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Quick energy saving tips

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In the space of just five months between May and October 2018, energy prices rocketed by some 21%, according to a report in the Independent newspaper on the 17th of October. 

As we foretold in an article published in our Knowledge Base on the 12th of March 2018, the energy regulator has now imposed a price cap on energy tariffs, with effect from the 1st of January 2019 – but only on the most expensive, standard variable rate tariffs. This is expected to bring some relief to an estimated 11 million consumers. 

But the ceiling on that price cap is still an eye-watering £1137 a year for a dual fuel consumer paying by direct debit – according to Ofgem’s press release on the 6th of November 2018.

In short, therefore, you are likely to find any energy saving tips only too welcome – so, here are a few:

Ambient temperatures 

  • following a blistering hot summer in 2018, you might find the winter’s temperatures especially bone-chilling; 
  • nevertheless, with any reasonably efficient heating system, it may still be possible to nudge the thermostat down a degree or two;
  • make sure the boiler is regularly serviced for maximum efficiency (it may also be a condition of your buildings insurance that it is annually serviced) and set the controls to turn the system on and off at appropriate times of the day;
  • don’t obstruct radiators and install reflectors behind any that are hung on outside walls – to reflect the heat back into the room;

Go easy on the shower

  • taking a shower consumes less hot water than a bath – provided you keep it reasonably short; 
  • British Gas suggests that a shower lasting 10 minutes is likely to be about right – but you might also want to invest in a shower monitor which shows you just how much hot water you are using;
  • you’ve spent your money on making the water hot, so keep it that way for as long as possible by insulating hot water cylinders and the pipework running from it;
  • an insulating jacket for the cylinder might save you £35 a year – and a further £10 a year if the associated pipework is insulated too; 
  • if your central heating and hot water boiler is more than 15 years old, consider investing in a new condensing boiler and control system – it could save you around £340 a year in energy bills;

Light and power 

  • you’ve invested in the latest energy-saving bulbs – but don’t be tempted to squander those savings by leaving the lights on any longer than necessary and turn them off when you leave the room; 
  • energy saving light bulbs are estimated to last an average 10 times longer than conventional bulbs and each one might save you up to £50 over its lifetime; 
  • remember that the “stand-by” function on many of your electrical devices is just that – they are standing by, ready for use, and continue to consume electricity in that state; 
  • so, remember to turn off any appliances and devices at the plug on the wall.

With your energy bills likely to be costing £1,000 or more a year, energy saving tips such as these may be especially welcome – especially if you get into the habit of following them throughout the year.