How to reduce household bills

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Smart meter

The rising cost of living has meant many people now face difficult financial decisions. By 2024, utilities will be the second biggest weekly cost for households. Average weekly household spending is expected to reach £705 by 2024, up from £595 in 2021.
To help reduce the impact of rising utility costs, we’ve put together a list of tips that could help reduce household bills.
 

How to save money on energy bills

Energy bills account for one of the biggest increases in the cost of living. This rise has impacted people across the country, as the amount energy companies can charge was raised in 2022.

We know it can be hard to manage these rising costs – so we we’ve collected tips which may save you money on your energy bills.

Check other providers

Comparison sites might be helpful when looking at the rates of different providers. You might be able to find an energy supplier with cheaper rates than you currently pay.

Switching providers may not always save your money however, so seek independent financial advice before making a change.

Avoid standby mode

Standby mode on appliances still consumes energy. Turning the electrical items like the TV, toaster, games console, speakers and kettle off at the plug while they aren’t being used will cut down how much energy they use.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, turning off electricals instead of using standby mode could save you up to £55 a year

Only boil what you’ll use

Your kettle is likely to be one of the biggest energy drains in your kitchen. To avoid too much boiling time, only fill the kettle with the amount of water you’ll need.

The side of your kettle should show how many mugs the current amount of water will fill. According to CheckAppliance, only boiling the amount of water you’re going to use could save up to £21.70 per year
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Wash on a lower temperature

Reducing the temperature that you wash your clothes on will use less energy. Washing at 30 degrees, instead of 40 degrees, could save you up to £23 a year
Top tip: Lots of washing detergents will work at lower temperatures, so check before you buy.

Switch to low energy bulbs

Energy efficient bulbs use less electricity, which could add up savings across the year. If your home currently uses 100-watt incandescent bulbs, switching to LED could save up to £13 per bulb, every year

Smart meters

Installing a smart meter may not save you energy, but it can give you a better idea of how much you’re using.

Using a smart meter could mean you’re able to access cheaper tariffs, as it means energy companies don’t need to perform manual readings.
Top tip: Smart meters are usually available for free from your energy provider.

How to save money on water bills

Dishwasher or handwashing?

If you have a dishwasher, you might assume that it uses more water and energy than washing by hand.

However, this depends on how you wash up. If you keep the tap running while washing up, it may use less water to use the dishwasher instead – up to half as much water or more, according to Which?.
Top tip: Smart meters are usually available for free from your energy provider.

Water meters

Depending on your usage, a water meter might save you money. A meter tracks how much water you’re actually using, rather than an estimate, so could mean more accurate monthly bills

Save water with showering

If you can, having a shorter shower might reduce the amount of water you use. Opting for showers over baths could also mean you use less water, which may reduce your monthly water bill.

Top tip: Try playing your favourite song while you’re in the shower so you can check how long you’ve
been in!

Efficient shower heads

water efficient shower head could save the amount of water you use each time you shower. Using less water also means less energy spent heating it up, so you could save money on energy, too.

How to save money on heating bills

Saving on heating bills can often mean an upfront cost – so not all of these options are available to everyone.

Insulation

Insulation can help trap heat within the home, lowering your bills by allowing you to use your central heating less often.

How much you’ll save depends on the size and type of your home (it might not be possible to do this with a terraced house for example). According to EnergySavingTrust, insulated walls could save up to £255 on your energy bills per year
Insulating your home can be expensive, however, costing approximately £8,200 to install. If you’re buying a home, it’s worth asking when you view the property whether the walls are already insulated.
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Insulate your water tank

Insulating your water tank could save you money every year – for a reasonable cost.

The Energy Saving Trust reports that covering your water tank with an insulated jacket could save up to £35 a year. This is more than the average cost of an insulation jacket (around £20-£25)  
Top tip: As well as the water tank, you may be able to cover your water pipes with insulating foam.

Double glazing

Double or triple glazing can help to keep heat indoors. Look out for Low-E glass, which has a thin coating that allows light in, while reflecting heat back into your home.

Draft-proof windows and doors

Try to identify any draughts within your home – then seal them up. Foam, metal or plastic draught strips can be picked up fairly cheaply, then cut into size to prevent air escaping.
Top tip: Thermal curtains over windows and doors is another option for keeping heat in.

Loft insulation

It’s common for heat to be lost through your roof as it rises through your home. As long as your roof isn’t flat and it’s easy to access (and has no damp problems), loft insulation might be an option. According to Which? loft insulation could save you up to £315 a year.

Bleed your radiators

Bleeding your radiators – which means releasing air that has become trapped inside – can make them perform better.

Make sure you turn your heating off and that your radiators are completely cold before starting. Then, lay down some towels and use a valve key to loosen the bleed valve. Listen for the hissing sound of air escaping, then tighten it back up once the noise ends.
 

Reduce your thermostat slightly

Turning your thermostat down slightly will use less energy to heat your home. Even reducing your home temperature by one degree could save you up to £105 a year
The content on this page is for reference and does not constitute financial advice. For impartial financial advice, try MoneyHelper.