Follow these 6 simple steps to cut back on your energy consumption
At a time like this, it’s hard to think beyond your family’s health, while also ensuring your fridge, freezer and cupboards are stocked near to maximum capacity. What might also be quite daunting is the prospect of you and whoever else you live with remaining under the same roof for an uncertain period of time.
What possibly hasn’t occurred to you, however, is the increase in your overall energy consumption at home. Let’s say you work 37.5 hours a week as many full-time workers in the UK do, plus an hour for lunch and a one hour commute each way; you are away from home for at least 52.5 hours a week.
During that time the energy-use in your home is the lowest it can possibly be, but all of a sudden, you’re all self-isolating and trying to function as usual from the comfort of your sofa, dining room table or, if you’re lucky enough, home office.
We’ve done the calculations, and the average person could end up spending an extra £29 a month on energy. That means the average price of a standard variable tariff in the UK goes from £97 per month to £126.
Don’t fret, though. Follow our easy steps below to make sure you keep your energy costs as low as possible while you and the gang wait for all of this to blow over.
#1 Turn down your heating
As you can imagine, heating your home is the biggest energy consumer - and waster - there is but it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Something as simple as turning your thermostat down by just one degree can prove really effective. You could save up to £80 a year* and will barely feel the change in temperature!
If you’re against putting the heating on altogether, put a few extra layers of clothing on to really cut back on the costs.
#2 Be smart with your cooking
Preparing simple meals, such as salads or sandwiches, that don’t require any electricity or gas to make them is a great way to save energy in the kitchen.
Where possible, stock up on items such as bread, your favourite sandwich fillings, salad leaves, vegetables, cold meats, cheeses and whatever else takes little effort to prepare.
#3 Limit hot water use
This is an important one to bear in mind, because not only do we use hot water to wash ourselves, but also the things we use to prepare food.
Reducing the time everybody spends in the shower down to five minutes is a simple and effective way to preserve and not overuse water. If you spend just one minute less in the shower everyday you could save up to £7^ per person a year.
Be mindful not to let the hot tap run continuously when washing up, too. Fill your sink or bowl with hot, soapy water to use for everything you need to clean and use cold water to rinse off any soap suds.
#4 Turn electricals and lights off
Needlessly leaving electricals turned on at the wall could be costing you each month. For example, when your laptop is at full charge unplug it! There’s no need to keep it charging when it’s at maximum capacity. Not only will this waste energy, but it will also gradually wear your battery down.
Make sure to only light the room you are occupying, too, or even better, open your curtains or blinds and let the sun light up your room instead.
#5 Wash your clothes sparingly
One benefit you have of being stuck indoors self-isolating is you won’t be dirtying anywhere near as many clothes! But when you do have to do a wash, make sure you wash on 30 degrees rather than 40. It could save you up to £13↑ a year on your energy bills.
Washing on a cooler spin combined with the lessened number of washes you’ll have to do should help you save energy while you’re stuck indoors!
#6 Switch your energy supplier
With all the spare time you’re going to have, you might as well use it to help you save money!
You can still switch your energy supplier, just as you could before. All you have to do is enter your details and you’ll be able to see a huge range of potential suppliers you could switch to. It’s important to remember, no one compares more UK energy suppliers than we do - we’ll even handle everything for you by contacting your existing supplier, too.
Switchers with Energy Helpline have saved as much as £461ˇ on their annual energy bills, which works out as just over £38 a month. Not only will this benefit you while you self-isolate, but it’ll help you save cash in the long run when everything returns to normal.
Self-isolating is one of the most effective ways we can all stay safe and help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Remember to also frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue if you sneeze or cough.
*Bulb 2019. 10 simple ways to lower your energy bills
^Energy Saving Trust 2019. Energy saving quick wins
↑Moneywise 2019. 10 smart ways to cut your energy bills and save hundreds of pounds
ˇ10% of customers switching their gas and electricity suppliers with energyhelpline (and their partners) between 1st Jan 2019 and 30th September 2019 saved £461 or more.