The cost of energy is rising this autumn, and likely to again in the winter, even though we in the UK are being promised a price cap. It’s evident that the biggest problem is the huge rise in standing charges, which we have to pay regardless of how much power we consume.  

That said, there has been a wealth of advice published on how we can reduce energy consumption in the home. Many seem to require a major investment, which isn’t that helpful.

There are smaller changes you can make though that may help. And using your smart meter to monitor which appliances and activities use the most power can give you an indication of where your greatest costs lies.

Here are some of the most useful ideas:

·         Turn down the hot water thermostat and manage boilers more efficiently. For example, you can

o   lower the flow temperature from 80C to 60C or lower if you have a combi boiler

o   turn off the pre-heat function for hot water, as this tends to use a lot of gas to keep hot water temperatures topped up

·         Have a shower rather than a bath

·         Wash clothes at low temperatures

·         Draught proof windows and doors

·         Check loft insulation

·         Turn off heating in empty rooms

·         Turn down appliances such as fridges and freezers, but don’t turn them off because bringing them back to temperature again will use more power than you save

·         Defrost freezers regularly and fill empty spaces, even if it’s just with half-full bottles of water

·         Use a microwave rather than the oven

·         Investigate the services utility companies offer for those who are finding it hard to pay their bills – many have some form of hardship fund

Other measures that may help a little include are turning off lights, switching off the television rather than leaving it on standby, and not overfilling the kettle.

If you found this article helpful, you may like to read:

·         Is it time to upgrade your parent’s boiler?

·         How are people dealing with the rising cost of living?