Saturday, 29 November 2014

Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Your Household Bills


There’s no getting away from them. Whether you rent or own your home, there is a long list of bills which have to be paid to keep the household running. Household bills include everything from gas and electricity to broadband and contents insurance, and they represent a considerable chunk of our income. There are however some very easy ways to save money on your bills.

1. Compare, Compare, Compare

Comparing is the golden rule when it comes to saving money. Energy companies, insurance companies and telephone providers make their money through our loyalty. When it comes to car insurance renewal date or the end of the period where you’re tied in to your energy provider, look around for a better deal. Get online, use the price comparison sites, and if you find a better price with a different provider, ask your current supplier to match it.

2. Invest in Energy Efficiency

Putting in things like double glazing or loft insulation will mean spending money in the short term, but will gradually pay you back as you will be paying less every month on your heating bills. Switching from single glazing to double glazing could save you £120 to £150 a year on your heating bills, and loft insulation could save the same again. Loft insulation is the “quick win” as it will cost £300 to insulate the average loft, meaning your improvements pay for themselves in just two years.
If you'd like to go futher, you can also think about using renewable energy, its usually cheaper and environmently friendly.

3. Replace your Boiler

Heating bills have rocketed in recent years, with the average bill here in the UK reaching almost £1500. Some older boilers are only 60% efficient – which means that 40% of all the money you spend on heating bills is being wasted. Modern boilers are usually around 90% efficient, so by upgrading you could easily save £500 every year off your heating bills. As a new boiler costs around £1000 - £1500 to install, this investment will pay off within three years via saving on heating bills.

4. Fit Thermostats and Thermostatic Valves

If you have an older heating system which is either on full blast or completely off, you could save up to £150 a year off your heating bills by installing thermostatic radiator valves which allow you to adjust the temperature in each room of the house. These valves are cheap to buy at around £20 each, and competent DIYers should be able to fit them without too much trouble. If not, a plumber will be happy to do the work for you.

5. Think About a Water Meter

New properties in England and Wales have water meters fitted when built, but if you are in an older property and still paying water rates, you could save money by agreeing to have a meter installed. If you live alone, or with just one other person, you may be better off than paying water rates based on the size of your home. There are lots of calculators online to help you make the judgement. There is also the argument that having a water meter installed forces us to think more carefully about what water we are using.

6. Go Eco in the Shower

We all love our power showers but modern models are using an increasing amount of water, and an increasing amount of energy to heat the water up. Save money on your water and heating bills by investing in a cheap £5 shower timer – cutting your morning shower time from 10 minutes to 5 minutes could save you £50 a year just on your heating bills. Alternatively, if you prefer to spend longer in the shower, invest in an eco shower head which gives the feeling of a power shower but uses far less water. These are available in all large home improvement stores for around £30 and are very easy to fit.

7. Turn Down the Washing Machine Temperature

We’ve all got used to doing a wash at 40 centigrade rather than 60, but turning down the temperature even more can save even more from your heating bills. Modern detergents are designed to work at temperatures as low as 15 degrees. Keeping the hot washes for towels and bedding and washing clothes at low temperatures could easily save you £30 or more a year. Always wait until you have a full load to run your machine and the same rule applies to your dishwasher too.

8. Ditch the Dryer

Tumble dryers are some of the most energy hungry appliances we have, and can easily cost £100 a year to run depending on the model. Buying a newer, more efficient model will cut down the cost considerably, but the best way of saving cash from your energy bills is to ditch the dryer and get back into the habit of hanging clothes out to dry wherever possible. Keep the dryer as an emergency back-up, but cut down on use wherever possible.

9. Tackle the Draughts

Even with the best insulation, there are still areas in the house which can feel draughty and cold. Old fashioned draught excluders are just the thing for dealing with draughts coming in under doors, and these are very cheap to buy or make yourself. Rubber foam tape is ideal for putting round draughty windows, and you can seal up cracks or gaps between floorboards with special sealant products. Tackling the draughts in your house should save you £30 a year.

10. Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs


The old style, inefficient light bulbs have been gradually phased out in the UK but many of us are still using halogen bulbs in spotlights. LED technology has come a long way in recent years and can now match the brightness which was previously only possible with halogen. Experts estimate that if you replace all remaining conventional light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs and change your halogen bulbs for LEDs, you will have to spend £100, but can expect savings of up to £45 per year.

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