Bills, bills, bills… They always seem to be on everyone’s mind, and for good reason! Especially in the past few months, the price of energy, particularly in the likes of Europe, continues to rise at a rapid rate. A report conducted by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in the U.K, found that the final average combined domestic energy bill for 2021 was £1,326. This figure will no doubt have already increased at the time of writing (May 2022), likely crossing the £1,400 mark.
However, the rising energy prices aren’t all doom and gloom, as there are a few things you can do that are in your control. In this article, we’ll be discussing 5 energy-saving tips that you can start implementing today to reduce the unnecessary expenditure on your home energy bills.
The 5 best&simple energy-saving tips for your home
1. How good is your insulation- inside AND out?
The first, and arguably most obvious, energy-saving tip for your home is to make sure that your insulation is as good as it can be.
This is particularly relevant for cold countries such as the U.K., Canada, and some places in the U.S, as it takes more energy to maintain a warm and balanced temperature in the colder months than in naturally warm countries. You’d be surprised by how much energy you lose every day, just by having either inadequate or patchy insulation.
One important insulation to consider is to, if you haven’t already, make sure all of your windows are double glazed. In England for example, the Statista Research Department saw an increase in double-glazing windows, from 70.8 per cent of houses in 2008 to 86.7 per cent in 2020. So if either or somebody you know someone (especially on old houses, so maybe check on your grandparents’ house) who isn’t yet part of that remaining 13.3%, please arrange a professional to install double glazing in your home!
It’s expected that on a standard house, you can save approximately $200-250 per year with double glazing. If these were to last you, say, 20 years, (although they should last a lot longer) you’ll end up saving approximately $5,000 on heating over the course of its lifetime. Another type of insulation that has been increasing in popularity is loft insulation. In total, 21.1% of homes in England, in 2008 had loft insulation, but this rose to 39.3% in 2020, which equates to around 24 million houses in the country.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, “a quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home. Insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is an effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce your heating bills”.
How can you save money on electricity? It is easier than you think:
2. Automatic & Motion Sensor Lights
Another of the 5 great energy saving tips you can start doing is implementing automatic and motion sensor lighting in your home. How do they work exactly? You’ll be able to pre-set specific times when lights come on and off throughout the day. Consequently, lights won’t be left on by accident during the night, or during the day if you leave your house to work; just in case you forget.
To add to this, many homeowners who pair their automatic and motion-sensing lights with highly efficient bulbs can make even larger savings. LED bulbs in particular can save 75% more energy than traditional bulbs like CFL and incandescent.
3. Set the Energy-Saver to Automatic on your TV
Remember those energy-saver settings on your TV? Or did you even know they had one? Most modern smart TVs have this setting, which can majorly decrease the amount of electricity going into your TV.
According to U-Switch, rather than using the normal viewing setting on your TV, switching it to energy-saving mode (which dims the backlight whilst you watch) could result in the power consumption dropping by up to a third.
Remember, it may not seem like a lot in the short term, but over time, this could rack up to a serious amount of money you’ll end up saving in the future.
Another overlooked way to save a decent chunk of energy with your TV is to simply fully turn it off at the switch when you’ve finished using it. Surprisingly, a reasonable amount of energy is used by constantly keeping your TV on standby.
4. Computers & Laptops
In the modern age of 2022, most of us so-called ‘knowledge workers’ work from computers and laptops, as well as spend a large chunk of our entertainment watching things on screens. This trend has only been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, which saw millions of people across the globe turn to home working to continue with their jobs.
However, with working from home comes using more energy and so your bills increase. So what are some options to decrease your computer energy usage at home?
- Buy a more modern, energy-efficient LED monitor:
- With the advancement of technology, laptops, desktops and monitors are becoming increasingly more energy-efficient, especially with the innovation of LED monitors.
- Therefore, if you can afford to do so, perhaps consider replacing your older style monitors if you still have some, and upgrade them to newer, energy-efficient ones.
- Like TVs, lose the idea of ‘standby’:
- Unless you’re genuinely only going to be away from your computer for a few minutes, it’s always best to turn it off when you’re not using it.
- Surprisingly, many people don’t know that computers effectively use similar power whether they are busy or idle. Why is that? There are still many background applications and processes that your computer does even when you’re not actively using it.
You can negate this by always making sure to use your computer’s ‘sleep’ mode. This will greatly limit the amount of processing that it will do so that you’re not inadvertently draining the battery.
5. Governmental Home Energy-Efficiency Grants
Governments all over the world are hot on making sure that homes are as energy-efficient as they can possibly be, as the unfortunate effects of climate change continue to creep upon us.
So, even if you don’t think you have the money to be able to afford any of the aforementioned tips, many governments across the world actually provide people with loans to completely renovate and improve their homes to be more energy-efficient.
For instance, the U.K. government has its own dedicated page for energy-saving grants here for homeowners to use, including an energy-saving calculator!
If you want to find out whether home energy-efficient grants exist in your country, simply search for something along the lines of ‘Improve home energy efficiency grants [insert country]’ online.
To summarise, in spite of the inevitable rising costs of living, there are a few things you can do to save more money on your bills. Whether it’s creating some small yet long-term impactful habits around the house, such as setting your devices to energy-saver mode, or larger ones like requesting a grant from your country’s government to make your home more energy-efficient, everything will help.
Remember, although the results may seem small at first, the aim isn’t for large and instant changes, but rather the small and continuous ones that build up over time, saving you a significant amount of energy and money in the long term.