Although switching energy supplier is the quickest way to cut your energy bills and save money – you can save as much as £580 a year just by making the switch with UK Power – you should also make sure you try to cut you energy usage wherever possible.
Not only does cutting down on the amount of gas and electricity you use help reduce your bills even further, being more energy conscious is better for the environment, which benefits everyone.
The trouble is, making changes to your daily energy consumption can be tricky – so to help make life easier, here are six ingenious energy saving gadgets you can fit in your home right away.
You need to get the basics right before you go buying any energy saving gadgets, so make sure your loft is properly insulated as a bare minimum, then consider investing in double glazing and cavity wall insulation, if not already installed.
You can find out more making your home more energy efficient on our energy efficiency page.
So, about those energy saving gadgets…
Chimney Sheep is one of those things that does exactly what you’d expect it to – it’s a woollen draught excluder for chimneys. The sheep sits just above the fireplace, filling the gap between the room and the chimney, stopping warm air from escaping up the chimney and cold air from coming into the room - must be sure you take the chimney sheep out before lighting the fire, and don’t put it back in until the fireplace is completely cold!
You can pick up a Chimney Sheep for just £16, and fitting one could save you up to £74 per year, depending on where you live and the type of home you live in.
Simply sticking foil behind your radiator can help your home stay cool in the summer and help keep it warm in the winter, when it can reduce heat loss by as much as 50%. It works by reflecting the heat back into the room rather than allowing it to escape through the external walls, which means you don’t have to use as much energy to keep your home warm.
Don’t just use kitchen foil though, special radiator foil can be picked up easily and cheaply enough from any hardware shop.
Gaps in doors and windows are one of the biggest enemies of energy efficiency - letting cold air in and warm air out. Door draught excluders might not look great in your home, but are a simple and effective way to stop cold air from coming into your home and warm air getting out.
If you have draughts coming from your window seals you, just place draught excluder tape over the gaps to stop any heat loss.
Draught excluders aren’t the most hi-tech solution, but are as simple and effective as anything out there.
If draughts can come in from under our front doors, imagine how much heat is lost through the box, particularly when the wind picks up. EcoFlap works to reduce heat loss and draughts through letter boxes by closing quickly after items are posted through and staying tightly shut even during windy weather.
A build-up of air in your radiators means they end up using a lot more energy to return a lot less heat. An automatic radiator bleeder routinely release any air that’s built up in your system, so they’re always working at full capacity.
Available from most hardware stores, devices cost between around £10 and £20 and will not only save you money, but also the time and effort it takes to manually bleed your radiators.
The more gadgets we buy, the more energy we use charging them, and then there’s the extra energy used when we leave gadgets on charge unnecessarily, or leave chargers plugged in and switched on with no device attached to them.
The Freeloader is a solar-powered charging unit than can be used to juice-up anything from phones to laptops to gaming devices. It charges using an internal battery that can power a mobile phone for up to 44 hours, a smartphone for 18 hours, or a handheld console PSP for 2.5 hours when it's fully charged.
A freeloader will set you back between £15 and £50 - the more gadgets you charge, the more money you’ll save on your electricity bills.
Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.