I went to see a friend the other day who has a big, old house and she said we were the only people who she didn’t hand a blanket too when they walked in the door as we had a cold house too! I only have electricity, no gas, so I try to get by all winter with just using one storage heater, two when it gets really cold and an electric stove if I’m caught by some really cold weather. So the upstairs in my house isn’t heated at all.
Our energy bills are one of our biggest expenses after rent/mortgage and food. So I think we need to look at some ways to save on these bills.
1. Turn off standby appliances. So any TVs or other appliances should be turned off at the wall. Don’t leave laptops or mobile phones on charge when they are charged up.
2. Turn down your thermostat. If you are lucky enough to have central heating controlled by a thermostat, you can save quite a bit of money by turning it down just by one degree. You can also use the timer to make sure that your house is only heated when you actually need it to be. When I had central heating, I used to turn the thermostat right down when I went out or to bed and turned it up when I got in or get up. You could install a smart thermometer which can work out when rooms need to be heated so they can heat the rooms to the right temperature for when you need that room. They can be controlled by an app on your phone so you can turn them on when you are on your way home.
3. Curtains. Something I’ve been doing for a long time is closing my curtains when it starts to get dark to stop heat escaping through the windows. I also keep them closed on sunny days to stop rooms getting too hot. Check for draughts at the windows and doors. I have a long curtain on my front and back doors so that sneaky cold air can’t get through them and a cute owl draught excluder.
4. Turn off the lights. One of the most difficult things I have ever tried to teach my daughter is to turn off lights when she’s not in a room! I can go upstairs and both our bedroom lights and the landing light are on whilst she is downstairs watching TV!
5. As I don’t have a dishwasher, I only wash up once a day, unless we have been baking or cooking something fancy. I boil the kettle for water as I refuse to use immersion heater! This probably won’t work for those of you who have more than two people in the house! When washing clothes, make sure you have a full load as this uses less energy than two half loads.
6. I have a tumble dryer but that is only for emergencies. Otherwise, washing is dried outside, either on my rotary drier or, if I’m not sure about the weather, on clothes horses, so I can just pick that up and bring it inside if it starts raining.