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Keeping the bills low during lockdown

We’ve spent much of the last year cooped up, which has naturally driven up your bills, and as we move into winter, many UK households expect to have to choose between eating or heating – we’re really feeling the pinch.

You may have a healthy income, but a significant hike in your winter energy bills can make a serious dent in your finances during a time we should be trying to bolster our reserves. 

There are plenty of ways to take the sting out of your energy bills though, and don’t worry, we agree that putting on another jumper is usually a cop-out, too! Our suggestions today can help create cash-savvy habits without expensive investments like loft insulation. Here are our tips! 

paying the bills

At your service

If you have gas or oil central heating, your boiler should be serviced on an annual basis by a qualified engineer to make sure it’s running efficiently. If your boiler is getting a little bit old, it may be more cost-effective to replace it with a more efficient one that can keep your home warmer for longer by using less energy. New boilers are pricey, but you may be eligible for a free boiler, or at least a heavily discounted one. Contact your energy supplier to see what might be available to you. 

Free light

This time of year, whilst the light levels are limited, it still casts your home in a really beautiful light. Make sure your south-facing curtains are fully open, because not only will they let in that buttery, autumn light, but will also naturally warm home. As the evening sets in, close the curtains to retain that heat. 

Ready, steady, cook! 

Your cooker is one of the most energy-guzzling appliances in your house, but the answer isn’t to not bother at all. Cook smart and cook multiple meals at once; you’ll use the appliance less frequently and in turn save money, but you’ll also maximise your amount of free time during the week! 

It’s also a good idea to use the smallest ring on the hob to heat up a small saucepan, because it’s a waste to use a large one, just as it wastes energy to put a huge wok on the smallest ring which will take loads of time and loads of gas or electricity to adequately heat.

Burnin’ up

When you’re chilly, it might be tempting to crank your heating up full blast and then turn it off again when you’re all toasty. However, your boiler uses a lot of energy getting from cold to hot, so by keeping your thermostat at the same low temperature rather than constantly adjusting it, you can save energy.

Do a ‘big’ shop

This will only save you money if you plan to use up all the food, but having a full fridge can save you energy. Empty fridges cost more to keep the food cool. It’s a good excuse to snap up that multi-bottle wine offer!

Achieve ultimate zen 

When furniture blocks a radiator, it can prevent the room from warming well because the heat gets absorbed by the thing in front of it. Feng shui your room around a bit to ensure you’re the one who feels the benefits of the radiator.

Be on standby for standby

Did you know that a lot of electrical appliances continue using energy even when you’re not using them? This includes your mobile phone too – it likely doesn’t need to charge all night.  Switch appliances off at the wall when not in use – you could save an extra £30.00 per year.

Load up the washing machine

If your washing machine is fully loaded each time you use it, it can help save both electricity and water. Similarly, only fill your kettle with as much water as you need before switching it on.

Drying time

Using a tumble dryer may be a necessity during the winter months, as airing your clothes outdoors isn’t effective when it’s cold and drying indoors can cause mould. Before popping clothes in the dryer, however, thoroughly wring out your clothes before putting them in the dryer and consider using dryer balls, which work by lifting and separating your laundry when it’s drying. Both these measures can reduce drying time by up to 25%.

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