Today sees the start of the Big Energy Saving Week – a national campaign to help people reduce their energy bills and get them the financial support they are entitled to.
Funded by the UK and Scottish and Welsh Governments and run by the Energy Saving Trust and Citizens Advice Bureau, it focuses on raising public awareness about the potential benefits of switching energy suppliers or tariffs and educating people on how to best make homes more energy efficient.
Reducing energy consumption and eventually saving money on bills can be done through everyday actions and to help consumers do just that, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has produced 10 top tips.
1. Turning appliances off standby mode can save £30 a year so remember not to leave laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily.
2. Replacing old light bulbs with energy efficient LEDs – while it could cost around £100 initially, consumers could save about £35 a year on bills.
3. Turning lights off when not needed. If a light is switched off for just a few seconds, more energy is saved than it takes for the light to start up again – this could help save around £14 a year on annual energy bills.
4. Turning down the thermostat by one degree, around 10% can be saved on energy bills. However, homes should be warm enough during the cold weather as cold homes can have a detriment to health.
5. Installing a room thermostat, a programmer and thermostatic radiator valves and using these controls efficiently could save around £75 a year.
6. Closing curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and checking for draughts around windows and doors.
7. Draught-proofing of windows and doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can save around £20 a year on energy bills.
8. Using the Citizens Advice energy price comparison tool to see if money can be saved by switching energy tariff or supplier.
9. Doing a home energy check to find out about savings of up to £130 a year on household energy bills by getting personalised energy savings advice.
10. Contacting your energy supplier to see what support they can provide, if anyone in your household is receiving benefits.
Business and Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “You’d be surprised at what small steps can make a big difference – both to energy bills and to your contribution to climate change.
“During Big Energy Saving Week, I’d urge everyone to contact the Simple Energy Advice Service to see what they can do – whether it’s changing light bulbs, switching provider or turning down the thermostat when away from home – to cut their emissions and their bills.”
William Jowitt, 72, a retired senior engineer from Silsden, West Yorkshire, installed a heat pump, underfloor heating, solar panels and heat reflective glass on his conservatory as part of the energy saving measures on his bungalow.
He is also on Octopus Energy’s Agile tariff, which gives variable pricing based on grid demand.
He saved £312 in the last year by making changes to his home and switching his tariff, after seeing the cost of his electricity drop from 14p/kWh to 11p/kWh.
Mr Jowitt said: “Ensure your property is fully insulated. Also current double glazing units can reduce energy loss by 66%, compared to units only 10 years old and ensure your heating equipment is working efficiently.”