Five ways to save on energy, heating and electricity bills during the cost of living crisis

There’s not much you can do right now to get a cheaper heating bill, even Martin Lewis said he lacked tools to lower your energy costs.

Another hike in the energy cap is expected later this year, putting more pressure on households. Bills rose by an average of £693 a year in April. In October, another 29% increase is expected, according to recent forecasts.

While shopping on price comparison sites is unlikely to bring huge savings, unlike in years past, there are small things you can do to reduce the energy you use. Remember to take meter readings!

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Unplug everything you don’t need

Energy bills have risen by 54%, levies have soared and households are feeling it – even now that many have switched off central heating.

Electricity is also very expensive and worth taking a few minutes to go from room to room, checking what is plugged in and what can be turned off. Have you plugged in a lawn mower to charge it in your garage and forgotten to unplug it since last summer? Children’s bedrooms are also likely to house plugged-and-forgotten devices. It may save a few pennies now, but it will soon add up and the energy bills only go in one direction.

It may not be possible to turn off the TV on the wall every night – and it won’t even save much money in the grand scheme of things – but a device that does your utility bills a disservice. Energy is a second fridge or freezer, especially if it’s kept in the garage. They’re probably older and therefore less energy efficient to begin with, and the lack of insulation may end up making it work harder just to keep the contents cold. If possible, get rid of it.

Use your appliances sparingly and efficiently

Always make sure the washing machine and dishwasher are full before use and check the settings.

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “One of the easiest ways to save money is to dig the manuals for things like the dishwasher and the washing machine. We tend to use the same couple of cycles without thinking about it, but most of the energy is used to heat the water, so if you can find an eco wash or a cold wash, you can reduce by one fifth energy consumption. every time.”

Boil only the amount of water you need in the kettle each time and do not use larger pans than necessary on the hob, remembering to cover pans with a lid to retain heat . Commit to ditch the dryer. When the sun is announced, place a load of laundry in the machine the day before and hang it out to dry.

And now as we head into summer, cold days follow the mantra “Heat the human, not the house”.

Back to the stove…

There are many ways to reduce stovetop usage, while saving on food costs. Slow cookers can help with inexpensive batch cooking, when you make enough for a meal that day, a few days in advance, and also for freezing. It will also save the supermarket shop and maybe even reduce the temptation to order takeout on busy days.

Those with a microwave might consider using it for long cooking jobs such as cooking potatoes – they take a fraction of the time and will cost less to use, despite their high power.

Reduce food waste

Know where to store foods such as bananas, eggs and bread to avoid wasting food and know the difference between best before and best before dates.

A recent study by Wrap found that fresh, uncut produce can be good to eat long after the expiration date, and most items last longer in the fridge.

Stored at 4°C, the apples showed no signs of spoilage for up to two and a half months past their best before date and were still good to eat for some time after that, the researchers found.

And reduce the water too

Water companies offer a range of free water gadgets through the Save Water Save Money water efficiency site, including shower heads, faucet inserts and garden hose nozzles.

And this advice for family members who enjoy long, hot showers: an easy way to reduce this is to have them listen to music while they shower. Agree on a four-minute song that they can shower on, and when the last note ends, they have to get out. Obviously, don’t take speakers into the shower with you, as electrical appliances do NOT like water.