Tips to reduce your gas and electricity bills and carbon emissions at home

Family cooking together in the kitchen

With a rise in the cost of living this year, there's never been a better time to cut your energy bills and be kind to the planet. We've put together some tips to help you and your family reduce your energy use in every room of your home. 
 

1. Home heating - whilst using less energy

Over half of our energy bills spend goes on heating and hot water. It's really important to look at our home heating habits and see if there are small changes we can make to reduce our heating bills. 

  • Turn down your thermostat. Just one degree lower could save you £80 a year. Set a timer on your thermostat for your heating to come on only when you need it. 
  • Don't heat the rooms you're not in. Individual radiator thermostats mean you can adjust the temperature in each room accordingly.
  • Keep doors between adjoining rooms shut. This way, you stop the heat from escaping. 
  • Run your heating for an hour less each day. Even using a little less energy each day adds up to savings over time.
  • Bleed your radiators. This removes any trapped air that stops them from working as efficiently as they could. If you feel confident to do it yourself, check how to bleed your radiators.
  • Check your boiler's output. Most people aren't aware that you can adjust the temperature on your boiler as well as your thermostat. Combi boilers' factory setting tends to be 80 degrees but you can actually set it to 65 degrees for maximum efficiency. It'll heat the water to a slightly lower temperature but save you valuable £s. Find out more about it from the Home Energy Expert
  • Block out unwanted gaps. Draught-proofing is a usually cheap and easy way to keep the heat in. Energy Saving Trust claims you could save up to £30 a year for draught-proofing your windows and an additional £20 a year for draught-proofing your chimney (if you're not using it). 
  • Keep the heat in. Simply closing your blinds or curtains in the evening can also stop the heat loss by up to 17%. Just be sure your curtains don't cover the radiators.

If your budget allows, do check whether you could benefit from extra measures that would keep your home warm more efficiently, saving on your energy bills in the long term:

    2. Kitchen - reduce your energy and water use even when cooking and washing up

    • Don't leave appliances on standby in your kitchen. Be energy efficient and switch off your appliances. You could save £40 on your energy bills
    • Stop the frost. Defrost your fridge freezer regularly to prevent it from using more energy than it needs to.

    • Clean behind your fridge and freezer. This will keep your fridge and freezer cool and working efficiently.

    • Use smaller pans. The smaller your pan, the less heat is wasted. So make sure you use the right size pan for your meal.

    • Keep saucepan lids on. Your food will heat up faster.


    Use less water

    • Load up your washing machine fully, rather than doing half loads. You can also choose economy settings or 30° washes and this could save you £10 a year, with an additional £10 if you do one less wash a week

    • Arrange a water-saving home visit (when it's possible to do so) - Some water companies offer to visit you at home to talk to you about your water usage and to give you tips about how you could use less water. They may also be able to fit water-saving devices and make fixes such as shower timers and tap inserts. Get in touch with your water company to find out more. 

    • Choose a low-energy setting on your dishwasher. This may be a shorter programme or a lower temperature setting - or both! And if you fill it out and do one wash less a week, you could save around £10 a year. 

    • Boil only as much water as you need. Make sure you fill the kettle with exactly the right amount of water – it will heat faster and not waste energy. 

    • Fill up a washing up bowlYou could save £25 a year by filling up a bowl rather than running hot water from a tap.

     

    3. Bathroom - reduce your water bill

    Did you know that about 12% of a typical gas-heated home's energy bill is from heating the water for showers, baths and water from the hot tap? [Source Energy Savings Trust 02/02/2022]

    Here are some quick ways to save water

    • Fix leaks and drips. Little leaks can waste a lot of water over time. A dripping tap can waste more than 5,500 litres of water a year, 

    • Take a shower. Showers are usually faster, cheaper and more efficient than baths.

    • Change your showerhead. A more efficient showerhead with lower water flow could help you save water and energy. A family of 4 could save around £35 off their gas bills and around £45 off their water bills (if they have a water meter) each year. That’s a total saving of around £80. 

    • Shower for a shorter time. A shower timer could save you money by cutting just one minute off every shower. With a power shower, a family of four could save up to £60 on energy bills and £60 on water bills every year. 

     

    4. Home lighting and electronics - keep the lights on for less

    • Change your light bulbs. Fitting LED bulbs is a great way to reduce energy use at home. Energy Saving Trust estimates it'd cost an average home around £100 to replace all of its bulbs but cost £35 less a year in energy. 
    • Unplug your devices. When you're working from home, the quickest way to reduce the amount of energy is to unplug any devices you're not using, such as laptops, computers, monitors and speakers. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that Brits could save £1.7 billion a year by switching their devices off, so it's really worthwhile to remember to unplug as often as you can.
    • Switch off the lights. Every time you leave a room, switch the lights off. This could save you about £14 a year. 

     

    5. Check your energy tariff is the best for you

    Reviewing your energy tariff regularly could also save you money. If you're not ready to switch your tariff at the moment because of the high energy prices, leave us your email address and we'll let you know when prices come down. 

    6. A smart meter can help you save

    It's important now, more than ever, to stay in control of your energy. With a smart meter, you'll easily be able to track your energy usage and see where you can save so that you can lower your bills and your carbon footprint.

    Smart benefits include:

    • Upgrade your meter at no extra cost
    • You're in control - you can see the cost of your energy
    • Receive more accurate bills
    • Get a more personalised breakdown of your energy use with Energy Hub(1)
    • If you use cards or keys, you can top up online

    7. Other ways to reduce energy at home

    There are lots of ways you can help your wallet and the planet by being more energy conscious. Get more energy efficiency tips in our Energywise blog.