Reducing your energy usage

We’ve asked our partners Centre for Sustainable Energy and the Energy Saving Trust for helpful tips on how to reduce how much energy you use, while still staying safe, warm and well at home.

How to save money on your heating bill

  • It’s cheaper to turn off your heating when you’re out and only heat your home when you need it, rather than leave the heating on low all day 
  • Turning down a combi boiler’s flow temperature to 60°c or below could save an average of £112 a year. Nesta’s Money Saving Boiler Challenge can show you how
  • Insulating hot water tanks will keep hot water warmer for longer, costing less to heat – a cylinder jacket costing around £16 could save around £70 a year 
  • Keeping radiators clear of furniture and clothes will help the warm air travel across the room
  • Draught-proofing windows, doors, letterboxes and chimneys can stop warm air escaping – you can find a guide to DIY draught-proofing on the Centre for Sustainable Energy website
  • Closing the curtains before it gets dark helps stop heat loss

How to save money on your electricity bill

  • Using LED lightbulbs and turning off the lights when you leave a room can help reduce your electricity bill
  • The Centre for Sustainable Energy has produced a useful guide on how much it costs to run different household appliances – tumble driers are one of the most expensive to run, so dry clothes outside if you can or use a clothes airer
  • Instead of leaving electrical appliances on standby, switch them off at the plug when you’re not using them
  • Setting your washing machine to 30°c instead of higher temperature cycles will still get your clothes clean but uses less energy
  • Only using your dishwasher when it’s full will help you save on both your electricity and water bills
  • The same goes for your kettle – only fill it with the water you need 
  • Cooking meals in a slow cooker is cheaper than running your oven – check out BBC Good Food for some great slow cooker recipe ideas
  • Reheating food in the microwave is also cheaper than using your hob or oven
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Keeping safe, warm and well in the cost-of-living crisis

Cutting back on your heating can have an impact on your mental health and physical wellbeing. 

Living in a cold home can make respiratory and circulatory conditions like asthma and diabetes even worse. It can also worsen dementia symptoms. Turning off the heating can result in mould and condensation, which may cause additional health issues. You could also increase the risk of burst pipes during cold winter weather. 

If you have a health condition and are struggling to pay your energy bills, contact your gas, electricity or water supplier to let them know as soon as possible. You can find out who your supplier is by checking the top of your utility bill or on the Find My Supplier website.

It’s important to let your energy supplier know if you’d need extra help in the unlikely event of a gas supply emergency or a power cut. Get more information and sign up for the free Priority Services Register.

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If the energy or cost-of-living crisis is impacting your mental health, speaking to your GP or a charity such as Samaritans is a good starting point.

Our partner Mental Health UK also has lots of practical advice and support for people experiencing issues with mental health and money on its Mental Health & Money Advice Service website.

Don’t risk your safety

As households across the UK are adjusting to rising energy bills, it’s important not to compromise your safety when it comes to using energy in your home.

Make sure you’ve got a working carbon monoxide (CO) alarm and have your gas appliances serviced each year by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Some suppliers offer free gas safety checks for eligible customers, check with your gas supplier to see if you qualify.

Tampering with energy meters is extremely dangerous and can be life-threatening.

If you smell gas or are worried about gas safety, call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999.