Big Energy Saving Week Starts Monday

energy saving

Energy saving is never far from the mind this time of year.

We’ve had some mild – even warm – temperatures over winter, but cold spells have made themselves felt, too.

When temperatures drop, keeping bills down becomes an important task. But it doesn’t have to be a stark choice between keeping warm and sky-high energy bills.

The Big Energy Saving Week, launching on Monday, January 20, is here to help.

The Citizens Advice Bureau campaign aims to help people cut their energy bills. But it also aims to help people get all the relevant financial support to keep their homes warm.

To help reduce energy bills and lower carbon emissions, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has produced these ten top tips.

Top 10 tips to cut your energy use

  1. Turning your appliances off standby mode can save you £30 a year. Remember not to leave laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily.
  2. Replace your bulbs with energy efficient LEDs. On average it could cost about £100 initially but you could then save about £35 a year on bills.
  3. Turn your lights off when you’re not using them. If you switch a light off for just a few seconds, you will save more energy than it takes for the light to start up again. This will save you around £14 a year on your annual energy bills.
  4. If you turn down your main thermostat by 1 degree, you can save around 10 per cent on your energy bill. But make sure your home is warm enough during cold weather. Cold homes can damage your health.
  5. Installing a room thermostat, a programmer and thermostatic radiator valves and using these controls efficiently could save you around £75 a year.
  6. Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and check for draughts around windows and doors.
  7. Draught-proofing of windows and doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can save around £20 a year.
  8. Use the Citizens Advice energy price comparison tool to see if you can save money by switching energy tariff or supplier.
  9. Do a home energy check to find out about savings of up to £130 a year on household energy bills. Visit the Simple Energy Advice website and get personalised energy savings advice.
  10. If anyone in your household is receiving benefits, contact your energy supplier and see what support they can provide. They should be able to tell you what help is available through the Energy Company Obligation.

How William keeps his bills down

William Jowitt, 72, a retired senior engineer from Silsden, West Yorkshire, has taken valuable energy saving measures on his bungalow.

He installed a heat pump, underfloor heating, solar panels and heat reflective glass on his conservatory.

He is also on Octopus Energy’s Agile tariff, which gives variable pricing based on grid demand. By making those changes to his home and switching his tariff, William says he saved £312 in the last year, after seeing the cost of his electricity drop from 14p/Kwh to 11p/Kwh.

“Ensure your property is fully insulated,” William advises.

“Also, current double glazing units can reduce energy loss by 66 per cent, compared to units only 10 years old, and ensure your heating equipment is working efficiently.

“We have a comfortable property to live in using almost 100% renewable energy and through careful study of the various cost structures offered by the energy companies, I am able to minimise any cost increase.”

You can find even more ways to save  and download the free Big Energy Saving Week booklet on the Citizens Advice website.

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Marion McGivern

As editor of the cookery, money, pets and eco pages, Marion covers a wide range of regular Features content. Along with the rest of the Team, she enjoys finding interesting features for both the weekly and Special issues that readers will love. Having so much variety every day means that over ten years with the “Friend” has just flown by!