Energy saving tips for coronavirus self-isolation

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.

Between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020, people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with Uswitch saved an average of £387.

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.

How to save energy during the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis

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.

How to save energy on heating

Drop the heating by a degree or two

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.

Don’t heat empty rooms

Use the valves on each radiator to turn off the heating in any unused rooms.

Turn the heating off completely

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.

How to save energy on lighting

Fit energy-efficient lighting

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.

Don’t leave lights on

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.

Keep your lights free from dust

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.

Make the most of the natural light

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.

How to save energy in your home office

Turn off appliances when not in use

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.

Use a laptop instead of a desktop computer

Laptops use up to 80% less energy than desktop computers so, if you have the choice, opt for a laptop over a desktop.

Don’t print things off

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.

Don’t work long hours

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.

Other ways to make your home more energy efficient

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.

How to switch energy supplier

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.

How to understand your energy bill

If you’re serious about cutting the cost of your energy bills, it makes things a lot easier if you can find your way around one. This video explains how to understand your energy bill.

Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.

Les Roberts - Energy Expert at UKPower

Les Roberts - Energy Expert at UKPower

If you’ve got an issue with your energy supplier, our consumer champion Les is on hand to help. A decade in consumer affairs means Les understands how confusing energy tariffs can be, so he'll cut through the jargon to help make sure you get the best deal.