Cheaper Utility Bills | Reduce Your Bills

Posted by in Energy Saving Tips on Apr 02, 2013 . .

Are you looking for ways of reducing your utility bills? If you are then follow our straight forward Ecofreak Guide which explains how to do just that. Simply scan through the numbered tips and pick out those which are relevant to you.

Where possible we have included approximate savings and costs for a typical household - use this to help you prioritise the measures which you take. We have also provided links through to relevant Ecofreak products and external sites which we hope you might find useful.

With all of the savings identified in this guide, not only can you save money, but it's good for the environment too. Each household in the UK creates around six tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. That's six times the weight of the rubbish a household throws away in a year, or to look at it another way, double the carbon dioxide emissions that the average car produces in a year.

To keep things as simple as possible we have split the guide into two sections :

  1. How to Reduce Your Energy Bills

  2. How to Reduce your Water Bills.

For an easy to view summary of all of the Ecofreak Energy and Water Saving measures click on the following link :

 Cheaper Utility Bills - Overview.


HOW TO REDUCE YOUR ENERGY BILLS


1. INSULATE YOUR LOFT

Typical Household : Savings £200/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £275  Payback  1-2 Yrs

If your loft is poorly insulated you could be losing as much as a third of your heating costs through the roof of your house. Insulating your loft is a simple and effective way of reducing the cost of heating your house with potential savings of between £180 to £220 per year (Source : Energy Saving Trust).

More about insulating your loft.

Ecofreak products that can help : Thermafleece


2. INSULATE YOUR CAVITY WALLS

Typical Household : Savings £150/Yr  DIY r  Initial Cost £300  Payback  2 Yrs

Around a third of the heat lost from an un-insulated house is lost through it's walls. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you could save up to £160 a year on your energy bills a year by insulating your wall cavities.

More about cavity wall insulation.

Ecofreak products that can help : Sorry - we don't have any. Contact CIGA to find a registered installer.


3. REDUCE DRAUGHTS

Typical Household : Savings £20/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £20  Payback 1 Yr

Draughts let cold air in and allow heat to escape, yet in most cases they are easy and cheap to prevent. In a typical home 20% of lost heat is due to draughts.

More about reducing draughts.

Ecofreak products that can help : Sorry - we don't have any, try your local DIY store.


4. INSTALL DOUBLE GLAZING

Typical Household : Savings £100/Yr  DIY r  Initial Cost £Varies  Payback Varies

Up to 20% of the heat loss from a typical home is through closed windows. Double glazing can reduce this heat loss by 50%. If you can't afford to do the whole house consider doing the rooms which are used most (typically kitchen, living room and bathroom).

More about installing double glazing.


5. INSULATE YOUR HOT WATER TANK AND PIPES

Typical Household : Savings £20/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £20  Payback 1 Yr

By insulating your hot water tank and pipes you keep the water you've heated up hot for longer. It is simple and cheap to do and saves both energy and money.

Ecofreak products that can help : Sorry - we don't have any. Give your local plumbers merchant a tinkle.


6. FIT ENERGY SAVING BULBS

Typical Household : Savings £20/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £20  Payback 1 Yr

Energy saving light bulbs use about one quarter of the energy of conventional light bulbs to produce the same amount of light. They are now available in a wide range of styles and can last up to 12 times longer than a conventional bulb.

In addition to changing bulbs in household fittings, homes and businesses can make substantial savings by replacing traditional halogen floodlights with low energy floodlights. These eco floodlights use low energy bulbs to produce a bright and highly efficient alternative to traditional floodlights.

Ecofreak products that can help : Energy Saving Light bulbs, 12V Low Energy Floodlights, 230V Eco Floddlights ~ coming soon!


7. SWITCH TO A HIGH EFFICIENCY BOILER

Typical Household : Savings £115/Yr  DIY r  Initial Cost £High  Payback Varies

The efficiency of boilers has come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years. All new gas boilers now have to be the highly efficient  condensing type and if these are used in conjunction with appropriate controls they can reduce your heating bill by over a third.

More about condensing boilers.


8. TURN APPLIANCES OFF STANDBY

Typical Household : Savings £40/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £0  Payback N/A

Don't leave appliances on standby, turn them off. Also remember to switch off mobile phone (and other appliance) chargers when not in use. There are several excellent standby savers  now available that make powering down at the socket quick and easy - some even do it automatically.

Ecofreak products that can help : Bye Bye Standby Energy Saving Kit, PowerSafer TV, Power Safer PSX, Intellipanel, Ivy Standby Buster, Turn Off Standby


9. TURN DOWN YOUR ROOM THERMOSTAT

Typical Household : Savings £40/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £0  Payback N/A

Reducing your room temperature by just 1oC can reduce your heating bill by up to 10%. So put on a jumper and turn it down!

Ecofreak products that can help : Radiator Booster  


10. DON'T OVERHEAT YOUR HOT WATER

Typical Household : Savings £40/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £0  Payback N/A

Your hot water shouldn't need to be more than 60oC (140oF). Check the thermostat on your hot water tank and turn it down if necessary.


