Updated: 03/08/2022 11:50:33
Switching any halogen bulbs you have in the house to an energy saving variation is beneficial for a number of reasons. Energy saving bulbs will last for over 20,000 hours, while halogen bulbs last for roughly 2,000 hours before needing a replacement. Energy saving bulbs require much less electricity to power. For example, using the current UK April price cap tariff, a standard 40W bulb would cost around 5p a day or £18.40 a year to power (based on 4.5 hrs a day usage). If we compare this to an 8W energy saving bulb, this cost drops to around 1p, or £3.68 a year. This is a saving of over 80%, and when taking into account multiple bulbs in the home, this can add up relatively quickly!
While some people have been tempted to use candles instead of electric lights, even cheap tea light candles would work out at around 10p a day. Given that's just for one candle and you would need many to equal the light input of an energy saving bulb, this isn't really a viable alternative.
A lot of tips mention turning off standby devices at the plug socket, but how much does leaving your TV on standby really cost you? MoneySuperMarket looked at the annual cost of running over 130 household items and found that the most expensive items to leave on standby are:
These costs will also change depending on how old or new your appliances are. Newer TVs are limited by the 1 watt legislation, so will use 1kWh for every 1000 hours it is on. However, an older TV can use up to 12 watts an hour, so would use 1kWh every 83 hours it is on!
One way to make this easy to do is to purchase a couple of cheap timer plugs to schedule turning home appliances off. You can also purchase smart plugs which can be turned on or off with voice controls like Alexa, with routines set up easily from your smart device.
Which? has some fantastic data on the costs of appliances based on their energy efficiency. Fridge-freezers are the most costly household appliances to run. However, if you can afford a larger upfront cost, it might be worth investing in a quality fridge-freezer to benefit from big savings over the years.Which? Compared the fridge-freezers with the lowest and highest annual running costs and found the following:
Lowest annual running cost £40.63:LG GBB92MCBAP. Purchase cost of approx £1,500. Lifetime cost of £2,231 (over 18 years)
Highest annual running cost £178.66:Hotpoint FFU3D W 1. Purchase cost of approx £600. Lifetime cost of £3,766 (over 18 years)
As you can see, while initially the larger purchase cost of appliances with higher energy efficiency doesn't seem worth it, over a lifetime the cost of owning that appliance can be much cheaper. With energy bills set to rise again, the drawbacks of inefficient appliances will continue to widen this gap. Be aware that since the changes in energy efficiency ratings in 2020, appliances that would have previously been rated A+++ would now be rated a B or C.
Investing in A-rated double glazing can save as much as £110 a year. Even sealing cracks in floors and skirting and blocking out an unused chimney can save over £35 a year. Loft insulation can shave over £135, so while it can cost several hundreds of pounds, just a few years will see you gaining this cost back through reduced energy bills.
The differences in cost between taking a bath and a shower might not seem so obvious, but they can be significant over the course of a year. A typical bath requires about 90 litres of water, with a split of around 60 litres of hot and 20 to 30 litres of cold. A normal thermostatic shower uses around 9 litres a minute, with about 6 litres of hot and 3 litres of cold water. This means that if you shower for less than 10 minutes, it is more economical to shower. If you limit your shower to an even shorter session the savings can really add up, although you can also use less water in the bath to make large energy savings.
The short answer is not on their own. Smart meters aren't a direct way to save money, but what they do provide is the ability to control your energy usage while giving insight into your spending. The display not only shows you your usage in real time, but it also shows you how much it's costing you in pounds and pence. If you can see your real time usage this can help motivate you to make small changes like turning off lights and standby appliances. You can also set budgets to help you try to control your spending.
Some articles may suggest changing energy suppliers, but we wouldn't currently recommend this. With energy prices continuing to rise, it's probably best to stick with your current supplier for now. Many suppliers are not taking new customers and you may not even save anything from making a switch. Your current supplier might have an exit fee, only adding to the potential cost of changing energy suppliers.
Overall, there are a number of ways to save on your energy bills and with prices set to rise again for this winter, now is the time to start thinking about implementing changes. Unfortunately, some of the options become less accessible to those with less disposable income, but many retailers have interest free options for their appliances, so items with higher energy efficiency are becoming more accessible to everyone.#advice #moneysaving