Top tips on how to save energy in your home and cut bills - from smart shower heads to switching off standby

Resolver consumer expert Martyn James shares ways to cut energy bills at a time of rising costs

The current energy crisis has left countless people concerned about the coming winter and paying for a big increase in their bills.

I won’t sugar coat it – things are going to get more expensive. At the moment, it seems likely that more smaller energy firms are likely to go under. That means that switching services for energy are largely suspended while the dust settles.

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On top of that, the latest energy price cap has come into play which means most businesses will be putting up their prices. It makes sense to hold fire for now to wait and see what happens next – switching may still be an option.

But there are things you can do to cut your energy consumption right now. Try these tips and give your energy provider regular meter readings so you don’t get hit with a big bill based on bad estimates.

Keeping a lid on ‘wet appliances’

The big offenders for energy consumption in your home are ‘wet appliances’, the term for the goods in the kitchen that use water, like washing machines and dishwashers.

Try to only use them for full loads, learn more about what that ‘eco mode’ button does and drop the heat as low as it will go.

These machines have to heat the water they use so the higher the temperature, the higher your costs, which can result in them generating up a quarter of the cost of your energy bill.

Turn down the thermostat

Turn down the thermostat a notch. Getting a smart thermostat can save you loads, but if money is tight then that just isn’t feasible. But did you know that turning down the thermostat by just one notch can save you around £80 a year?

Home energy saving tips. (Graphic: Kim Mogg / JPIMedia)

Switch off standby

Most electrical items can be switched off at the plug, though you might want to leave the smart TV / satellite / cable box plugged in if you don’t want to lose your favourite recordings and cause a family riot! If it’s a faff to remember, why not purchase some plugs with timers built in?

Clear out the fridge

If your fridge is stuffed then it requires more energy to do its job, so keep it relatively clear and the temperature at an appropriate level. Most experts advise a level of 1 to 5 Celsius – take the temperature though rather than rely on the inbuilt dial.

LED lights. (Pic: Shutterstock)

Turn off the lights

Your parents were right – turn off those lights! Or even better, replace your bulbs with LEDs. This might seem like a hassle, but you could save up to £50 a year. If it’s too expensive to do in one go, replace them as the old ones die.

Get a smart meter

Yes, this did go horribly wrong last time round, so the Government’s roll out of smart meters was scaled back while the technology was sorted out.

The second generation of smart meters are available now, which are compatible with different providers of energy, so you can switch if you want (always check first though).

Smart meters make it easier to monitor your energy consumption and keep on top of your bills.

Save money on energy and water

The Energy Saving Trust have a ton of really great advice on their website. A great one is fitting an energy efficient shower head and cutting down shower time by just one minute per person. A family of four could save £28 off their energy bills and around £47 off their water bills with a meter.

Be a good neighbour

Many of the people who have contacted me with concerns about their energy bills are older or struggling financially. If you know someone in this situation, then pop round and check on them.

There are loads of support schemes available through your energy provider.

These can result in hefty discounts to bills through the Priority Services Register. If you are struggling financially, there are lots of options available too – but speak up now and seek help.

Get help with all things energy at Resolver for free.

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