don’t have to own the place you’re living in to pick who your energy supplier is. You also don’t have to stay with the same supplier as the previous tenant. As long as you pay your energy supplier and not the landlord you are free to pick your supplier yourself.
If you are looking for more ways to save money then have a look at:
How can we save energy in our daily life?
We have 93 tips on how to save energy. All of these are easy to do and could really help you save money as a family.
Turn off appliance
When you go to bed turn off the tv, cable appliance, and wireless, from standby to off. If you sleep for 10 hours a night and keep them off while at work that’s a huge saving.
Upgrade your light bulbs
Upgrading your lighting to LED light bulbs can reduce your electricity bill by 70%.
Use a thermos flask
Have a thermos flask next to your kettle. Every time you boil the kettle fill the thermos then fill the kettle back up. If anyone wants hot water then the thermos is used.
If you HAVE to use your tumble dryer then take your clothes out before they are fully dry and iron. The steam from the iron will fully dry the clothes.
Batch cook a bunch of meals at the same time in the oven. This way you always have food for your family that only need a quick blast in the microwave. This can save you time in a busy evening plus save you energy.
Refill your kettle
Refill your kettle straight away after use using the minimum amount of water you need. The water will be pre-heated using the heat from your last boil.
Plan your hot water use
Set your hot water tank or thermostat to come on an hour before you need it. That way the water is warm when you need it but not when you don’t.
Keep your boiler at a consistent temperature
This means that no extra energy is used to heat up your home.
Radiators behind curtains
If you have radiators behind curtains then remember to tuck your curtains behind to save the heat from going up behind them. This prevents heat loss.
Have showers, not baths. Showers use a lot less water.
Water plants late
Water plants late at night as the soil is moister being less water needed.
Food pooling is a great way to save energy. Set up a group so you can all cook meals for each other.
Before you throw anything anyway try to reuse, repair or re-home first.
Check your loft insulation. If there are gaps or your loft has none get it done as it could save you a big chunk off your electrical bill.
Cavity wall insulation
Cavity wall insulation could also save you a lot of money and most energy companies offer this for free.
If you need a new boiler then pick a renewable one next as you could be paid to produce hot water for the grid.
Tape the letterbox
We all lose heat through our front door and letterbox. Stopping heat escaping makes a big difference.
Set an alarm for a max 10-minute shower.
Shut all windows
Shut all windows and vents during winter to stop your boiler from having to work harder to heat your home.
Put a jumper on first before turning the heating on.
Keep curtains shut
Buy backed heavy curtains and shut them when the sun does down. This will help keep heat in.
Have a chimney?
If you have a chimney then think about having it blocked. When not in use, warm air escapes out meaning your boiler needs to work harder to warm your home.
Have your water heating set to a warm temperature. Too high and you’ll need extra cold water for it to be comfortable. Too low and you’ll use more energy heating it up. Finding that balance is key.
Hot water cylinder
If you have a hot water cylinder then buy a jacket for it. Yep, it sounds crazy but it helps keep the heat in and stop it escaping around your loft or cupboard.
After 7pm put a blanket on if you’re downstairs to stop you from putting the heating on. (It’s well known that you sleep better in a colder room.)
Is your house double or triple glazed? It is a huge investment but can save you hundreds of pounds a year on your energy bill.
Look at free insulation or boiler grants. Many energy suppliers offer deals or grants which include new boilers or cavity wall insulation. Having an effective boiler or wall insulation can save you a lot of money going forward.
Going green can save you money. Look at a supplier like Bulb* who offers 100% renewable energy.
Turn lights off
Remember to turn the light off when you leave a room.
Turn your thermostat down
By turning the thermostat down by 2 degrees means saving money. We have ours set to 18 degrees all year around.
Defrost the freezer
Defrost the freezer every 6 months and make sure the items in your fridge aren’t tightly packed. This means that the cool air can freely move around without making your appliances work harder than they should.
Use warm water to soak your clothes overnight and use a quick 30-minute wash in the machine as a rinse which uses less power.
Keep heating on low
Only put the heating on when you need it. Keeping it on low all day can cost you more.
Keep heat in
Cling film windows can keep the heat in or the air out. It can act as a second layer of glazing but you need to check its airtight. (If your windows are draughty, it may be worth fixing them.)
Keep doors closed
Keeping internal doors closed could help your home warn up quicker and for cheaper.
Use an airer
Using an airer for your washing instead of your tumble dryer can save you hundreds. Even adding your washing to the radiators could be cheaper than your tumble dryer.
Heat the rooms you need
Portable heaters can cost more than just turning on your central heating. If you only want heat in a couple of rooms then try turning your radiators off using the valve.
If your household doesn’t use much water, combi boilers can be more efficient, as they don’t leave water sitting in a tank where it can lose heat.
Keep your heating on
Rather than switching your heating off, keep your heating at 12 degrees to stop your pipes from freezing.
Open windows instead of putting your extractor fan on after a shower.
Fill your washing machine
If your washing machine has a half load use it if not then fill it up.
Use a timer
Using a timer can save you money as your heating is only on when you are in.
Set your fridge
Set your fridge to a higher temperature so it doesn’t use as much energy. Making sure your food is in the right place in the fridge can help with the airflow.
Use the sun
Keep your curtains open in the summer months to help keep your house warm when the sunsets.
Use A-grade appliances
Buying only A-grade appliances means that less energy is used. They are more expensive but can save you money in the longer run.
If you have security lights then think about changing them to motion sensors. This means they are only used when triggered.
