Electricity is an essential aspect of any home, but if you find yourself breaking out into a cold sweat every time the energy bill slips through the letterbox then it may be time to rethink some of your everyday habits. From leaving appliances and gadgets in ‘standby’ mode to boiling a full kettle for just a single cuppa, many of us are guilty of wasting electricity. So just how can you minimise your electricity bill quickly and easily, and really see a difference?
Check Your Insulation
If you regularly use electric heaters to keep warm in the cold winter months, you may be able to make big changes to your electricity bill by double checking your home is well insulated. Around 15 percent of heat is lost through draughty gaps in window and door frames, so cover these with duct tape, cardboard, or drywall filler for an inexpensive and instant fix.
Rethink Your Laundry Habits
Believe it or not, most of the electricity used by a standard washing machine is needed just to heat the water – the higher the temperature of the wash, the more money it will cost to heat the water. Many detergents are designed to work effectively at lower temperatures, and the Energy Saving Trust claims that washing at 30 degrees can save you £6 per year on your electricity bill.
Microwaves are the most energy efficient method of cooking – not only do they use less electricity that a standard electric cooker, but they also won’t heat your home, so you’re less likely to reach for the AC in the summer. If you do choose to use an electric oven, don’t open the door to peek (as tempting as it is) – all the heat will escape!
There’s a great source of light that’s completely free – the sun! Make more use of natural light by using curtain ties to let as much sunlight in as possible and, if you have quite dark rooms, consider adding a splash of colour like a feature wall to reflect more light. When you do need to switch the lights on, use energy saving light bulbs – replacing just one bulb can save £3 per year.
If one of your appliances packs up, or you think it’s about time for an upgrade, don’t automatically choose the cheapest option – you might be able to save more money in the long term by opting for energy efficient appliances. An ‘A’ rated electric oven, for example, will typically use 40 percent less electricity than a ‘B’ rated oven.
You don’t need to install solar panels or start cooking all your meals on a wood-burning stove to be more energy efficient and save money. By making even small changes in the home, you can see big results when it comes to your electricity bill.