The 16th – 21st January is the Citizen Advice Bureau’s annual ‘Big Energy Week’. Throughout the week consumer organisations, energy suppliers, switching sites and Government agencies are working together to let consumers who are struggling with rising energy bills know about all the help that is available.
Vibrant Energy Matters are helping to promote Big Energy Week by providing simple and proven ways everyone can save money on their bills. These tips can range from change of habit through to funding available for home improvements. We will also be providing you with useful links and contacts to help cut costs this winter and give you the opportunity to post comments, passing on your money saving tips to others.
For more information on Big Energy Week visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk
To kick off Big Energy Week we are starting with one of the easiest of the habit changes that could save you money. We may all be guilty of having the heating too high at times or on at times when we don’t really need it. Watching the way we use our heating can lead to significant savings in our yearly bills, for example, simply reducing the temperature of your room by a single degree can save you up to 10% on your heating bills. It may not seem like much but on average that could save around £60 per year.
The government states that energy used in homes is responsible for over 25% of the carbon dioxide emissions in the UK, 80% of of which is used for heating. This means that , collectively, our heating has a huge impact on the environment. This simple 1° change can save around 325kg of carbon emissions per household.
Low energy light bulbs have been around for a while now, however many people are not aware of the difference in both cost and energy saving low energy light bulbs can make.
Swapping just one traditional tungsten light bulb for an energy saving light bulb can could save you around £3 per year. As these bulbs can last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs the total saving could be as much as £55 of the lifetime of the bulb. Replacing all of the bulbs in your home could save around £55 per year!
Because low energy bulbs are so efficient steps are now being taken to phase out inefficient bulbs all together. If we were to replace all of the 650 million light bulbs in the UK it would have a huge impact in our efforts to lower energy consumption.
Good draught-proofing is often overlooked and is an inexpensive way to reduce heat loss from properties.
By installing draught proofing around doors and windows a household could save around £55 a year on heating bills and reduce emissions by around 130kg of carbon dioxide (CO 2) each year. As draft free houses are comfortable a lower temperature you are able to lower your thermostat, potentially saving you a further £60 per year.
General Guidance: –
• All windows and doors adequately draught-proofed to prevent the ingress of cold air.
• All windows must have adequate full draught-proofing and all the seals should be clearly in place.
• Ensure at the property still has adequate levels of ventilation especially if a property has solid fuel fires, gas fires or a boiler with an open flue.
The majority of us have gadgets, such as set top boxes and computers, that we leave plugged in 24/7. Although these devices are improving in energy efficiency they are still responsible for £700m of energy use in the UK annually. This amount could pay the total energy bills of almost 800,00 homes!
Simply switching these gadgets off could save you around £30 a year on your bills and cut your CO2 emission by 50kg.
Some appliances require a constant source of power but it is worth trying to limit the number of these devices in your home. Some high end satellite television boxes can cost around £15 to run and powering the clock on your microwave can cost your more per year than it does to heat your food, around 7 per year.
Another simple one to finish the week, changing your payments to direct debits.
Almost all of the major energy companies offer a discount for setting up monthly payments, this is because they have the advantage of knowing that the payment is guaranteed. For this guarantee some energy companies offer up to a 10% saving!
You will need to speak to your supplier to find out if/what they offer.
Paying by direct debit does have other advantages too, such as not having to remember when the bill is due, flexibility on the payment date and opting for monthly fixed payments can help you budget.