Fill up your freezer
Filling your freezer up means everything can act as an ice pack.
Use your microwave
Using your microwave instead of the oven can save you money compared to firing up your oven.
Limit your fridge
Limit the amount the fridge or freezer is open to stop them from having to work so hard.
Check the seal
Check the seal on the fridge and freezer doors. Any gaps mean that extra energy is being used to keep the appliance at the selected temperature.
Dry clothes outside
Drying clothes outside when you can mean that you don’t have wet cold washing bringing the temperature of the house down.
Clean your dryer
Clean your washer and dryer regularly to make sure it’s running at it’s top efficiently.
Use a BBQ
Using a BBQ in the summer months can save you oven costs. Use any waste wood. It’s a win-win!
Turn your washing machine down
Use your washing machine at a low temperature. Everything gets washed at 30 degrees here.
Use a tap aerator
Using a tap aerator means that less water and power is used when you run a tap. You don’t feel the difference in water pressure but your wallet will! (Many hotels in the UK have started to switch so it’s worth looking into.)
Use a tall power strip
Use a long or tall power strip. This means that you only have to press one switch when turning off power in a room.
Unplug your phone
Even leaving your phone plugged when it’s fully charged still costs you money.
Use radiator reflectors
Try radiator reflectors. They have been known to keep a room warmer for longer as they reflect heat.
Turn off computers
Remember to turn off any computers or laptops once you’ll done.
Use smart meters
Using a smart thermostat means that you are in control of your heating even when you are not there. This is great if you’d prefer to have your heating cool and only on when you know you’ll be home.
Use electric heaters
Electric heaters are money eaters. Reducing your use of them can save you a lot of money!
Cover the floor
Cover tiled floors with rugs.
Buy an efficient shower
Efficient shower heads can save you power!
Turn off your air conditioning
Leave your air conditioning unit off if you can.
Use solar power
Solar power can be your friend and could outweigh the outlay.
Conserve energy by cleaning the coils in your fridge.
Put lids on your pots and pans when cooking.
When sieving the water, re-use it for something else while it’s still hot.
Match your pans
Matching your pans to your hobs can save you energy. This means that no extra energy has to be used to heat the pot.
Make sure your home thermostat is in the middle of the house and not near an external door.
Having soft bright colours means that you may not need as many lights on as a room painted dark.
Leave external doors shut
if you have a garage door or an external door, leaving it shut during the winter months can save you money.
Throughout the day, unplug anything not being used that second.
Have the right-sized appliances for you. No point in having a massive slow cooker that feeds 12 if you’re a family of 4.
Charge at night
Charge things at night. This is normally when tariff charges are lower.
Floor insulation is expensive but can be worth it if you don’t plan on moving.
Using a dishwasher can save you money. They are well known to use less water than if you wash up.
Turn the tap off
Turn the tap off when you brush your teeth.
Look into getting a smart meter. They help to track exactly how much energy you are using.
Use glass or ceramic dishes. These heat quicker and retain heat.
Leaving your oven door shut while it’s cooking saves energy and heat.
Re-use the heat
Open the oven door when finished though is a great way to re-use the heat.
Use any leftover wood or cupboard in a burner.
Allow food to cool
Allow food to cool before you add it to the freezer or fridge. This stops the appliances from having to work harder.
Switch off valves
Any rooms that aren’t used make sure the radiator valve is switched off.
Make sure that loft insulation is also attached to the loft hatch.
Use rechargeable batteries.
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Get a Gas Engineer to come around and check your heating system. Making sure it’s as efficient as possible.
Grow your own vegetables
Grow your own fruit and vegetables.
Energy draining apps
Check your phone system. Can you delete any power-hungry apps?
Only flush the toilet when needed. Nothing wrong with leaving a wee in the base in till a few have been.
Leave the food to defrost on the counter instead of using a microwave.
Get a thick duvet.
Money saving printables
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Saving money as a family
If you’re looking for other ways to save on your electric bill, then have a look at our 31 Ways to Save Money On Your Electricity Bill post. This talk through why smart meters can be a great idea when you have a family.
Making these smarter choices means that you’ll have more money to spend on your family in the long run. That can only be a win! Making your money work harder for you is important when you’re trying to raise a family.
If you haven’t started already, then creating a household budget is a good place to start saving money. It allows you to see what you’re spending money and if you need to cut back.
Just by doing a few simple things each month can really help you save.
You could start by:
Setting up a monthly budget and stick to it. That way you know what you have leftover if anything that month. Use my FREE downloadable budget planner to help.
Go through all your bills and check you’re on the best deal. Phone them and ask. What’s the worst that can happen? Look at Compare The Market and check how much you should be paying. This gives you a baseline and means that you can either grab a deal or haggle with your existing supplier.
Use a FREE app like Plum* to help keep track of your family’s spending habits. It’s completely free and it lets you input your salary and outgoings, plus links to all your accounts including savings and investments.
Move to a water meter if you haven’t already. This tracks your exact water use so you have complete control.
Switch energy suppliers EVERY year without fail. Bulb*, who are trying to make switching your energy supplier easier, cheaper and greener. You’ll also receive £40 when you switch! Finding out how much they could save you is completely free!
If you enjoyed this post and would like some more money saving ideas, then head over to the saving my family money section here on Savings 4 Savvy Mums where you’ll find over 50 money saving tips to help you save your family more. There’s enough tips to help you save over £300 a month! You could also pop over and follow my family saving Pinterest boards for lots more ideas on how to stop spending and save more; Money Saving Tips for Families and Managing Money for Families.
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