Earlier 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.
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?