The average energy bill for a three bedroom house in the UK is £98 a month, or £1,066 a year. This figure is set to rise over winter, as we use around 40% of our annual energy consumption during the colder months.
Winter is well on the way, and if you’re concerned about an increase in energy bills as you turn to your heating more and more, then don’t worry, as there are lots of ways you can save energy. Here, Roof Maker outline their top five energy saving tips to give you a head start this Winter
Invest in Insulation
Heat can be lost through drafts and air leaks, without you even realising it. However, simple steps like caulking windows or putting draft excluders under your doors could cut your heating bills by 20%.
A significant amount of energy can be saved by ensuring your home is insulated. There are two main areas to check: the loft and the walls.
For lofts, the Energy Saving Trust recommends having 27cm of insulation, which could save you around £200 a month in fuel bills. A quarter of heat is lost through the roof, so now is the time to get your loft insulated. Insulation lasts for a minimum of 40 years, and with the potential savings to be made, you could make your initial outlay back within just a couple of years.
When it comes to walls, most homes built during the 1990s and onwards should already have adequate insulation. Older houses however, may not. By investing in wall insulation, you could save around £150 a year. Find out how best to insulate your walls here.
Get Double Glazing
33% of houses in the UK still have single glazed windows, which means their energy bills are soaring over winter for no good reason.
Switching to double glazing means less heat is lost through the windows, saving you an average of £100 on your energy bills each year. An added bonus of double glazing? Extra noise from outside is blocked, making your house quieter.
Alternatively, you could upgrade to triple glazing, which has an extra layer of glass to better insulate your home.
If you have rooflights in your house, then you’ve probably heard the discussion on whether or not they’re energy-efficient. Like all windows, this depends on the U-value. The lower the U-value, the better insulated the window, and all providers should provide you with this figure. At Roof Maker for example, the U-value of our windows are 0.6 W/m².
Adjust Your Thermostat
When it gets colder, it’s tempting to turn your heating up high all the time. However, you’ll be in for a shock when you open your energy bill.
You should never have to compensate being warm for the sake of saving some money, and you don’t have to. Set your thermostat so that when it drops below a certain temperature, the heating will automatically turn on. A comfortable temperature is generally between 18 – 21 degrees Celsius.
You can also turn your heating down at night – when you’re under the covers, you won’t need the additional heating, which will save you money in the long term. In fact, just by turning your thermostat down by 1 degree, could cut your heating bills by up to 10%, equating to around £85 a year.
Stop Using Standby
Whilst this tip will help you to save money all year round, there’s no better time to stop using standby than now, to help combat your winter energy bill.
By turning your appliances off, as opposed to leaving them on standby, you could save approximately £30 a year. We’re not just talking about the TV: there’s the kettle, the microwave… even the washing machine. Save yourself some extra cash just by turning off any appliances you aren’t using.
Turn off the Lights
Turning off the lights is such a simple thing to do, yet we’re sure lots of us probably don’t do this! Just by switching off the lights in rooms you’re not using, could save you £14 a year on your energy bills. Whilst it may not be a huge amount, it soon adds up.
Turning your light off for just a few seconds will save some money, even when you factor in the time taken for it to light up again.
Save even more money by switching to energy saving lights: replace one regular bulb with an LED light of the same brightness, and save £3-£6 a year. In fact, switching to LED lights across the whole house could cut your energy bills by £35 a year.
There are lots of steps you can take to reduce your energy bills year-round, not just in winter. However, you no longer need to live in fear of opening your winter bills, because by following these steps, you’ll make significant savings.