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Home » Energy saving

How to lower your electricity bills – for free!

Submitted by on Saturday, 17 December 2011 Loading Add to favourites  9 Comments

how to pay less for electricity billsEarlier on this year, gas and electricity prices rose by around 18%; forcing some people into a difficult dilemma; whether to heat or eat…

Here are some tips that will help you reduce your carbon footprint and the amount you pay for your electricity. Best of all, they require no financial outlay; you can do them all for free!

Bye bye Standby

I know you keep reading it, but do you actually turn everything off standby? Even we were leaving the router and computer peripherals on all night until we bought a remote control socket. Leaving things on standby can cost you up to £35 per year.

Fill it up!

Fill your washing machine, dishwasher and oven before using! This makes the most efficient use of electricity (and water in the case of washing dishes and clothes). With the oven, don’t heat it up to cook just one thing, have a baking day or make some casseroles to freeze. On the hob remember to match the size of the saucepan to the hob ring and don’t forget my one top tip that could save 20% on your cooking costs!

Ditch the tumble dryer

There is no such thing as a low energy clothes dryer – the most ‘low energy’ devise there is, is a clothes line harnessing the free energy of the sun and wind. If you don’t have a garden, consider putting pulley racks high on the ceiling where warm air circulates.

Compare prices

Ensure you’re getting the best deal. Use a one-stop price comparison site to compare gas and electricity suppliers instead of trawling around individual companies. You’ll discover the cheapest supplier in your area and can even choose to filter your results by ‘green’ tarrifs.

Turn off chargers

Have you noticed how chargers for your gadgets get warm? That’s because they are using electricity. Keep an eye on your rechargeable gizmos and turn off the plug when they are fully charged. You won’t save a King’s ransom but it all makes a difference. In the UK alone, we could save enough electricity each year to power 115,000 homes if we all turned off and unplugged our chargers when not in use.

30 degree washes

Washing clothes at 30C uses 40% less energy than a 40 degree wash and is generally as efficient, according to the Energy Saving Trust. If you just need to ‘freshen up’ your clothes, then washing at low temperatures is absolutely fine. Save hotter washes for when you really need them.

Turn down the thermostat

Turning the thermostat down by 1C can cut more than 10% from the average central heating bill and most people won’t detect the difference. If you’re chilly put on an extra layer, wrap a blanket around you or cuddle a cat / spouse / hot water bottle!

Close the curtains

The simple act of closing the curtains can make a big difference to the air temperature in your home because a lot of heat is lost through windows and walls. Close curtains at dusk and open them during the day to make the most of any free solar energy.

What about you – what tips do you have for reducing your electricity bill for free?

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9 Comments »

  • Jane says:

    In addition to turning down our heating thermostat, we have also reduced the number of hours the heating is on each day. We have reduced the temperature of our hot water, and only use the minimum amount of hot water we need, rather than filling up the bath, basin or sink. Another tip – which we gained from your website – is to leave hot water in the sink or bath until it is cold, so that the heat warms the house instead of being wasted. We make sure we only boil the amount of water we need in the kettle rather than filling it up, and turn off any lights we can manage without. If we are leaving the computer for more than a few minutes, we shut it down. If I am just popping away from the computer for a couple of minutes, I turn off the screen. We only switch the printer on if we actually need to print, and we switch it off immediately after printing. Some things may appear to make little difference to gas or electricity consumption on a daily basis, but really add up over a year.

  • we have used acquired and learned measures to harness the energy we need for comfort. every tip we have gathered here from the Greens and along life makes me feel lighter.

    leave water in tub or basin till warmth has been released as moist heat into the room.

    use a retractable clothe line, a wooden rack or plain hangers hung on an over-door rack, and aim a simple standing fan to blow clothes dry in a short time. for stubborn wrinkles, shake while wet or tumble dry for a few minutes.

    put bricks on the unused part of oven racks, they absorb and slowly release the heat evenly throughout baking and after cooking is done. this turns your oven into an efficient furnace, and, a professional appliance.

    put folded towels on pan lids and shut heat ten minutes before complete cooking for vegetables and pasta. also shut the stove top sooner to let heat dissipate while omelet or frittata is done.

    sheers by day and drapes by night is our motto to modulate the window environment, we even have blinds which can be closed as sun moves across our exposed sides. and towel snakes under doors; rolled terrycloth to keep winter out.

  • This won’t work in super cold places, but if you’re home is small and well insulated it can: we don’t have a heater so on cold days I just bake. It heats the place up while also providing food for our bodies to make their own heat.

  • These are such awesome tips! It is amazing how just simple things like this can save us so much money and electricity!!

  • All great tips! It is amazing just how simple things can make such a difference. They may not be the most convenient, but we are past the point where we can continue to always choose convenience over environment (plus the savings are great too!).

  • Hi Mrs. Green! This comment is off-topic (although I’ve read all of your tips and love them … especially the “turn off chargers”). Just want to wish you and your family a lovely holiday and a very happy new year! Thank you for your dedication to green living and all the fabulous information you’ve shared this year. I’ll “see” you again in 2012!

  • Most of these I do…. I always fill my washer, my Hubs says I fill it to full and I will break it.

    I always use my dryer though. I live in Pennsylvania and I refuse to do like the Amish do and shake the ice out of my clothes. I have no where in the house to hang them so I use the dryer, even in the summer.

    One year, I decided I would hang them out on the line. I had so much bird poop on them that I had to rewash them. So…. I use my dryer.

  • Cait says:

    @Sylvia@MaMammalia: What a great idea about baking! Today it is at the freezing point outside, so it’s a good day to start saving money AND get greener by baking my own bread.

  • Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: Hi Jane, you’ve made some brilliant changes. Thanks so much for sharing them all, I feel all enthused!

    @nadine sellers: OH I LOVE the bricks idea. It’s genius. I don’t suppose you carry one up to bed and use to warm your toes do you?

    @Sylvia@MaMammalia: Perfect and a good tip even just for heating a small kitchen in a large home perhaps? Thanks Sylvia!

    @Brenna @ Almost All The Truth: Absolutely Brenna; we can no longer whinge about convenience; sometimes we have to put in the effort ;)

    @Small Footprints: Hey SF, good to see you and right backatcha; can’t wait to catch up with CTWW at the end of the month!

    @Terry (My Journey With Candida): We can only do what we can do and I understand your reasons for needing to use a dryer. I’m lucky to have a large garden with a line and spaces to hang indoors (and not too many poopy birds!)