Winter isn’t far away and whilst heating oil prices have dropped back in recent weeks following the de escalation of tensions in Syria, gas and electricity prices are predicted by analysts to increase by up to 10% this winter. So, whilst heating oil users aren’t seeing these sorts of increase year on year (prices are actually cheaper this year than they were at this time last year), they still use electricity, so there is still a good reason to cut your energy bills. BoilerJuice has put together the latest advice to help you save money on both your heating oil and electricity bills this winter.
- Shop around – with heating oil this is easy as all you need to do is get a quote from BoilerJuice. We compare quotes from suppliers in your local area to find you the cheapest from our participating suppliers. For electricity, simply use a comparison service such as http://www.saveonhouseholdbills.com/ to find better deals and also check with your existing supplier that you are on the cheapest tariff.
- Get a free home energy check from The Energy Saving Trust. This online questionnaire that only takes about 5 minutes and can help you identify areas where you could improve energy efficiency and save money.
- If you have a hot water cylinder make sure it is lagged properly as this could save you up to £60 per year.
- Turn your central heating thermostat by 1 degree – this could save you around £60 per year on your fuel bills.
- Fit draught excluders around windows and doors. Fit a chimney draught excluder or use a sealed fire guard. Also, don’t forget to fit draught excluder on your loft hatch to prevent hot air escaping into the loft area.
- Check your insulation levels and increase loft insulation to 270mm for maximum effectiveness. Also consider cavity wall insulation as this can help you make big savings on your fuel bills. You may even be able to get this done for free. Check The Energy Saving Trust website for information on grants.
- Invest in energy saving “standby busters” to make sure devices such as televisions, computers and DVD players are switched off rather than left on standby.
- Only boil as much water as you need in the kettle – try marking 1 cup and 2 cup settings on your kettle so that you know where to fill it to.
- Consider changing your shower head to an energy efficient one that can save water and cut hot water bills. Some water companies give these away for free.
- Make sure you are using energy efficient light bulbs and consider switching to LED bulbs as these are even more efficient and last significantly longer.
- Get an energy monitor that will show your electricity usage – these are often given away for free by energy companies. Just being able to see how much energy different appliances use can help you reduce your consumption and identify where you need to consider replacing appliances.
- Consider a new boiler if yours is older than 15 years as you may be able to save yourself approximately £300 per year. Modern condensing boilers are far more efficient that older boilers. You may even be able to get a grant towards replacing your boiler or even get it free. Check The Energy Saving Trust website for more information.
- Wash your clothes at 30 degrees and don’t use a tumble dryer unless absolutely necessary. Dry clothes outside when you can. It is estimated tumble dryers can cost anywhere between £38 and £131 a year to run.
- If you are buying new appliances make sure you check their energy efficiency rating and choose those that have the highest rating.
- Don’t forget to turn lights and other appliances off. One of the most common ways to waste electricity is to leave chargers for mobile phones and other gadgets plugged in an switched on even when they are not being used.
For further information on energy saving and how to cut your energy bills this winter see:
The Energy Saving Trust: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/