The cost of living crisis has had one of the biggest impacts on energy, water and electricity bills.
According to Ofgem, the average UK energy bill in September 2021 was around £95, totalling to £1,138 a year. In April 2022, many UK providers had to up the costs on their bills with some hiking up their gas and electricity prices by 54%. This has not only caused our monthly spending to go up, but many people have had to cancel services and cut back on things we want or need.
As Deals Writer and Shopping Expert at T3, I’ve been giving our readers tips and tricks on how to save money on TVs, phone plans, headphones, streaming services, broadband and laptops. In this post, I’ll be tackling how to save money on how much you spend on your energy, water and electricity so you can make your home more eco-conscious while also keeping your monthly costs to a minimum.
It’s near impossible to cancel any of these services as they keep our home lit, warm and running but there are a few things you can do around the house to keep your power usage down and slash the prices of your bills each month and year. Here are 6 ways to save money on your energy, water and electricity bills.
1. Stop leaving things on standby
My first tip to saving energy and keeping your bills down is to stop leaving things on standby. By forgetting to turn off plugs at the wall, you can massively rack up your usage and bills by leaving your appliances and devices on standby. In general, it’s a massive waste of electricity and while it’s handy if you’re trying to record something while you’re out of the house, it’s much easier to avoid the hassle of a big electric bill at the end of the month.
According to market research, by turning off your appliances at the wall, you can save anywhere from £30 - £55 a year. The main culprits when it comes to leaving things on standby is your TV, kettle and lamps so make sure you switch them off by the wall whenever you leave the house or if they’re not in use. This is not only a great way to cut down on your bills but can keep your devices working for longer, as I mentioned in my how I save money on TVs guide.
2. Turn off your lights & taps
Along the same vein is turning off your lights and taps. I’m a stickler for turning off lights whenever I leave a room but my partner on the other hand is absolutely dreadful and it’s led to many arguments! Turning off your lights and lamps whenever you leave the room or house is so important in terms of saving you money and reducing the impact we have on the planet. Saving electricity can massively reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions so by remembering to turn off your lights, you’re helping tackle the effects we have on the environment. If you have a terrible habit of forgetting to switch off the lights, you can pick up one of the best smart bulbs to set reminders or schedules.
Similarly, leaving the tap on wastes water, whether you’re waiting for the shower to heat up or doing the washing up. By not letting the tap run while you’re doing the dishes, you can save a huge amount of money each month or you can install a faucet aerator which acts as a screen at the end of a tap and limits the amount of water that comes out.
3. Insulate & draught-proof your home
My next tip is about heating and making sure your house or flat is insulated and draught-proof. By filling the gaps underneath your doors, windows and even your letter box, you can cut out the cold and keep your rooms at a nice temperature without having to put your boiler on. I recommend investing in insulation or buying plastic lining or a door excluder cushion which can save you more money in the long run. As someone who is always cold, I always want to flick the heating on but to avoid spending too much on my heating bills, I have a rule where I won’t put on the heating until a certain month. If I’m cold before the designated month, I’ll put on an extra jumper or wrap-up under a blanket to avoid paying for heating until it’s really needed.
4. Wash your clothes at a lower temperature
Another water saving tip is to wash your clothes few and far between and at a lower temperature. By washing your clothes at 30° rather than 40°, this reduces your energy usage, as 75-90% of the energy and water used in a wash is to heat up the water. Colder water is also less likely to cause your colours to run or your clothes to shrink and reduces wrinkles.
There are plenty of washing machines and tumble dryer tips you can use to keep your costs down other than dropping the temperature. Try to stick to only doing one or two washes a week and avoid using a dryer where possible. Instead by using a clothes horse or line, you can reduce the money you spend on drying and it’s great to do during the summer months and heatwaves.
5. Invest in smart home devices
Alongside the hacks mentioned above, you can invest in smart home devices that will power and care for your home and reduce your monthly bills. The three main smart home devices to save money on your energy bills are thermostats, lighting and plugs. By installing or setting up one of these devices, you can save energy, money and control your home via the compatible apps.
The best smart thermostats help you keep your home at the ambient temperature and can create schedules and timers for your water and boiler systems to save on fuel and electricity. By controlling your thermostat with an app, you can turn everything off as you leave the house and turn it on when you’re on your way home so your house is nice and warm when you walk through the door. Smart bulbs use less electricity than regular bulbs and tend to last longer. Smart plugs are also great devices to have in your house as you can turn things on and off if you’ve forgotten to, like your lights or other devices that have been left on standby.
6. Monitor your usage & switch providers (if needed)
My final tip is to keep a close eye on your usage levels and your bills in general. By checking your electricity and water metres every month, you can see how much power you’re using during specific times. This can help you figure out how to avoid going over a certain amount each month and which of the above tips you can benefit from the most.
When it comes to your bills, you can sometimes be caught out by one that’s far too large, purely because you forgot to send in a metre reading. By sending in metre readings wherever you can, you’re keeping your provider up to date with your amount of usage and you can avoid any estimated bills. There are also a few hacks you can do to cut down on what you pay your energy provider like switching to paperless updates and paying via a direct debit. If you’re paying too much or your provider recently upped its prices, it could be worth switching to someone new. First, contact your provider to see if there’s anything they can do to help with your bills and then have a look around and compare prices.