You don’t have to live in a newly built home or to splash out on solar panels and a ground source heat pump to make savings on your energy bills. The Big Energy Saving Week is a national campaign by Citizens Advice to help people cut their fuel bills and raise awareness on how to make homes more energy efficient.
Written by Wesley Muchimwe | 25th January 2019
Big Energy Saving Week: You’ve got the power
None of us relish paying hefty energy bills so here at Michael Graham we’ve compiled twenty top tips for achieving financial and energy savings in 2019:
- 2018 was the worst year on record for energy price rises: 57 price rises in 2018 compared to 15 in 2017 (The Guardian). The Big Six energy suppliers had 12 million families on their standard variable tariffs, many overpaying by an average of £350 a year. Use an automatic energy switching company like Flipper to shop around and find out if you’re on the cheapest tariff. If not, switch.
- 60% of energy deals on the market are cheaper than the Governments newly introduced price cap (The Telegraph).
- In the UK we overpay to the tune of around £37,000 for utilities and various car and home insurance policies in our lifetime (Flipper). Don’t renew before shopping around.
- Bleed all your radiators to maximise their efficiency. Upgrade your boiler to an A-rated condensing boiler when you can afford to do so.
- 2019 is the year electric cars will become mainstream as their price becomes more competitive with petrol and diesel cars. In the UK we bought 60,000 electric cars last year and with incentives including a £4,500 Government grant if you switch to an electric vehicle, it’s savings all round.
- According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average home wastes between £50 and £86 a year on devices left on standby. Avoid the vampire power trap and flick the “off” switch.
- Put a brick in your cistern. Saving around three litres a flush, it’s a low tech trick to save water and money. And on the subject of water, we all love a rainwater shower, but don’t kid yourself they use less water than a bath. Water-saving showerheads are out there.
- The Energy Saving Trust can save £300 off the average annual fuel bill by analysing your home energy usage. Visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk for help with a targeted action plan.
- The Campaign to Protect Rural England advocates shopping at local markets and farm shops to reduce the food miles of your groceries.
- Use locally sourced or supplied building materials and local tradesmen.
- Check out The Used Kitchen Company who offer ex-showroom and second-hand kitchens with as much as 70% off the retail price. They’ll sell your old kitchen too.
- If renovating or building, ditch the skip and recycle unwanted materials.
- Solar panels are expensive to install but do make long-term savings. You can also sell the energy generated in your home to the National Grid.
- Underfloor heating is associated with modern homes, but it can be installed retrospectively in period properties and is much more efficient than radiators.
- Double or triple glaze windows.
- Wood-framed windows are easier to repair, more insulating and less polluting than the cheaper UPVC (unplasticised poly vinyl chloride) window frames.
- Replace old-style bulbs with LEDs. And switch lights off when you walk out of a room. Leaving a single light on overnight can burn over £30 a year.
- When buying or renting a new house, check its Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), for information on the house's energy use and CO2 emissions. EPCs grade properties from A (most energy-efficient) to G (least energy-efficient) enabling buyers to make informed choices.
- Block draughts around doors, chimneys and windows with padded draught-excluders and thick curtains. And insulate the loft.
- Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs loves coffee logs as an eco-friendly fuel. Each log is made in the UK out of the recycled coffee grounds from 25 cups of coffee. They burn hotter and longer than wood, can be used in solid fuel stoves and open fires and are completely carbon-neutral. Find them at bio-bean.com
Have you got an energy-saving tip you’d like to share? You can contact us the old fashioned way with an email, or through any of our social channels. And for Michael Graham country and town houses to buy or to rent, many with eco-friendly features, please do pay us a visit at www.michaelgraham.co.uk