There are many reasons why you should look at cutting back on your energy usage. Using less gas and electricity will not only help reduce the harmful CO2 in the atmosphere, it will also cut down on your bills. If you are looking to save money on your bills, the first step will be to ensure that you are on the most suitable and cheapest rate available. To do this, you will need to compare all of the plans available in your area. Once you are on the best rate, there are a number of other steps that you can take to lower your usage.
General Domestic Tips
One of the ways that you can reduce your energy use is through replacing your old light bulbs with energy saving ones. This can save around $70 over the lifetime of the bulb. These light bulbs will also last for 12 times longer than the traditional light bulb.
Behind your radiators, you need to fit reflector panels. These panels are able to push 95% of the heat from the back of the radiator into your room. There are other radiator extras that you can purchase which will help you save money which turn your radiators on and off at set times. You can also get boosters which suck heat from your radiator and circulate it more efficiently through the room.
Closing your curtains at dusk can also help to retain the heat in your rooms. During the winter months, you should also line your curtains or use heavier curtains or thermal ones. This will help you save money by retaining the heat in your rooms.
For every degree that you turn down your thermostat, you will generally save around 3% of your heating bill. It is important to note that turning down the thermostat does not mean that you are going to be colder. There are a number of products on the market that will help to distribute the heat in your home or retain it which means you will not feel any difference.
A dripping hot water tap will lose enough want to fill half a bathtub in a single week. This is a lot of water to lose and you need to fix any leaking taps that you have. You also need to ensure that all taps are fully turned off.
Draught proofing your home is also an important step to take as the average home will lose around $50 per year through draughts. There are a number of DIY draught proofing tasks that you can complete which will generally cost around $120. You can have this professionally done as well, but this will cost double.
In The Kitchen
In the kitchen, you should always wash full loads in your washer instead of a few items. You should also set the water temperature to 30 or 40 degrees. When you do this you will be using a third less electricity.
You may also be surprised at the amount you can save by ditching the dryer. During the summer, you should use an outdoor line and in the winter you should use a drying rack close to your radiators. On sunny days, you should place the drying rack by the window and always take the clothing off the radiator as soon as it is dry. This will allow the heat to reach the rest of the room. If you are going to be using your dryer, you should use dryer balls to reduce the time.
If you have a dishwasher, you should fill it completely before using it. You should also always choose the economy setting if you have one. In many cases, it is more efficient to wash the dishes by hand than to use the dishwasher.
When boiling a kettle, you should avoid boiling a full kettle. You should only boil the amount of water that you need.
It is also recommended that you not open the oven door when cooking. The lost heat will cause the oven to use more energy to replace it. You should also rely less on the oven as it uses more energy than cooking with a microwave.
Other cooking tips include avoiding oversized pots on your hob. You should also use the lid of the pot when possible. Stacked steamers should also be used as they use one hob to cook a range of items.
You need to defrost your fridge and freezer regularly as this will help them run more efficiently. here are some appliances that self-defrost and you should check your manual if you are unsure about this. Food also acts as an insulator in your fridge and freezer which means keeping them stocked will decrease the energy they use.
In The Bathroom
When in the bathroom, you should never leave the taps running when you do not need them. You should also use the plug and keep water in the basin when you need to.
You should also shower instead of taking a bath as this will use less energy. Showers and baths also account for the most water use, so cutting your shower time by 10 minutes can cut your water heating bill by 25%. If you have a hot water tank, you need to ensure that it is properly insulated.
In The Living Areas And Bedrooms
Before you head to bed, you should turn off the power to all appliances such as the TV, DVD player and stereo. These appliances will continue to consume energy when they are in standby mode. You can also consider using power strips which will make it easier to turn off all appliances when you leave for the night.
You will be able to save around $270 per year with cavity wall insulation. This means that you will be able to make back the amount you pay for the insulation in a single year. Insulation can cost around $149 or it could be free for people who qualify.
If you have a loft, you need to have thick insulation as this could save you around $175 per year. You should not compress the thickness of the insulation as this will decrease the savings drastically. This insulation will vary in cost depending on the size of your loft.
Older homes are more likely to have suspended wood floors which means that you need to have under-floor insulation. This insulation can save you around $60 each year and will cost around $100 if you complete it yourself. Filling gaps in your skirting board and floors can also save you money on your heating bill.
If your home has solid walls, you will need to look at internal or external insulation. This can save you around $500 per year. The problem is that this insulation can cost up to $13000.
External insulation will not only help you retain heat, it will also renew the appearance of your home and improve the waterproofing.
To save money, you should need to look at replacing all of the single glazed windows in your home with double glazed windows. This can save you around $165 each year on your energy bills.