One of the biggest trends in home improvement at the moment is to become more eco friendly, and there are plenty of ways to jump on the bandwagon. The motivation for this trend is obvious, we’re all sick to death of the ever rising energy bills that will only get worse as time goes on. Anything we can do to reverse or even just slow that trend is more attractive than ever.
There are two groups of activities that you can use to get the bills under control, to use less energy, and to make sure that what you do use isn’t wasted.
Reducing What You Pay For The Energy You Use
There are two simple approaches to minimizing the total energy bill. The first is to make sure you’re on a competitive energy tariff, and the second is to ensure that the way you use energy is efficient.
Switching to a more competitive tariff is easy, you just need to head over to an energy comparison site and plug in your details. They’ll do all the number crunching, and in most cases even start the switching process for you.
The second way to cut your bill sounds far more expensive, as the majority of our spend on energy bills tends to be accounted for by the boiler. Of course, there are the usual steps that everyone knows, like knocking down the thermostat by a degree or two, but we’re mainly already doing that and in danger of being cold all winter if it gets nudged down any further. You might be surprised to learn that changing the boiler altogether might be your solution, even though it sounds expensive. Replacing a boiler typically costs between £1500 and £2000, so you would be forgiven for thinking it’s not going to make much of a difference if you’re paying a £150 a month bill.
There’s some good news though, and we’ve touched on it before with the Green Deal (twice!). It allows you to get the up front installation costs paid for, and you repay that cost out of the bill savings. However, this doesn’t help people who either won’t save enough to meet the Golden Rule of the Green Deal (the bill savings must at least cover repayments) or aren’t prepared to accept paying back a loan even though they should be better off as a result. For these people, and they’re more likely to be people on benefits or allowances, there are two additional initiatives called ECO and Affordable Warmth that can actually mean you qualify for free boilers.
Becoming More Energy Efficient
When you are spending as little as possible on your bill for the energy you use because you’re on the best tariff and have a efficient boiler, the next step in reducing the bills is to look at where you’re wasting what you are using. That couls be things like preventing a draught getting through the letter box, or closing window vents when its really cold outside. Of course, you need to consider the health benefits of having good ventilation too – in some parts of the country, radon gas comes up through the ground, so you don’t want to be trapping that inside for too long. The name of the game is common sense. If you have the heating on full blast and the windows open, you’ll be losing a lot of the heat very fast.
Taking a multi pronged approach to reducing bills is very effective – it might surprise you to learn that if you get it right, you can pay less for a warmer home. That should be the biggest incentive you ever hear to become more energy efficient!