Home Business Insights & Advice Save big on utility bills: Unleashing the power of energy efficiency

Save big on utility bills: Unleashing the power of energy efficiency

by Sarah Dunsby
31st Jul 23 3:45 pm

The cost of energy has played a big part in the cost of living crisis. But there are ways to help manage how much you spend, based on the technology you use, the tariff you’re on, and who provides your home services.

A good way to start managing your energy efficiency is to look at the tools available to you.

A smart meter could help you save

Smart meters allow customers to track their energy usage in real time. This helps customers understand which things are using the most energy, and even when.  Sudden jumps in usage caused by faulty appliances, for example, can be spotted quickly.

Smart meters also communicate directly with suppliers, which means no manual meter readings, and no more estimated bills.

Indirectly, because they allow more accurate tracking of usage at the national level, smart meters also help suppliers buy and sell the right amounts of energy, driving down the cost end users pay.

Should I switch to a fixed energy tariff?

Falling energy prices means a few fixed tariffs have recently been introduced. Some are even cheaper than the government’s reduced Energy Price Cap of £2,074, which was revised down from £2,500 in July.

Fixing your tariff will provide some much-needed certainty, but should wholesale prices continue to fall, customers could end up overpaying over the duration of their contract. If in doubt, talk to your supplier to see what options are available.

Alternatively, you might consider switching to a supplier that offers discounts on all your essential household services. Utility Warehouse (UW) (also known as UW for short) can help homes save over over £400 per year by taking out four of its products, which also includes broadband, mobile phone and insurance. The more services that are switched, the greater the savings.

Save energy with your combi boiler setting

If you’re one of the 23m UK households that have a combi boiler, you’ll get a number of benefits, including instant hot water and easy installation and maintenance.

While switching to a combi boiler can result in savings of over £300 a year according to UW, reducing its flow temperature can save up to a further £100 a year, says Nesta. The flow temperature regulates the water that circulates around your home and heats your radiators. Combi boilers work most efficiently at around 60°C, but their default setting is between 70 to 80°C.

Cut utility bills by shopping smartly

Even if you can reduce your bills, stubborn inflation means the cost of paying for everyday goods continues to rise. If spending can’t be avoided, it helps to earn rewards. The UW Cashback Card provides cashback for select retailers of up to 10%. It also offers 1% on almost everything else. The savings are calculated, and taken off your bill each month.

Be clever with your energy use

There are many ways to help trim your energy usage, and your energy bill, further. As half the money typically spent on energy is used for heating and hot water, turning your thermostat down by a single degree saves the average home £115 a year, according to British Gas. Or either reducing your shower time in half or fitting a water efficient shower head can save £95 and £45. Even lining your windows with window film can help trim over £40 off your gas bill.

When it comes to electricity, switching your traditional bulbs to energy-saving LED or CFLs will cut your lighting usage by at least three quarters. You can also save around £70 per year by not using a tumble dryer, or £65 by turning your devices off instead of leaving them on standby, says the Energy Saving Trust.

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