The current cost of living in the UK is at its highest point in over a decade, with energy bills rising and everyone starting to feel the pinch. Ofgem is lifting the Energy Price Cap, meaning that from April 1st 2022, companies will be able to charge more for energy than they used to. However, there are still ways to save energy at home by reducing the amount of energy you use and improving energy efficiency.
1. Standby mode is not off
Most of us press the ‘off’ button on the remote when we’re done watching the TV. But on most TVs, this puts the device into standby mode, which means it is still on and still using electricity. You could save up to £55 a year by turning your TV off at the mains when not in use. Other devices may also run on standby mode, so remember if you’re not using it, make sure it’s off.
2. Turn lights off when not needed
Leaving lights running when not needed is a waste of energy and could be costing you up to £20 a year in wasted electricity. Simple changes add up over time, and so while it might not immediately seem like a lot of money, when combined with our other tips, it could help you save £00s. You could also change all bulbs to LED bulbs where possible, which are more energy-efficient and could save even more money over the course of a year.
3. Wash your clothes at lower temperatures
While washing your clothes at lower temperatures means the spin cycle will take longer, it will use less energy and can still clean your clothes properly. Using lower temperatures and cutting down by one spin-cycle a month could save you up to £30 a year.
4. Air drying costs nothing
Sticking on the theme of laundry, it’s worth noting that tumble dryers use a lot of energy and can cost up to £55 a year. Using an outdoor washing line or an indoor drying rack costs nothing. Just make sure not to overload the drying rack and leave plenty of space between clothes to allow the moisture to evaporate.
5. Check the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when viewing a new flat
Older properties are typically less energy efficient than modern buildings. If you’re unprepared, you could be in for a nasty surprise. All rental properties will state their EPC rating in the property listing and you can use a postcode to find any property’s EPC using the government EPC register. A, B and C are considered as high ratings, meaning they are more energy-efficient and will cost less to power.
Prospective tenants should read the EPC in more detail to get an idea of how much energy bills are likely to be in a rental property. To better understand your Energy Performance Certificate, you can use the government-endorsed Simple Energy Advice site.
6. Get a smart meter for your home
Everyone can ask their energy supplier to install a smart meter in their home, including tenants. Even if your energy supplier hasn’t offered you one already you should still request a smart meter. Smart meters track the energy you’re using, so you can better see how your bills will look. They can also be a handy way to see if you’ve accidentally left any appliances on when they shouldn’t be, as you will be able to clearly see a higher energy usage on the meter.
7. Only use the dishwasher when it’s full
If you have a dishwasher in your home only use it when it is fully loaded. Using an underfilled dishwater is not energy efficient and you end up paying the cost of a full load but don’t end up cleaning a full load. However, washing by hand in the basin only uses energy to heat the water and will cost you even less.
8. Only heat rooms you are currently using
It may seem obvious, but turning off heaters in rooms we’re not using can save lots of energy and money. If you leave your heating on while you go out, you’re simply wasting money. Obviously, it is nice to come back to a warm home, but realistically it doesn’t take that long to warm up after coming in from the cold. Even if it does take a bit longer, you can keep an extra layer on and make a hot cup of tea while you get adjusted to the changing temperatures.
9. Use your kettle wisely
While on the topic of tea, it’s worthwhile discussing the all-important feature of any UK home, the kettle. The best energy saving advice is to only fill and boil the amount of water you’re going to need. Overfilling the kettle means that over the course of a year lots of extra energy is required to rapidly boil several litres of unused water. This could be costing you up to £11 per year in wasted energy.
10. Draught proofing windows and doors
Draughts can make heating a home much more expensive. Draughts typically come through older windows, doors, chimneys and even the floorboards. DIY draft exclusion can help plug some of those gaps.
If you are a Tay Letting tenant, always remember that if you are worried that you won’t be able to pay your rent in full you should get in touch with us as soon as possible. We can help you to make a plan to resolve any payment issues.