Rising energy bills are nothing new but things have got increasingly difficult over the last decade or so. Research into fuel bills shows that customers, on even the cheapest energy bills, have seen their costs double since 2005. With talks of oil strikes and increasing tax bills, there is little chance that home energy bills will decrease over the next couple of years. For this reason, homeowners need to learn how to reduce their energy consumption and save themselves money in the process.
Here are 5 effective tactics that will provide long-term energy savings.
1. Monitor and Control
It’s almost impossible to decrease how much energy you consume to run your home, unless you know exactly how much you are using in the first place. Modern day technology allows you to easily monitor exactly how much energy you are consuming and which appliances are using the most. Devices such as the “Smart Meter” will highlight the appliances which are wasting electricity or gas, and will allow you to take action.
2. Insulation, Insulation, Insulation
The major problem with home insulation is that we are all paying large amounts of money to heat our homes, only to let the heat escape through the walls, ceiling, doors and windows. As energy costs continue to rise there is no better time to invest in home insulation than now.
Start at the top of your house and work down. Attic insulation will drastically improve your home’s energy efficiency, but modern double glazed windows and composite doors are also essential for a well insulated home. Don’t be afraid to spend money on upgrading these features, you will see the return in the long run – especially as heating costs continue to rise.
3. Save Money by Generating You Own Power
As mentioned above, it’s unlikely that fuel bills will get any cheaper in the next few years. As well as making sure that your home is energy efficient and not wasting energy, it is also a good idea to consider generating your own power.
Affordable home generators such as ground source heat pumps, solar power and wind turbines are easy to install and can provide your home with sustainable energy. If you generate more than you use, you could even make money by selling it on to energy companies.
4. Switch Energy Providers
Don’t forget that energy providers are businesses too. For this reason there are huge incentives for consumers that are willing to research and switch to different providers. Consumers that do this on a yearly basis will find that they are paying the bet prices for their home energy costs.
5. Modernise and Upgrade
Making your home as energy efficient as possible is an ongoing process. It requires time, money and research. For example, if you heat your water with a gas boiler, make sure that your boiler is up to date. A new boiler could be more efficient and could pay for itself within a few years. If you home is lit with incandescent light bulbs, consider upgrading to modern LED lights which use up to 80% less energy.
Install lighting timers so you don’t have the garden lights on 24 hours a day if you forget to turn them off before you leave for work. Heating system timers can also be used to control when your heating comes on and off, maintaining a constant temperature is better than leaving it off all day and then turning it on full blast in the evening to heat your home.
The Big Picture
These ideas may seem excessive or expensive, but we all need to look at the bigger picture. Improving home energy efficiency is not only about saving money, but also about saving the environment. Investing money in improving your home now will ensure that you are protected against rising fuel costs and will ultimately mean that you are doing your bit for the planet.