Stay warm and save money


It’s the time of year when it’s getting a little bit chilly and our energy bills will start to rise. A few simple changes can help to keep the costs down and help you to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.

According to the Energy Saving Trust most households could save £100s each year as well as helping to protect the environment just by making a few simple changes.


Nowadays, there are some very high tech ways to become more energy efficient. An increasingly popular option is to install a smart thermostat. As well as keeping your home at the right temperature, there are lots of very ‘smart’ thermostats around at the moment which among other things will act as a timer for your heating and hot water, some even work out the spots around your home that need to be kept warm, and adjust the timer and temperature to suit the lifestyle patterns of you and your household. Most cost from about £140, which is the amount that the average household will save each year by using one. In fact just lowering the thermostat by one degree can save around £75 in an average
Click here for a list of devices recommended by an independent reviewer.


Another option is to get a smart meter installed. These meters are being rolled out around the UK and while they won’t actually cut your energy consumption, they are useful in revealing where you are wasting money needlessly. For example, you can see if an electric heater is guzzling fuel and if you might be better using an alternative heat source for that particular area, and you can spot where devices left on standby are using energy needlessly.


Sometimes, however, the low tech options are the best. A very simple, but often overlooked way to be more eco friendly and save money is simply to wear more layers when you’re at home so you don’t have to keep the house as warm. Having a few throws around the living room to snuggle under as you watch TV or relax for the evening is another very easy way to save energy and money.

Another effective, low cost trick is to put tin foil behind your radiators to help reduce the amount of heat which is leaking out through the walls and reflect it back inside the house. You can buy specialist radiator foil at most hardware stores. Radiator shelves also help to prevent heat loss and radiator boosters, which are essentially little fans blowing hot air into the room can also make your heating more efficient. Keeping clothes dry is tricky in the winter, but using drying racks which are set a little way from the radiators helps to encourage warm air flow that will keep the house at the right temperature.


Finally, simply blocking off drafts, by using lined curtains, sealants for old window frames and installing new letterboxes in old doors are all simple ways which cost relatively little and bring rapid savings in your heating bills. Getting it all done at the beginning of winter is the best time.


For more tips and advice and to check how efficient your energy use is and to get a better idea of how much money you could save, visit the Energy Saving Trust website.

A good place to start is by using their free Home Check tool.