Many of us have needed to tighten our belts over the last year or so. With the ongoing cost of living crisis, cutting costs has become a high priority for many families across the UK.
Electricity prices rose by 66.7% and gas prices by 129.4% over the 12 months leading up to March 2023. The average household bill soared above £3,000, though the government’s energy price guarantee of £2,500 eventually stabilised the market.
Still, it’s difficult to predict where energy prices will go from here. Saving on your electricity bills can make a massive difference to your pocketbook.
Here are nine practical ways to save.
How Much Energy Does the Average Household Use?
According to Ofgem, the average home in the UK with its 2.4 occupants consumes roughly 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas per year—which equates to 242 kWh of electricity and 1,000 kWh of gas per month. That’s nearly a quarter of the consumption of an average U.S. home, but it still places the U.K. as the second biggest energy consumer in Europe, behind France.
Energy Saving Tips
It’s surprising how small changes can build up to take a sizable chunk out of your energy bills. Here are some of the best ways to slash those dreaded utility bills.
1. Audit Home Energy Consumption
Before doing anything else, conduct a comprehensive energy audit. You can do this by using an online energy auditing tool or pen and paper.
You can also look into hiring somebody to do it for you. A Green Deal assessor will help you identify potential energy-saving improvements.
An audit will determine your energy consumption, broken down into different areas, but also assess the efficiency of your home and how you can improve it.
2. Switch Providers
The energy marketplace has numerous providers, and you’re not obligated to stay with the same one. You can switch suppliers if you believe there’s a better option or are unhappy with your current provider.
It’s always worth shopping around to see what deals are out there, and you never know. Your current provider might lower their prices when you tell them you’re considering leaving.
However, be cautious. Switching suppliers might not be the best long-term solution. Some restrictions apply, and some providers may require an exit fee if you switch during the contract period.
3. Use Appliances More Thoughtfully
Appliances can be a massive drain on your energy supply. If you need to purchase new appliances, consider choosing those with the highest energy-saving labels. More efficient appliances might cost more upfront but will save you money in the long run.
With existing appliances, think about how and when you are using them. Can you install a timer so the washing machine comes on at night, or does it have an eco mode? These changes are not enormous on their own, but you should see a measurable reduction in electricity consumption over a year.
4. Avoid Peak Hours
Following on from the previous point, it’s best to avoid peak hours when using high-wattage home appliances. The hours from 7-11 am and 5-9 pm are peak hours when most people are at home watching the telly, running their washers, and so on.
By avoiding peak hours, you won’t just avoid paying the highest rates. Depending on your provider, you might even qualify for discounts. Britain’s biggest suppliers have agreed to offer discounts for households that use electricity off-peak, creating an extra financial incentive.
5. Use Heat Sparingly
Heating comprises a sizable amount of energy used during the winter months. Nobody likes a cold, damp home. But nobody likes an enormous electricity bill either, especially when money’s tight. It’s all about finding a happy medium.
A house doesn’t need to be heated constantly. A few hours in the morning and evening is usually fine, especially if everybody is out of the house during the day. You can set your heating timer 30 minutes before everybody wakes up, ensuring a lovely toasty home, and then do the same in the afternoon.
Also, think about how high you’ve set your thermostat. Having a quick blast of heat might be tempting, but it’s usually unnecessary. Simply lowering your thermostat by a single degree can save up to £80 per year.
And you can always throw on an extra blanket.
6. Insulate Your Home
A poorly insulated home lets warm (and cool) air out through gaps under the doors, cracks in the windows, and even through the roof and walls if they’re not adequately insulated.
Making sure your windows and doors are draft-proof should be one of your highest priorities. Also, consider your loft, which can lead to considerable heat loss. With older homes, the walls and floor might also need an insulation upgrade with modern materials like rigid foam and multilayer foil.
7. Limit Hot Water Use
A long, boiling shower on a winter morning before work can be bliss, but it’s a costly pleasure. Hot water usage accounts for a large percentage of electricity bills, whether due to showers, washing machines, washing up, or using a dishwasher.
As much as we like it, hot water isn’t usually a necessity. Cutting back on it can lead to some decent savings over the year. A shower timer set to 4 minutes can save an average home nearly £100 every year.
You can also install an eco-shower head that feels more powerful but uses less hot water — a win-win situation.
We’ve long been told that hot water is necessary for washing dishes, but research shows it makes little difference…
Forget about the temperature. It’s all in the scrubbing.
8. Switch Off Standby
We’ve become so accustomed to switching our devices and appliances to standby and leaving them that we rarely consider the extra electricity they consume. Ok, modern devices on standby use a tiny amount of electricity, but when multiplied throughout the house, it adds up.
To get the best results, turn off everything at the plug socket when you’re not using it. You’ll likely see a saving of between £25 and £50 per year for the whole household.
9. Switch to Solar
The steps mentioned above will give you incremental savings here and there, but our final point offers substantially more savings: solar power.
Solar adoption is rapidly increasing, and with increased uncertainty over electricity and gas prices, there’s never been a better time to make the big switch.
You can use a DELTA Pro solar generator virtually anywhere for a clean, renewable, and completely free electricity source. Plug some of your appliances and electronic devices directly into the portable power station, which recharges using solar panels.
It will save you a significant chunk of your electricity bills by taking a portion of your energy consumption off the grid.
You can even go entirely off-grid by investing in a Smart Home Ecosystem.
Forget saving on your electricity bills; how about eliminating them altogether?
A whole home off-grid solar system is costly upfront, but there are government incentives that can defray your purchase/installation costs.
For example, the ECO4 Grants for Heating and Insulation are designed to help low-income housing become more energy efficient.
Frequently Asked Questions
It may seem like a tiny action or one of those urban myths, but turning off plugs can actually save you money. You could see savings of between 25 £ and 50 £ per year simply by flipping that mains switch off when you’re not using an appliance.
The last few years have been difficult for many reasons, but the increasing instability of our energy has been a particular cause for concern. A nationwide power crisis has put a strain on households across the UK.
The macroeconomic and geopolitical causes behind skyrocketing electricity prices may be mostly beyond our reach. But small daily choices can add up to substantial savings.
By carefully auditing your home’s energy consumption and addressing the points above, you’ll see a noticeable drop in your electricity bills. It won’t be life-changing, but a drop nonetheless.
For homeowners who want to insulate their families from unpredictable fuel prices and become energy independent, now is the time to do it.
With a Home Energy Solution, accessibility and cutting-edge solar technology mean that off-grid living is now within your grasp.
Say no to bills; say yes to solar.
And help save our planet in the process!