Top tips on how to reduce your energy bills this winter
A Lancashire based boiler breakdown firm is offering tips on how to slash hundreds of pounds off your heating energy bills this winter.
And with the mercury dropping and forecasters predicting snow, there’s no better time to get your house in order.
Bosses at 24|7 Home Rescue are recommending some simple steps which could help keep your bills down in the icy months ahead.
Pack your freezer more tightly
When you open your freezer all the cold air escapes, causing the temperature in your kitchen to drop and meaning your appliance has to work a little harder to stay frosty.
Ranjen Gohri, of 24|7 Home Rescue, said: “A way to prevent this is to pack your freezer full of stuff.
"You can use bags of ice or even newspaper. When your freezer is packed, it keeps the cold air in and therefore uses less electricity."
Insulate your windows
Covering your windows with sticky back plastic or using blankets or other items to stop the draught are small steps which could add up over time.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates £25 could be saved every year by reducing draughts in the home.
"This can help save you money on your electricity bill and gas bill because your heating won’t have to work as hard to keep your house at a suitable temperature," say Mr Gohri.
“Check your letterbox is fitted properly to stop heat escaping, and keep an eye on windows and loft hatches, too.”
Turn off multiple socket power strips
Even if your electronics are turned off, they’re still sucking away the main energy supply.
Mr Gohri explains: "These devices keep a little bit of electricity flowing so they can respond more quickly to things like being turned back on.
"By turning off the power strip you effectively cut off all electricity to your electronics so they don’t use electricity without you knowing."
Put tin foil behind your radiator
The idea behind putting specialist foil behind your radiators is for it to reflect back the heat that's being radiated.
"Instead of just heating your outside walls, the heat will bounce back into the room meaning it will feel warmer without having to have the radiators at such a high temperature," says Mr Gohri.
Turn down your thermostat
According to the Energy Saving Trust, turning down your thermostat by just one degree could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent, saving an average of £85 a year for a semi-detached, three-bedroom home.
Mr Gohri says: “Not only will turning down your central heating reduce the strain on your boiler and lessen the likelihood of a breakdown, it will also save you cash.”
Replace your boiler
A more efficient model of boiler can save as much as £240 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Mr Gohri says: “This is again a long-term investment, depending on the make and model you opt for.
“If you don’t want to splash out on a new boiler, make sure it’s in good health by getting a service every year instead. We offer this as part of our boiler breakdown cover plans.”
Take shorter showers
Reducing your rinse to around 10 minutes each day can slash tens of pounds off your bills over the course of a year.
Replacing one bath a week with a five-minute shower will also save up to £20 a year on gas bills and around £25 on water bills if you have a meter, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
This is based on each member in a family of four changing their habits.
Mr Gorhi says: “If you’re feeling the pinch, little steps such as cutting the length of your showers might just help to cut a few pounds off your bills here and there.”
Make the switch
Energy regulator Ofgem urges customers to check they’re on the best deal, or to consider shopping around.
Mr Gohri says: “The difference between the cost of the highest and lowest tariffs on the market is often hundreds of pounds, making it seriously worthwhile to check what other companies have to offer.”