The average family living in a three-bedroom house spends around £1,044 per year on gas and electricity, according to the energy regulator Ofgem. With energy prices having risen by more than 50% in the past five years, finding ways to cut your fuel bills is essential for any family that wants to make the most of their money. From reducing waste to updating your central heating pump, check out the following tips to see if you're saving as much as possible.
1. Switch Energy Suppliers
According to a study carried out by the University of East Anglia, 47 per cent of households have never switched their energy supplier. Despite this, switching suppliers is one of the most effective ways to cut your heating bills, with typical savings of up to £100 per year. Thanks to a variety of comparison sites, switching is quick and easy and does not cause any disruption to your energy supply. The best tariffs are usually reserved for those customers choosing to pay by direct debit, so be sure you are using this option.
2. Minimise Wastage
If you're replacing domestic appliances, try to buy the most energy-efficient models you can. It's also important to use your appliances in the most efficient manner: always choose the lowest-temperature wash possible, and if the washing machine or dishwasher is not full, be sure to use the half-load or economy setting. Avoid leading televisions, computers and other items on standby, and when light bulbs blow, replace them with energy-saving models. Check doors and windows for draughts, and use sealant foam - widely available at your local DIY store - to save another £20 per year.
3. Upgrade Your Central Heating Pump
If your boiler is more than a decade old, the chances are high that it's nowhere near as energy-efficient as a more modern unit. However, with the cost of a boiler replacement running to many thousands of pounds, the potential savings, even over a lifetime, simply don't make financial sense. However, having your boiler serviced on an annual basis will ensure it is always working as efficiently as possible, and upgrading key parts, such as your central heating pump, could lead to even greater savings. Here at Pump Sales Direct you'll find a variety of models to suit a wide range of central heating systems.
4. Think About Thermostats
Modern thermostats are more accurate at measuring the temperature of a room and will therefore only keep your heating on for as long as necessary. Programmable models will automatically adjust the temperature according to the time of day and day of the week so that your heating only comes on when the house is occupied. According to the Energy Saving Trust, a new thermostat could cut your annual heating bill by as much as £150. Make sure your thermostat is placed in the room you use most regularly and that it is positioned away from radiators, televisions or other heat sources that could reduce its accuracy. Reducing the setting of your thermostat by a single degree can shave as much as £55 per year from your heating bills. Turning off radiators or setting a lower temperature in rooms that are not being used on a regular basis is another way to save.
5. Shower Smarter
If you get out of the shower one minute earlier than usual, you'll save £10 per year per person. If you have a water meter fitted, you'll save a further £15 in water costs. For a family of four, the savings equal £100 per year. If your shower and bath are fed directly from the hot water tank, you can also cut down your bills with just a small reduction in the water temperature setting.