Counting Those Kilowatts: Ten Top Tips For Reducing Your Electricity Bill
We all know that energy costs are rising, with electricity bills growing bigger every month. But did you know that there’s a lot you can do to curtail those costs from home?
To help you reduce your electricity bill fast, we’ve put together a list of ten ways you can cut down on kilowatts, from the simplest step to the smartest solution.
1. Shop around
Most of us take the time to make sure we’re getting the best value home insurance every year, but we don’t do the same with our energy supply. Why? Probably because life is busy and reviewing bills takes time. The good news is that independent comparison site Switcher.ie makes the process easy. Just grab your latest bill, pour a cup of tea and sit down to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
2. Turn down the thermostat
We all love to come home to a cosy house, but it probably doesn’t need to be that warm. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) points out that lowering a home thermostat by just one degree could save up to 10% on your heating bill. They advise us to keep living rooms to 20°C and hallways and bedrooms between 15-18°C. Fluffy socks might help to bridge the gap!
3. Say goodbye to standby
Some household appliances like fridges and freezers need to stay on all the time. Many others, though, should be turned off when not in use to save energy and money. These “vampire appliances” might include TVs, laptops, desktop computers, games consoles and mobile phone chargers. Unplugging them at nighttime may also be safer too, particularly if they tend to get hot while in use.
4. Get clever about laundry
Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers typically make up 14% of our energy bills, according to the UK’s Energy Saving Trust. Choosing an eco option on the dishwasher and a 30°C cycle on the washing machine will help to lower our costs. Equally, try to dry clothes outside or on a clothes horse when possible — the tumble dryer is expensive to run and best reserved for urgent laundry needs.
5. Upgrade your bulbs
The next time a lamp or light goes dark, think about replacing the bulb with a more energy efficient option. While compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) bulbs are better than traditional bulbs, the best choice is a light-emitting diode (LED) light which can cut your electricity bills by up to €22 a year. Plus, they last far longer too, which saves you in the long run.
6. Cook consciously
Often, our kitchens are the biggest culprits for rising electricity bills. UK utilities company Utilia estimates that you can save the equivalent of €250 a year by using more energy efficient appliances like microwaves, batch-cooking where possible, choosing the right pan size (with a lid), simmering rather than boiling, and making sure you only boil the water you need in a kettle.
7. Take shorter showers
In many households, hot water is the second-largest electricity expense after lighting. One of the biggest ways we can tackle this cost is to take showers rather than baths, and make them short and sweet. With the time you save, you can finally get around to tightening that leaking tap and reducing your water temperature by a degree or two — it all helps to shave a few euros off those bills.
8. Get smart about savings
Investing in smart technology can help you manage your energy bills from the palm of your hand. Control, adjust and turn off light bulbs, plugs and thermostats from your phone to make sure you’re not using electricity when it’s not needed. Some suppliers allow you to analyse your usage too, so you can fine-tune your consumption throughout the year.
9. Consider long-term investments
If you’re looking beyond quick fixes, there is a lot you can do with your home to reduce your electricity bills in the long-term. These could include installing solar panels, upgrading older appliances and moving to a heat pump. While these changes involve significant investment, there are grants available for some energy upgrades from bodies such as the SEAI.
10. Don’t forget the old-school tips
While upgrading bulbs or installing smart features will lower your electricity bills, the simplest of steps can still help too. These are things you’ve probably heard your parents say over the years, whether it’s turning off lights when you leave a room, defrosting your freezer regularly or that most famous of refrains: turning off the immersion heater.
At Liberty Insurance, we understand the importance of futureproofing. That means getting prepared for whatever comes our way, whether it’s a broken lock, a flooded bathroom or yet another energy price hike. We’re here to help with it all, with affordable home insurance as well as valuable advice. Want to get extra value this year? Get up to five weeks of free home insurance when you quote and buy online. That’s less worry, more Liberty.