We all feel the pinch from time to time, but sometimes the easiest ways to save money are sitting right under your nose. Saving energy around the home can be a simple and effective way to cut costs.
By making a few small adaptations in and around the home, you could make some big changes to the overall quality of your life, as well as the size of your wallet!
Before we get started, our biggest tip is simple; keep it up! By sustaining the changes and habits that we’ve suggested, you could make some big savings in the long run.
To find the best ways to save energy in your home, first identify where you might be losing energy. It's likely you're losing energy and wasting money without even realising! This guide explains the three main areas of your home where small changes could be made, potentially making some big changes to your monthly outgoings and overall energy use as well as reducing your carbon footprint!
How to save energy at home
1. The roof
Think of your roof as a big woolly hat. We wear hats because the majority of the heat lost out of our bodies comes from our heads; it’s the same with a roof. If the roof isn’t well insulated, you could be unwittingly turning up the thermostat and compensating for the heat you’re losing through the roof. So, one of the best ways to save energy and cut costs is by insulating your roof.
According to the Energy Savings Trust, if you live in an average sized semi-detached home, you could make a yearly saving of between £225 and £415 (depending on your property) simply by insulating your loft. Often this is a general recommendation for most homes, however it can be easily overlooked.
Whilst modifications like this may be a considerable up-front cost (upwards of £800), with the energy and money saved, you could see a return on your investment in just two years.
2. The bathroom
Did you know your bathroom could be secretly costing you an additional £260 per year? As part of an average household, if each family member spent one minute less in the shower each day, you could build up a saving of £75 a year, split between both energy and water costs.
It’s also worth upgrading those leaky taps and shower heads too. By installing a shower-head that runs more efficiently for example, a saving of £70 could be made on your gas bills, as well as £115 on your overall water usage - a no brainer for some easy and low-cost home improvements.
3. Living rooms
One of the best ways to save energy is to make simple changes to your habits. These are free and could save you hundreds of pounds. Easy ways to save energy and money include unplugging electrical items like phones and computers when they're fully charged, not leaving items like the TV and game consoles on standby and draught proofing windows, doors and floors. Also, by replacing your normal lightbulbs with energy saving LEDs, you could add around £35 to the piggy bank - every little helps!
When making these small home improvements, it’s also important not to forget the value of a well oiled thermostat. By installing a modern thermostat, and using it efficiently to track your usage, you could be seeing savings that stand around £75. Change may seem daunting, but there is a wealth of information out there to help you decide if this valuable move is right for you.
Citizens Advice and the Energy Savings Trust have shared these money saving figures which can be seen illustrated below. With just a few simple switches at a relatively small expense, there is the potential for you to save around £600 a year on your household bills! That could be extra funding towards your summer holiday or for some sensible future safeguarding; the choice is yours.
By making a few of these small changes, not only are you going to benefit from yearly savings, you’re also protecting your property from future damages, such as burst pipes and unnecessary limescale build up from leaky taps.
Are you thinking of selling your property? These small changes can have a wider impact on valuations, sale prices, and the desirability of your home. These modifications can also contribute to the environment by reducing the carbon footprint that your home creates.
There are many resources online offering information about how to make changes in your home that can cut your energy costs. Learning events and free online advice can help you make some of the best changes and biggest savings. Check out sites like Citizens Advice Energy Savers Campaign, and the government's It All Adds Up Campaign, for more information.
By learning about and making minor home improvements, and a few habitual changes, you could see the benefits within no time at all! Don’t forget to keep track of the previous year’s utility bills, so you can easily measure the impact, no matter how big or small.
Benefits of saving energy
You’ve read how to save energy and easily make these changes within your home, but perhaps you’re wondering why it’s even worth the effort? Making a few small, energy-conscious changes around your home can benefit:
1. Your wallet
Saving energy at home can have a great effect upon your monthly household expenses, freeing up some money if you’re entering into, or are already in your retirement. As the winter starts to thaw away, remembering to be energy conscious for both yourself and the planet is key.
By using a timer to heat your home instead of constantly keeping it on, you can run your household more effectively, meaning that it doesn’t need to be a drain on your finances.
Another way in which you can save money and heat your home over the winter months is through the government's Winter Fuel Payment initiative. There are many schemes like this in place, and more often than not your energy provider is obliged to offer them to you. Other subsidies that are worth looking into, especially if you are in retirement or claiming government benefits is the Cold Weather Payment and the Warm Home Discount.
Don’t forget, depending on the length of your energy contract, you can also switch suppliers. If you think you’re not getting the most bang for your buck, Ofgem has a list of reliable comparison sites available on their website to make life a little bit easier if you're thinking of switching to a new supplier.
Age UK have reported that an increase in respiratory and cardiovascular issues can be linked to colder temperatures, especially if homes are not being adequately heated.
Staying warm is paramount to your health, and there are some savvy, penny saving ways of staying warm throughout the day. For example, hot water bottles and heated blankets are the perfect accessory. You should also ensure that you have at least one hot meal per day.
Did you know the best way to save energy and stave off bad health is to heat your home at a constant of 18 degrees; this is the general recommendation from energy experts.
Not only can we change our habits to lower our carbon emissions and reduce our outgoings, but we can also keep ourselves toasty throughout the colder months. Healthy home, healthy lifestyle!
3. The Environment
Climate change is a topic on the lips of almost everyone, from campaigners to politicians, and it dominates the headlines. By taking some of these steps you can support the cause and make a big difference.
Overheating your home isn’t just costing you the earth, it is in fact doing just that; costing the Earth! Heating takes up 26% of the overall energy that we use within our homes. By turning the thermostat in your home down just one degree, you could reduce the CO2 entering the atmosphere by 300kg.
If you’re looking to make significant changes to your home, there are many greener alternatives out there. For example, according to FreshHome, innovative technologies are generating success when looking at saving energy around the home. Some new ideas that are quickly being adopted include geothermal heating, pellet stoves, solar heating and masonry heaters. Their popularity is growing because they're easy to use and provide a good return on investment. As an added bonus, masonry heaters have the capacity to trap heat in the home for up to 24 hours.
While some installations are initially expensive, you will often see a return on their investment within only a few years. Therefore, it’s worth looking into a variety of green alternatives; keeping you toasty, whilst the planet rests easy for a while.
There are plenty of reasons and ways to actively take control of the energy we use at home (and what may be going to waste). Not only will it save you money, but it can also help you to stay healthy and raise your awareness of the environment.
When thinking about how and why you could be saving energy around the home, it’s always great to learn something new and reap the benefits. If you’ve got your own tips on saving energy, share a Tweet, or post a message on our Facebook page. We’d love to see how you’ve been contributing to the big save!
Through our Homewise blog, our team of experts regularly share new and useful ways you can cut costs, shake up your home, and settle into retirement with ease. Why not check out more of these quick reads for some great suggestions.
- Increasing the value of your home before you sell
- 8 ways to modernise your home on a budget
- Cost of living squeeze hits the over 60s
Is your current property costing you more than you can afford? Do you dream of a new home, perhaps without energy concerns? If you're over 60 years and the team at Homewise could help you find the perfect home for your future. With a Lifetime Lease option, you could create savings and free up funds to enjoy your retirement.
Contact our team on 0808 303 1700 for further details today.
In the meantime, you can use our quick calculator! It's simple, speedy, and could provide you with a better understanding of your potential budget.