Households are going to feel the squeeze over the coming months, so here are a few suggestions to help your pocket (and the environment!). Some are small and others are bigger, but all of them are definitely worth thinking about.

1. Radiator reflectors

When you turn the heating on, lots of energy is lost through the wall and to the street outside. Radiator reflectors push up to 95% of that wastage back into the room. They’re cheap and easy to fit behind wall mounted radiators - all you’ll need is a pair of scissors and a measuring tape. 

2. Smart power strips

Annoyingly, about 75% of energy used by household electronics is consumed when they’re switched off. This wastage is known as ‘phantom’ or ‘vampire’ loads and costs you around £140 every year. Yikes. 

Enter the smart power strip. They cleverly stop power to devices when they aren’t in use. You can set them to turn off at certain times, during inactivity, via remote switches or following the lead of a ‘master’ device. 

3. Low energy lighting

About 15% of your electricity bill is spent on lighting. Old school light bulbs pass electricity through the filament, getting so hot they glow. Only 10% of the energy they use creates light, the other 90% is wasted as heat - a pretty poor performance. 

In a light emitting diode (an LED), electrons in the semiconductor recombine with electron holes, releasing photons… Lost? Same. Put simply, more of the energy they use turns into light. LEDs are a triple threat - they save waste, lower your electricity bills and last up to twenty times longer.

Dimmers and motion detectors are also something to think about. Take a look at this article for a look at all things lighting related. 

4. Upgrade your boiler

Old boilers can operate at under 60% efficiency. It wastes the rest of the energy on running itself.

Almost all modern boilers are ‘condensing’. They use any wasted heat to pre-heat the heating system - that’s a lot of heat. Out of the box, they’re over 90% efficient but make sure you have it installed by a pro because a bad job can result in no benefit. 

5. Shop for A-rated appliances

An energy rating is a simple way of knowing how efficient an appliance is. Bear these in mind when shopping for white goods. The lowest rating is G and the highest is A+++. In shops they’ll be colour coded, but online you may have to dig around in the product description. 

  • Washer dryers: They can be rated up to A+++. A quick tip - spit the load before drying, the drying programme has a lower capacity than the wash.
  • Washing machines: Since 2014, to follow EU rules, all washing machines are rated A or better.
  • Tumble dryers: These use a lot of energy, costing around £100 yearly. A+++ models are pricey (£2000 - ouch) but if you can afford anything from A upwards, it’s worth the investment. 
  • Dishwashers: Back in the day, it was more efficient to wash up but now you can load that dishwasher, guilt free. High rated models often use less water and heat than doing it by hand.
  • Fridges and freezers: Since 2012 they have to be rated A or better. If you bought before this, it might be worth replacing - the energy savings will pay for the cost in a few years.

And have a think about your mortgage

As well as looking at things that directly impact your energy bills, take a look at your mortgage options. Read up on our tips for each scenario, and speak to a broker today.