11. FILL UP THE MACHINE

Typical Household : Savings £Varies  DIY a  Initial Cost £0  Payback N/A 

Fill up your washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher before turning it on or, if you can't, make sure you use the half-load or economy programme facility to save energy. Ideally you should dry your washing on a line outside. 


12. BUY ENERGY SAVING APPLIANCES

Typical Household : Savings £45/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £Varies  Payback N/A 

When buying new appliances check out their energy saving crudentials. Most modern appliances are rated according to their energy efficiency.

The most efficient will appliances will carry the Energy Saving Recommended logo.


13. REDUCE YOUR ELECTRICITY USAGE THROUGH KNOWLEDGE

Typical Household : Savings £160/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £80  Payback 2 Yrs 

Save up to 25% on you electricity bill by learning about your power usage and altering your behaviour accordingly. Several wireless electricity monitors are available including the the Efergy  the Owl Electricity Monitor and the Wattson. These energy monitors have been designed to help you to keep track of and understand your electricity use. They are all smart electricity meter that allow you to monitor your electricity use in real time as well as on a historical basis. The smart meter also displays how much your electricity is costing financially and in terms of CO2 emissions.

If you want to monitor your electricity use in style, and would like the added benefit of being able to interface with and analyse data on your computer, take a look at the ultra cool Wattson Energy Monitor. It does everything that the Efergy does and much more!

Ecofreak products that can help : Efergy Elite Wireless Energy Monitor , Efergy 2 Elink  , Wattson Electricity Monitor,  Plug-in Mains Power and Energy Monitor, Plug in Electricity Monitor , Plug in Power Strip Energy Monitor ,  Owl Wireless Energy Monitor


14. TURN OFF LIGHTS

Typical Household : Savings £5/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £Varies  Payback N/A 

It's simple stuff, but over time it makes a difference - turn out the lights when you leave a room! In rooms where lights are commonly left on unnecessarily consider fitting a timer switch which will turn the lights off after a pre set time interval.

Ecofreak products that can help : Bye Bye Standby , Ivy Standby Buster, Wireless Electricity Meter


15. CLOSE YOUR CURTAINS

Typical Household : Savings £5/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £Varies  Payback N/A

Close your curtains at dusk to reduce heat loss through windows at night.


16. DON'T BOIL MORE WATER THAN YOU NEED

Typical Household : Savings £5/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £Varies  Payback N/A

Don't boil more water than you need (but make sure you cover the element in an electric kettle), whether you're making a cup of tea or boiling the veggies. Also, if your boiling water in a pan on the stove put a lid on the pan.

There are now two excellent energy saving kettles available on the market that have been designed specifically to make energy saving easier.

Ecofreak products that can help : EcoKettle , EcoKettle 2  , Chrome EcoKettle 2


17. CHARGE BATTERIES AND GADGETS WITHOUT MAINS ELECTRICITY

Typical Household : Savings £5/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £Varies  Payback N/A

Why plug into the wall when you can utilise the power of the sun? There are various solar powered chargers available that allow you to charge your portable gadgets from power collected from the sun's rays.

It is also possible to power small electronic products with dynamos powered by hand winding and there is also an amazing range of products powered by H20 batteries!

Ecofreak products that can help : Solio Solar iPod Charger, Freeloader Portable Solar Charger, Scotty Pro, Solar Battery Charger, Eco Media Player , Wind up Torches, Wind up Radios, Water Power ~ H2O PowerSolar Charger 12V


18. TAKE A SHOWER

Typical Household : Savings £10/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £0  Payback N/A

Take a shower instead of a bath. A five munte shower only uses one third of the water that a bath does and saves energy too. Just watch out if you have got a power shower as these can use as much as 25 litres of water every minute. If you do take a bath resist the temptation to overfill it (the girl from the old Flake advert must have spent a fortune on hot water - and plasterers for the kitchen ceiling!).


19. MEND DRIPPING TAPS

Typical Household : Savings £10/Yr  DIY a  Initial Cost £0  Payback N/A

A dripping tap can fill a bath in a day, if it's a hot tap the water wasted may have been heated which is a waste of energy as well.


20. GENERATE YOUR OWN ENERGY

Typical Household : Savings £Varies  DIY a  Initial Cost £Varies  Payback Varies

If you have already taken most of the steps outlined above and you want to get serious about reducing your future energy bills why not consider generating your own power? There are several renewable energy technologies that can be utilised to create your own power, reducing both your carbon emissions and your reliance on the National Grid. There is no doubt that these renewables will reduce your energy bills but the initial costs can still be quite high and payback times relatively long.

Ecofreak products that can help : Solar Home Power Station, Sunsei SE 1200, Rutland 504, Solar Mate Lighting Kit



Cheaper Utility Bills - How to Reduce your Water Bills

Last update: Jul 22, 2013
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