Many households in the UK are seeing energy prices surge due to the energy crisis that has been affecting homeowners across Europe over the past year. Gas and electric prices are reaching all-time highs and after the energy price cap increased in April 2022, many homeowners are looking for ways to save costs.

Reducing the amount of energy that consumers waste in their homes can help them lower bills, with the added bonus of lowering their carbon footprint.

What ways are there to be more energy efficient?

There are plenty of ways homeowners can make small adjustments to their lifestyle that can have big effects on their bills.

#1: Switch off!

Leaving appliances switched on when they are not in use is one of the most common ways that energy is wasted. Even when left in standby mode, they can continue to rack up costs. Getting into the habit of completely switching off appliances and devices that are not in use is a quick and easy way to guarantee savings on bills.

#2: Improve appliances

Householders that find themselves in need of a new appliance should be sure to consider the energy efficiency of the appliance before buying. Appliances such as fridges and washing machines are given an energy efficiency rating to compare it with other products of its class, with A+++ being the highest rating. These more efficient appliances use less energy, saving money.

House heating accounts for more than half of the average consumer’s energy bill, so it is imperative that they have a modern boiler that is efficient enough to keep energy costs low.

#3: Use less water

Using excess water is another big contributor the high bills householders find themselves paying. Washing up in a bowl instead of using a running tap and replacing baths with short showers are two simple ways to combat this. Frugal homeowners may want to take the extra step and invest in an energy efficient shower head.

#4: Use less heat

Since home heating takes up such a significant portion of most consumers’ energy bills, reducing heating use is one of the most effective ways to reduce costs. Other than simply using the heating less often, savings can be made by setting the thermostat to a degree or two lower every time it is used. Using a smart thermostat can make it easier for homeowners to automate their heating efficiency.

#5: Washing clothes at a lower temperature

Costs can be further reduced by washing clothes at lower temperatures. This can be done by switching to a 30 degree cycle every time it is used.

#6: Improving home insulation

Well-insulated homes can keep the heat inside, reducing the need to turn up the thermostat. The best way to accomplish this is to install insulation into the roof/loft, walls and floor. Double glazing can also improve home insulation as well as blocking out noise.

Draught-proofing the house can also prevent homeowners from losing heat. Doors, windows, skirting boards and cracks are areas susceptible to heat loss, so getting them draught-proofed can keep homes warmer without needing to up the heat.

#7: Go Solar

An optional, alternative way of saving costs is to invest in solar energy. Although the initial purchase of solar panels may be expensive, they are effective at making long-term savings. There are also many new solar products available that can further increase the effectiveness of solar panels, such as solar controllers, which can increase their efficiency and effectiveness. Savings on gas and electric usage can also be made using batteries, which allow for excess energy storage so that solar generated energy can be used at night, and solar heaters, which can be used to heat homes.

Getting support from the government to help increase energy efficiency

In the UK, many homeowners could be eligible for Home Energy Grants that can help them pay their energy bills, so it is important that they know what is available, and whether they are eligible to claim them. The best way to find this information out is for homeowners to enter their address on the Simple Energy Advice site, where it will determine what grants may be available and the benefits these grants include.

What other ways can householders determine their energy efficiency?

A good way for householders to be aware of their own energy efficiency is to keep track of their usage. This means paying attention to when and how long they use heating and water for on average. This can help householders figure out where they are wasting energy and how they can make improvements to make savings.

The Energy Efficiency Calculator provides a rating of the energy efficiency of a property and can be used to get personalised advice on what homeowners can do to cut on energy bills.