Household bills, specifically energy bills, are expected to rise by more almost £700 for the average UK household in 2022. This means the average family bill, which according to the ONS Family Spending report was £2548 per month in 2021, is likely to rocket above £3,000.
But while the rise seems inevitable, savings can still be made by adapting more energy-efficient practices at home. From blocking draughts to switching lightbulbs, some small changes could prove invaluable when it comes to battling ballooning bills in the coming months.
Here’s how you could save more than £480 on household bills in 2022.
How to save on energy bills
- Heat your home efficiently – reducing bills by £55 a year
It is estimated that over 20% of heat escapes the average household every winter season. Not only is this bad for the environment, but it can also cost households an average of £55 extra per year.
Before putting the heating on, firstly identify ways in which the heating can easily escape. The most common ways for draughts to escape is through gaps in poorly glazed windows and doors. However, heat can also escape through unused chimneys, unused vents and uninsulated walls.
The best way to help your home retain its heat is to install adequate insulation, however, this can be expensive. In fact, depending on the size of your home, you can expect to pay upwards of £5000 for internal insulation. If your budget won’t allow for such a job, then there are DIY methods to try instead. Buy draught excluders to cover up any gaps between your window and door frames, which will prevent heat escaping and cold air entering.
- Avoid Standby mode – saving up to £30 a year
According to Energy Saving Trust, it’s estimated that the average UK household spends £30 per year leaving devices on standby. With 98% of households leaving the TV on standby according to a Uswitch poll, a significant proportion of this cost may come from just one device.
3. Check your boiler – saving up to 30% on energy bills
The wholesale price of gas in January 2022 was almost four times higher than in early 2021. As 60% of the average household’s yearly energy bills are spent on heating alone, it is crucial to ensure your boiler is working efficiently. An older and inefficient boiler could cost you £350 more than a newer boiler model. Tell-tale signs to spot your boiler may need replacing to a newer, more efficient model include:
- A significant increase in your gas bill – If you have noticed your gas bill has significantly increased recently then this is a sign your boiler is using more gas than it should be to heat your property. Make sure you keep an eye on your bills as although bill increases are likely, anything which seems too drastic should be checked out.
- Check your boiler pressure – Every boiler has a pressure gauge – usually located on the front – which clearly notes what level of pressure the boiler is currently at. The ideal pressure for a boiler is usually between 1 and 2, although this can vary with different boiler models, with anything under 1 meaning low pressure and anything about 2.75 meaning high pressure. Both low and high pressure can mean problems with heating your home efficiently, resulting in cold spots across the home and costing more money than necessary.
4. Switch your light bulbs – up to £232 a year
Jenkins adds that switching light bulbs to more energy-efficient bulbs is one of the easiest ways to save money and avoid wasting energy: “Although LED bulbs are slightly more expensive than normal bulbs, they use 80% less electricity and can save homeowners £232 a year.”
5. Reduce your room’s temperature – savings of £55 a year
One of the simplest tricks which can save at least £55 a year on your heating bills is to reduce your thermostat by just one degree. As a rule of thumb, for every degree you increase the temperature your heating bill will increase by 10%. The average household sets their thermostat at 21 degrees, which is the upper end of the ‘lowest comfortable temperature’ range, which is between 18-21 degrees.
If you find that turning down the thermostat makes a significant difference to the warmth of your home, then there are ways to help optimise your heating and radiators. One simple idea is to place a shelf just above a radiator to help throw heat into the room rather than letting it simply rise to the ceiling.
6. Fill your fridge
Yes really. C4 presenter and property expert Phil Spencer says that empty fridges actually use a lot more energy than full fridges keeping things cold. Therefore, he advises to keep your fridge stocked as much as possible at all times which, if you ask us, sounds like a right treat. Who wouldn’t want endless supplies of food, eh? And here are the storage hacks to ensure none of it gets wasted.