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A saver’s guide to cutting back on home energy costs

POSTED: 23rd May 2014
IN: Personal Guides
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Energy bills can represent a substantial cost for individuals trying to save up for their future, but there are some simple things savers can change in order to reduce the burden of energy costs.

undefinedAccording to The Department of Energy and Climate Change, the average UK household spends £577 on electricity and £729 on gas each year.

Understandably, this can equate to a significant portion of a family’s disposable income, and can make it difficult for many to put money asideto grow their savings.

Day to day tips

Often where energy costs are involved, saving money is more a case of changing habits and learning to use energy more efficiently than making any major investments. For example, the Energy Saving Trust estimates that ensuring household appliances are fully turned off at the source instead of left on standby can save an estimated £37 a year.

Similarly, simple tips such as leaving the oven open after use to heat a room or turning the heating down by just one degree can often make a substantial difference to bills over the course of the year.

Quick changes that pay off

Beyond learning to take small steps to change everyday behaviour, savers can also take advantage of more permanent tricks to reduce usage that involve only a small initial financial outlay. Swapping regular lightbulbs for more efficient alternatives can use up to 80 per cent less energy, with the bulbs lasting almost ten times longer, according to the Energy Saving Trust, leading to an estimated saving of £45. In terms of heating, purchasing a thick insulating jacket for an older hot water tank can be an effective way to conserve heat without having to spend precious savingson a newer model.

Worthwhile investments

For those willing to invest now in order to benefit from larger savings in the long-run, ensuring your home is well-insulated is a top priority for boosting energy performance. Double glazed windows, carpeting and cavity wall insulation will all prevent heat from leaving the home, allowing savers to use the heating more sparingly.

Finally, it’s worth looking into the possibility of using technology to harness renewable energy, with EDF reporting solar panels installed on the roof of a property can produce around 40 per cent of the required energy for a home. In some cases, government grants may even be available to contribute towards the cost of these investments. Aldermore hopes that through these tips, more of the UK’s committed savers will be able to raise the funds they need to achieve their future goals, from saving up for children, to purchasing a house or preparing for retirement.

 

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