The cost of energy, like the cost of petrol, food, and clothing, has rocketed. For many families and households, this may be a worrying time, and are searching for different ways to save money and energy, particularly long-term ones which will help during the colder months.
If you have already tried to cut the cost of your energy by comparing energy deals or speaking with your supplier, you might look at different ways in which you can invest in energy-saving technologies. Here we explore some of the changes you might make that could offer some difference to your cost of living.
If you are running old appliances such as washing machines, tumble dryers, and dishwashers, you are likely spending a lot on energy. It is not just that this is old technology, so the energy certification is poor, though this does matter a lot. It is also that the appliance is working less effectively than it was ever designed to do as it wears down.
Your boiler is a good example here. You might think your old boiler is characterful and has its quirks, but it still runs, and that’s all good. If you imagine an annual service on your boiler can save you about £80 on your annual energy bills, imagine how much more a double A-rated new boiler could save you. In short, you are likely draining money rapidly by trying to avoid spending money on replacement tech.
The key to these changes is all in that certification. The energy efficiency of all appliances is now marked on labelling before you buy. If you buy something as low as D – G, you will likely be paying excessive amounts on your bill.
If you are happy that you have well-maintained, regularly serviced, and high-efficiency appliances, you can still invest to save money. The Internet of Things allows us to connect all our devices in our home to our mobile phones. From lighting to heating to sockets, you can connect over WIFI and power your home from your handheld device.
How does this save you money? Well, you want to be warm when you get home from work. You assume you will be back by 6 pm, so set your heating timer to come on at 530. After drinks with the boss, you are held up and expected at 10 pm. Your heating has been on for 4.5 hours, heating an empty home. Imagine instead that you flick the switch from your phone when you climb on the bus for the journey back.
Smart tech also allows you to be more precise. For instance, a smart thermostat allows you to heat different rooms at different temperatures. We often want our bedrooms to be cooler than our living room, yet with traditional tech, set one temperature at the thermostat in the living space.
Precision also comes from turning the dial down a degree or two. The difference between 20 and 21 degrees is about £80 a year. You can use the digital display to make this change.
If investing a huge amount of money is out of the question, then there are small changes you can make. Hanging heavy drape curtains at bigger windows can help to retain heat in the home, for instance. Equally, you can purchase radiator reflectors that sit behind them and radiate the heat back into the room rather than through the walls.
Finally, switching from halogen to LED bulbs can be a small investment that makes a big difference. While they are more expensive initially, LEDs last longer and cost less. Therefore, over a year, each bulb could save you about a tenner. You could increase this saving even more by switching off the light sign. A lot of our energy is wasted powering bulbs we don’t need!
Spending money to save is tough in difficult times. However, it is a chicken and egg situation. The next time money feels easier to manage, we lose the motivation to make savings. So, whether now feels like the right time or not, it is a good idea to invest in more power-efficient technology for your home.