The coronavirus crisis means more of us will be spending more and more time at home, and whether we’re off sick, self-isolating or working remotely, that extra time spent indoors will be adding to our energy bills.
Although the warmer weather and lighter evenings mean we’ll be using less energy to light and heat our homes, we could still be hit with high energy bills simply because we’re spending more time indoors, especially if we’re working from home.
The quickest way to cut your bills is to switch energy supplier - switching with UKPower could save you as much as £479* a year - but that’s only half the job done.
To cut your bills even further, and do your bit for the environment, you need to make sure your house is as energy efficient as possible. And you can do as little or as much as you like and can afford - from simply adjusting the thermostat to getting double glazing installed.
Whether you’ve been struck down by COVID-19, self-isolating or working from home to help stop the spread of coronavirus, here’s how to make your home more energy efficient and cut the cost of your energy bills.
Just turning the thermostat down by one degree can save you as much as £60 a year.
If you drop the heat by two degrees - from 20°C to 18°C - this will help save money and can even cut the average dwelling temperature to about 16°C, which actually helps to cut your heating requirements - basically, if your house is slightly cooler, you’ll get used to the lower temperature and won’t be as tempted to crank up the heating
For more detailed information, check out this government study.
Use the valves on each radiator to turn off the heating in any unused rooms.
The warmer nights are on the way, which means switching the heating off completely could be an option - instead of turning to the heating, why not just layer up to fight the chill.
Although it costs around £100 to replace all the standard light bulbs in an average sized house with energy saving ones, the energy-efficient bulbs will last longer and cut your heating costs by around £35 a year.
Make sure all lights are switched off in rooms that aren’t being used. No matter what type of lights and fittings you use, switching a light off for just a few seconds will save more energy than it takes for the light to start up again and can save around £13 a year.
When dust gathers on light fittings and light bulbs, it dims the output and means you might be tempted to use extra lighting. So make sure lights and bulbs are cleaned regularly and lampshades are free from dust.
Keep curtains open during the daytime to let natural light in and save on heating and lighting costs, and make sure the windows are clean too.
Never leaving unused electrical appliances on standby when not in use. Making sure you turn them off at the wall when not in use can save a household of four up to £80 a year, according to BBC’s Shop Well for Less.
And make sure you unplug any smartphone and tablet chargers when not in use.
Laptops use up to 80% less energy than desktop computers so, if you have the choice, opt for a laptop over a desktop.
Whenever possible, read documents on your computer instead of printing them. This saves energy that would otherwise have been used to power your printer and also saves paper.
It’s easy to put in longer hours when working from home, not least because it often blurs the lines between work and home - and these extra hours all add to your electricity bill.
So try to make sure you switch off in the evening, both for your state of mind and the state of your energy bills.
For more energy saving tips, check out 7 simple ways to save energy when working from home.
If you're a small business owner concerned about the impact of coronavirus and need to know what help is out there, check out What every small business owner needs to know about coronavirus from our friends over at Bionic.
Although it could cost you several thousand pounds, fitting double glazing, loft and cavity wall insulation and a new boiler will all help to make your house more energy efficient and save you a lot of money in the long run, while also making you home a lot cosier.
To find out more about how to get quotes for insulation, double glazing and boiler replacement, check out UKPower’s energy efficiency page.
Switching energy suppliers is the quickest way to cut your annual energy bills - and you can compare energy deals from a full range of suppliers with a few clicks of your mouse or taps of your smartphone screen.
Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.