Each Saturday for the next month I am going to be talking to you about how you can save money. I’ve got a whole host of topics that I am going to be discussing. Today I am starting with how you can save money on your utilities.
Obviously utilities are one area where people are always going to be spending a HUGE amount of money. Unless you want to stop using water, having heating and being able to see at night you’re going to need to spend money on utilities. I’ve got a whole host of tips that can help you save money on your utilities.
My top tips to save money on your ENERGY
Turn off lights
We will start with an obvious one! Also, switching your lightbulbs can save you a considerable amount of money. LED lightbulbs are 90% cheaper to run than traditional lightbulbs and they give you full brightness immediately.
Unplug items that are not in use
You save £s every year but just turning off items when they are not in use. Appliances and electrical items in particular can be big energy drains. By using individual switch extension leads you can save yourself time and turn off all unused appliances individually but with ease.
Buy energy efficient devices
This is a bit of an expense initially, however, you can save a huge amount just buy spending a little more on your appliances. £20-£30 is often all that is needed to move up an energy class on your washing machine. This extra expense can be saved from your utility bills in a matter of a few months.
Use gadgets to control things around your home
If you’re someone who loves a bit of technology around the home then why not use it to your advantage? You can save money on your utilities by having Hive installed. This can save you as much as £150 per year by avoiding heating your home when you are not there. Hive has a smartphone app that you can use and you can even control the heating of your hot water with it. Imagine being able to lie in bed while the heating turns on and the hot water heats up – all with the touch of a button ON YOUR PHONE! Nest is another fantastic alternative.
Insulate your home
Cavity wall and loft insulation is a fantastic way to save money on your utilities. You can even top up your insulation to the recommended minimum of 270mm if you haven’t already. This alone could save you £15 per year. A small saving that will soon add up.
While this may feel like a chore it really doesn’t take long at all! You can use an energy comparison tool to do most of the work for you. You enter a few details about your supplier, average energy spend (in money or actual energy usage) and then it will help you find the best deal. You can even search for suppliers and deals that you cannot switch to online. Obviously these suppliers are going to involve a little more work to switch to but the savings will more than make up for it. I recently saved almost £140 annually just by switching to another tariff with the same supplier! I was able to complete this online and it took under 10 minutes to achieve!
Contact your supplier for a smart meter
A lot of energy companies are offering their customers smart meters now. There isn’t much more to boost your motivation that can beat seeing the money ticking away everyday! It can be a real eye opener to just how much energy you really waste, even when you think nothing is turned on!
Provide accurate meter readings
Keeping your meter readings accurate will help you have a great overview of how much energy you use throughout the year. This is also great at ensuring that you don’t get overcharged if you are not on a fixed tariff. Estimated meter readings are rarely accurate enough, even after years with a supplier. Allowing your supplier to estimate your supply usage could lead to you over or under paying and a potential shock bill in the future!
Use timers for animal lights
If like me you have quite a few animals then this can be a great money saver. I find that I turn the animal lights on in the morning and then they stay on until bedtime. This can mean 16-18 hours pass by sometimes and the lights have been on all that time. I looked into how long each of my pets needed their light on for and then set up timers according to this. This meant that my animals are being looked after correctly and I am saving some money too.
Look for draughts around your home
Spending all your hard earned money to heat your home, and not looking for draughts is a BIG money waster. The areas to prioritise are around pipework, under doors and around window frames. You can consider having your chimney capped if you don’t use it. Also, simple changes, such as using a draught excluder and fixing a letterbox plate can save you lots of money – and keep your home warmer!
MY TOP TIPS TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR WATER
Ask for a water meter
Water suppliers across the country are already rolling out smart meters to all their customers. This is a gradual process that will take several years to complete. If you live in a large household a water meter may see your bill increase. In this case you’ll want to wait until you HAVE to have a water meter installed. However, if you are in a small household (3 or less people) then switching to a water meter is likely to save you money.
Turn the tap off when you are brushing your teeth
You are supposed to brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day. That is four whole minutes everyday that you could be pouring your money down the drain. Make a switch now and get yourself in the habit of turning the tap off when you are brushing your teeth.
Have shorter showers
Cutting your shower time in half will not only save you time (natch!) but will also save you money. If you was able to cut every single shower in half you would be getting a free shower every other day! This is a fantastic way to save money and save time in the process. Who doesn’t want to be more efficient when it comes to getting ready?!
Use an energy saving shower head
This can save you a small fortune. By switching to one of these energy saving shower heads, that will put more air into your shower, you will be able to enjoy a nice shower without spending a fortune.
With any utility supplier ensure that you are paying by direct debit where possible. Paying a regular fixed amount every month will help you budget. Always ensure that you look at reassessing your budget at least twice a year in this respect. Some providers will let you know if you’re going to be building up a deficit and adjust your direct debit accordingly. Others won’t! Also, some suppliers will provide you with a discount for using paperless billing.
I hope that you have found these tips helpful. By using these tips I have been able to save more than £300 a year – just on not overpaying for gas, electricity and water! The small savings soon add up and our bills are significantly lower now than they used to be. This is despite having the heating on whenever we want and having it set HIGH because we have a new baby.