With energy prices increasing this winter, everyone is looking at ways of saving money. It’s not just about using less of it though, there are a number of products that you can buy for under £100, which mean you can be smarter with how you use it too.
Eco-friendly shower heads
Eco-friendly shower heads are designed so that they use less water and energy — while still giving you a great shower.
They are easy to buy in home stores or online.
“Investing in an eco-friendly showerhead can help you to save energy in your home as well as save you money on your water bill,” says Callum Woodstock, energy expert at PropertyRescue.
“You can do your bit to help protect the planet’s resources while saving money for as little as £19.95.”
Replacing traditional light bulbs with LED ones can help you save energy and money.
While the initial outlay is more, they last for up to 50,000 hours so you won’t need to replace them for another 10 years.
“We would advise changing all light bulbs to low voltage LED bulbs which can be up to 85% more efficient than standard light bulbs, says Tim Hassell, of Draker Lettings.
“The bulbs cost more but in the long run are a small investment for greater energy efficiency.”
There’s a reason that air fryers are a favourite among students — and it’s not just because they’re always on social media.
They’re cheap to run and use less energy than other cooking gadgets.
“We all know that air fryers are pretty trendy right now — but they’re much more than just a fashion statement,” says Woodstock.
“These fryers can be used to cook a wide range of foods and, as they cook much more quickly, they use a lot less energy than your traditional cooker. Shop around for a good deal but, in most cases, you can get hold of an air fryer for around £50.”
Swap outdoor lights for motion-sensor options that are only activated by movement. This means that they’re on a lot less and therefore use less energy.
They also give you an extra level of security outside.
“You can pick these up for as little as £10 from home stores and online. In most cases, you can install these yourself but, if you prefer not to, a reputable electrician will be able to do this for you for around £45,” says Woodstock.
If you haven’t already, get a smart meter.
“The best way to begin controlling energy efficiency is to install a smart meter, which will provide up-to-the-minute usage creating constant awareness of overall consumption and cost,” says Hassell.
You will be able to use them to work out which times of the day you are using more energy and if there’s any way of reducing this.
Smart meters are free to install as the government requires energy suppliers to provide smart meters to their customers. All you have to do is get in contact with your supplier to arrange a date and time for installation.
Swap old appliances
While it might seem wasteful to buy a newer appliance if you already have an older, working one, it might work out to be more cost-efficient.
“Keep an eye on older appliances,” says Matt Hallissey, COO of Invisible Homes. “Unlike newer appliances they may consume significant amounts of power while on standby.”
“If you tend to forget to switch sockets off, use timer plugs instead of normal plugs,” says Jack Reid, director, Orlando Reid.
It might only save a small amount of energy per plug but, if you have several, it will make a difference.
“Charge your phone and laptop during the day instead of at night,” says Reid. This might seem counterintuitive but, when you charge devices, they keep ‘trickle-charging’ every time they dip to 99%, which uses more power.
Draught proof windows and doors
Curtains and draught excluders stop cold air coming in and warm air going out.
“Good quality curtains are a great way to save energy and keep heat from escaping. Especially in older houses where windows rattle and drafts are all too common,” says interior designer Lucy Breton.
“Bespoke curtains are very expensive, as is good quality fabric but if you put in the effort to measure up well, and dedicate a few hours to scouring through Oxfam online, eBay (EBAY) and Gumtree, you will be certain to find something you love.”
If you already have curtains, get them lined with thermal lining for extra protection.
For doors, draught excluders are an inexpensive way of keeping out the cold. The most effective excluders are those with a line of brush hairs that can be fitted directly to the door.