Despite Government measures to cap price rises, the imminent rise in energy costs is going to affect people at all levels of society, particularly students. Many students rely on loans to pay for their tuition and rent, as well as living expenses, so being savvy with your spending is a must. With that in mind, we have compiled a number of simple ways to reduce your energy costs.
Turn your thermostat down
It is tempting to crank the heating up during cold weather, but reducing your heating by as little as 1 degree can cut your annual bills by 10%. Thermostats will not stop heating until they reach the value they've been set to, so keep that in mind when adjusting your heating.
You have probably been told to put on a woolly jumper when you’re cold. Just remember: in the middle of winter, sitting around in shorts and a T-shirt is unnecessary – jumpers were made for a reason! Opting for a few more layers rather than turning on your heating is a better solution.
Unplug unused devices
The utilities that are plugged in around your home use electricity in small increments even when turned off. One or two items may not be a concern, but homeowners can have dozens of connections wasting electricity even when systems are powered off.
Reduce your energy consumption by unplugging unused devices or appliances. Your phone and laptop chargers still waste energy even when they’re not charging. This is also good practice in reducing the chance of an overloaded circuit. The more items you have plugged in, the more susceptible your devices are to damage and overload.
Set your boiler to timed mode
By setting your boiler to timed mode, you can prioritise the parts of the day that need the heating on, avoiding it running all day and hiking your costs up. For example, some choose to set the timer to early mornings and evenings. You and your housemates may be at lectures during the day, so you won’t need to be using energy to heat your house.
It's important to also remember that your boiler can have a holiday break too. If there is an extended period of time when the house will be empty such as easter or summer breaks, switch the boiler off to avoid additional costs.
During winter breaks, turn the thermostat down instead of turning the boiler off to make sure there is still some warmth in the pipes, preventing them from freezing during any cold snaps while you are away.
Turn radiator valves down in unused rooms
This may seem like an obvious one, but another way to reduce energy costs is to turn the radiator valves down (but not off) in the unused rooms in your home. This allows heat to be isolated to the most used rooms of the house, such as the living room.
Shut internal doors
Shutting internal doors will again help improve heat retention within your home. Keeping doors open, and windows for that matter, will allow heat to escape. What is the point of using energy to create heat if you leave doors or windows open? Get into a good habit of keeping internal doors closed. If your heating is on and you have doors and windows open, it will be extremely difficult to retain heat and cost you more in the long run.
Turn off lights! Simple, but it makes a big difference!
Another great habit to get into is to spend less time with the lights on. Switching off lights as you leave the room, or placing stickers at each light switch to remind your housemates to do the same, may help to foster good habits.
Keeping your usage to a minimum by switching off lights will have a significant impact on your energy bills, as well as helping the environment.
Save water when you make a cup of tea or coffee
Boiling the kettle takes an enormous amount of energy when it is full, so a great way to reduce energy consumption is to only heat the water you’ll need. Heating water using electricity actually costs three times the price of gas, so avoid refilling the kettle each time if it's just for yourself.
Top tip: Pour cold water into mugs first. Then fill up the kettle using them as a measuring gauge to give you the right amount of hot water.
Charge electrical devices at the library for free
The library is a fantastic resource to help with your university assignments and revision, but why not use it as a place for free electricity? Before you head home, make sure you charge your devices: your phone, iPad, or laptop.
Dry your clothes naturally or use a launderette
Most people are used to drying clothes on radiators because it is the most convenient and quickest way to do so. However, there are several implications of doing so. You are obviously increasing energy consumption, as your radiators will also be used to heat the house in addition to drying clothes. Drying clothes on the radiator also pours condensation into the air, which can actually create damp and mould.
The simplest solution is to dry clothes naturally on a rack or washing line, or utilise launderette services.
We hope that this advice is helpful and allows you and your housemates to adopt good habits when it comes to using energy. Please get in touch if you have any further questions by calling 01792 600 227 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.