Every penny counts, nowadays, and to top it off we’re cursed with the mixed blessing of environmental awareness. But could you address both in one fell swoop?
The most obvious ways to save on your utility bills and also help conserve natural resources is by spending some money, and these will be outlined first. That said, there are plenty of things you can do that won’t cost any money. Personally, I have cut my combined energy bill down by £50 per month using simple and costless methods, so you don’t need to fork out a massive amount if you can’t afford it. You can save a lot more money if you do, though!
Fitting energy-efficient windows is a surprisingly effective way to cut down on your energy bills. Good double glazing will keep heat in and cold out very efficiently, and when you pay less for your heating you pay less for your energy bills. In addition to ordinary double glazing, you can now buy double glazing that will convert the sunlight into energy and cut down on your bills even more.
Another option that is becoming more common and more affordable by the minute is solar panels. Installation can be quite expensive but you could be almost £1000 better off every year as the energy you don’t use is fed back into the grid. Solar panels absorb sunlight even when it isn’t direct, so don’t worry about cloudy days. British Gas and E.ON Energy can tell you everything you need to know, and can provide you with the solar panels, too.
Replacing your old car with a more fuel-efficient one can be an excellent idea despite the initial cost. With petrol prices rising steadily, every little helps. Run the numbers before you make a decision, though, and make sure you don’t end up with higher monthly repayments that cancel out your fuel savings! That really would be robbing Peter to pay Paul.
On the cheaper side, energy-efficient lightbulbs can really make a difference. Stock up; they needn’t cost so much. Tesco, Asda, or any other supermarket can offer you excellent deals. Some energy suppliers even provide you with some free bulbs when you switch to them!
This takes me to suppliers. Some people can save a substantial amount annually if they switch to a different supplier. Establishments like uSwitch.com can help you work out which supplier would be the best for your energy use, and can help you go through the switch as well.
Turn things off! It seems so simple, but it really does make a difference. Turn your television and DVD player off at the plug rather than leaving them on standby. Turning off lights is another biggy; they needn’t be on when no one’s in the room, so flick that switch when you go out the door.
Mythbusters proved that you’re saving energy even if you plan to be back a few moments later, so don’t leave them burning for the furniture. In the same spirit, if your washing machine, dryer or dishwasher have lit displays, make sure you turn them off rather than leaving them on until you use them next.