With energy bills set to rise again, many households across the UK are feeling the pinch about their monthly outgoings. Finding ways to cut down on electric and gas usage has become a priority to keep costs under control.
The good news is that various gadgets and devices are available nowadays that can help us monitor and reduce our energy consumption. Installing these in your home can make a significant difference in lowering your bills over time. This blog will explore some of the main options worth considering.
What Has Happened to Home Electric Bills in the UK?
Energy bills have been steadily rising in the UK for some time now. However, the increase has started to bite hard over the last year or so.
Wholesale gas prices began surging from mid-2021 onwards, initially due to increased demand for gas as countries emerged from COVID-19 lockdowns. The situation then worsened over the latter months of 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This heavily reduced vital gas supplies into Europe, causing the market price to skyrocket.
These wholesale price hikes have directly fed through to household electric and gas tariffs. The energy price cap from Ofgem dictates the maximum amount suppliers can charge consumers on standard variable rate tariffs. When this cap is reviewed every three months, it has to be raised in line with underlying costs.
Most people have already noticed these rises taking a sizeable chunk out of their disposable income. And with further jumps likely, finding ways to curb energy consumption is now more vital than ever.
Can Gadgets Help to Reduce Your Home Electric Bill?
The good news is that technology can certainly lend a helping hand when it comes to managing usage. Various smart gadgets are now available that provide detailed insight into exactly how and where you are consuming electricity around your home.
Armed with this information, you can then reduce waste and make savings. It may involve changing simple habits or daily routines that are pushing up costs unnecessarily.
In some cases, investing in more energy-efficient appliances could also pay off nicely in the long run through lower running costs. The essential gadgets and devices that can help with saving money on your home energy bills are explored in more detail below:
Energy Efficiency Light Bulbs
One of the easiest ways to start reducing electricity bills is by installing energy-saving light bulbs. Traditional incandescent bulbs convert a higher percentage of energy into wasted heat rather than visible light. You can make significant savings by swapping these for the latest LED equivalents.
LED bulbs use around 80% less power than traditional bulbs. They last much longer, too, at approximately 25,000 hours compared to 1,000 hours on average. This means you’ll also save money by avoiding frequent bulb replacements.
The quality and performance of LEDs have improved vastly over the years. The latest varieties produce bright, vibrant light identical to standard bulbs while using a fraction of the electricity.
Smart meters help by providing detailed real-time data on your home’s energy use. Unlike traditional meters, smart versions digitally send accurate readings directly to your supplier automatically. This means no more estimated billing or manual meter readings.
But the main benefit is that an in-home display or connected app also shows live energy consumption information. You can see exactly how much power your household uses at any given moment and a running daily/weekly/monthly total. Having visibility of this makes you far more aware of usage, helping to reduce waste.
Your in-home display often shows consumption broken down by category (lighting, heating, hot water, or appliances). This allows you to identify the most significant energy drains and tackle them specifically. If your heating or appliance use seems higher than it should be, you can investigate the causes and remedy them.
Smart meters also ensure accurate billing so that you only pay for what you actually use. Overall, having this greater insight into consumption typically leads to savings of a few per cent off bills. Plus, the installation of smart meters is accessible under the national rollout scheme.
Heating and hot water accounts for around 60% of a typical household’s energy use. So, ensuring your heating system runs as efficiently as possible is critical for cost savings.
One handy way to do this is by installing a programmable thermostat. These give you great precision in controlling home temperatures.
With programmable thermostats, you can set different temperatures for specific times and days of the week. For instance, you might have it slightly cooler in the mornings or afternoons when no one is home, then have it warmer in the evenings when required. Likewise, you can reduce temperatures overnight while in bed and at weekends if you’re not generally home.
This more intelligent control reduces waste from heating empty rooms or overheating at unnecessary times. You’ll save money while keeping temperatures comfortable when required. Models with enhanced settings allow you to optimise heating further via features like multi-zone control, weather compensation and smartphone app access.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Many appliances around the home contribute significantly to overall electric consumption, from fridges and freezers to washing machines, TVs and computers.
When buying new appliances, checking energy efficiency ratings to compare models is advisable. Those with higher ratings use sustainably produced energy more efficiently, saving you money over time through lower running costs.
Look for appliances rated ‘A’ or ideally ‘A+++’ on rating scales. For example, an A+++-rated washing machine uses around 30% less energy than an ‘A’ rated machine and as much as 60% less than a low ‘D’ rating.
Of course, the initial purchase price is usually higher for more efficient models. However, the investment typically pays for itself within a few years due to substantial savings on running costs.
Consider Removing Appliances You Almost Never Use
In addition to the primary gadgets and appliances covered already, many households have secondary machines that are rarely or never used.
Things like drink coolers, underused freezers, electric heaters, and spare TVs often drain power without providing much tangible benefit. Removing them (or at least unplugging them) can immediately cut your bills.
Look around your home for any ‘luxury’ devices that aren’t necessary. Work out how much they might cost to run annually and consider selling them, storing them away, or simply scrapping them if unused. Decluttering your home of unnecessary appliances can save you reasonable sums over time. Just be sure to dispose of old electrical devices responsibly for recycling.
Finding ways to save on bills
With UK home energy bills at eye-watering levels, it’s more essential than ever to find savings. The good news is that various gadgets and appliances can help optimise electric usage and consumption monitoring.
Upgrading lighting, installing smart meters, adding programmable thermostats and buying efficient appliances offer potential savings over time. More innovative energy use rewards you with lower bills.
Consider which devices best fit your household needs and budget. The cost of purchasing and installing them often pays for itself within just a couple of years, thanks to lower running costs. So take action now to maximise savings – your bank balance will thank you this winter!
If you have inherited a property via probate, which you cannot afford to pay the bills for, then you may choose to sell an inherited house. Click on the link to read our page about this subject.