5 Simple and Affordable Ways to Reduce Household Energy Use
In this post, we’ll outline five simple things you can do to reduce your household energy bills. All the items you need to make the adaptions are very affordable with many available for less than £20 at hardware outlets.
5 Energy-Saving Tips
- Install water-saving showerheads.
Many people believe that taking a shower uses a lot less water than running a bath, but this is not always true. Some of today’s high-pressure showers use very large volumes of water. Water-saving shower heads are not suitable for electric showers as these showers are already configured to heat small volumes of water on demand. If your shower is plumbed into a hot water storage tank that is heated by a boiler, however, installing a water-efficient showerhead could save you a small fortune. A typical household stands to save as much as £115 on water charges, and £70 on gas bills each year.
- Replace any traditional light bulbs with low voltage LED bulbs.
Replacing conventional light bulbs with low-voltage LED bulbs is arguably one of the simplest and fastest ways to reduce electricity usage. Most supermarkets now stock low-energy LED bulbs, so you can purchase them when doing your weekly grocery shop. LED bulb technology has come a long way in recent years, and the bulbs are now just as bright as traditional incandescent bulbs or halogen bulbs. What’s more, they last around 50 times as long and use up to 90% less electricity, meaning an average household could save £35 on energy bills by making the switch.
- Replace extension cables with smart power strips.
Most of us have at least one multi-socket extension lead in our homes that we use to power multiple devices, particularly those that require regular charging or have standby modes. A smart power strip is designed to make it easy to switch off all devices with standby modes, such as TV and sound systems, at once. You can also buy smart strips that have an inbuilt timer allowing you to configure all your devices to switch off automatically at a set time. A basic smart power strip will cost you around £15 and will ensure your home electronics aren’t consuming energy when you’re not around.
- Seal windows and doors.
If your home is an old property, it may be draughty, as buildings were rarely well draught-proofed in the past. If you notice draughts, you’re not only losing heat but money too. You should fill in all gaps around your doors, windows and chimney. While professional draught-proofing materials and installation can be expensive, it’s now possible to buy low-priced DIY sealing kits containing self-adhesive plastic strips and expanding foam for filling in large gaps. Other quick ways to get rid of draughts in your home include installing letterbox flaps, keyhole covers, and silicone filler between floorboards. All the items mentioned can be bought at home improvement outlets, such as B&Q.
- Insulate your attic.
Start by fitting low-cost strip insulation around your loft hatch, as that can be a common source of draughts. Next, one of the best investment you can make in your home is loft insulation as it will pay itself multiple times over. It’s super-effective, easy to install and should last for over four decades. The good news is you can also install it in sections as spare funds and time allow. A standard roll of loft installation costs around £20 and once your loft is fully-insulated, you can expect to save as much as £250 on your annual heating bills. Note: In many parts of the UK, government grants are available to cover the cost of loft installation. You could also look at EPC services.