These days, we are all looking for ways to cut down on our household bills. The good news is there are several simple things we can do around the home that could make a real difference.
Here are some of our top tips for small changes you could make that won’t cost a penny and could start saving you money straightaway.
We have also got some recommendations for changes that require a bit of an outlay, but will save you money in the long run.
Oh, and don’t forget to check out our advice for saving energy and money on your heating system.
Changes to make straightaway
- Check that your furniture and curtains aren’t blocking your radiators and preventing the heat from circulating around the room.
- If your radiators are on uninsulated external walls, place foil behind them to reflect more heat into the room and reduce heat loss.
- Add draught excluders if there’s an icy blast blowing under your doors. It’s easy to make your own door ‘snake’ like your grandma used to do, by stuffing an old, long sock or a leg cut off an old pair of tights with any old fabric (holey tights are great for this!) and tying the end with a shoelace or piece of ribbon. You can get the children to help and make faces on them. This is a great example of where ‘granny knew best’ – cutting out those drafts means warmer toes!
- Make sure your washing machine and dishwasher are full before you turn them on. Use the 30 degree cycle on your washing machine and reducing the number of times you use it a week by just once could save you £34* a year. And if you reduce the times you run the dishwater by one time a week, you could save a further £17*.
- Turn your appliances off standby – you can even buy a standby saver with a remote control to switch everything off standby at once! Remembering to unplug phone chargers and switch appliances off standby could save around £65* a year
- Using a bowl to wash up, rather than letting the hot water tap run could save money on your energy bill and even more if you have a water meter.
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room to save around £25* a year – more if you replace all your lights with LED bulbs.
- Only boiling the amount of water you need in the electric kettle, rather than filling it up and allowing most of the water to go cold again, could save around £13* a year.
- Add soft furnishings to block out the cold. Choosing thicker curtains to keep out the cold and investing in rugs to cover gaps in floorboards, are simple ways to add insulation to your home. Close curtains at dusk to help keep the warmth in and the cold out.
- And finally, layer up! Wearing a few extra layers of clothing, using blankets and throws, and opting for a higher tog duvet are easy ways to keep warm and cosy. A nice warm cup of tea can help too. Fill the kettle with just enough water to make a drink, and use any leftover water for washing up or a hot water bottle.
Here are some suggestions that, with a small initial outlay, could save you money in the long run
Fit loft insulation
With a recommended depth of 270mm, fitting loft insulation is a means of reducing energy consumption in the home, simply by stopping heat going through the roof. According to Which?, a properly insulated loft cavity could save a whopping £315** a year on household energy bills. Furthermore, some properties are entitled to a grant to help with insulation costs if they fall into certain categories, so it’s worth investigating if you think you or a family member may be entitled.
Install draft exclusion measures
There are many ways cold air can get into the home. To stop heat escaping, draft proofing can be installed to external doors and openable windows, as well as to unused chimneys that are open to the elements. The Energy Savings Trust has worked out that by treating problem areas in the home, the average household could expect to save around £125* per year.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you don't block any air vents when you are draught-proofing your home, as they are essential for letting damp air out and keeping the air in your home dry and healthy.
Choose efficient appliances
If your household appliances are old and out of date, chances are they costing more than necessary to run. By opting for water efficient shower heads, LED bulbs to replace old halogen ones, and using A-rated efficiency appliances, you could save money on bills.
*Your guide to staying warm and saving money this winter – Energy Saving Trust, November 2022
**Loft insulation costs and savings - Which, 15 November 2022
Top tips for saving energy and money on your heating
Gov.UK Help for Households