Chances are that you and your family have been spending more time at home due to the current Coronavirus pandemic. While you’re all at home, it’s necessary to cook, heat, and run additional devices such as computers, cell phones and gaming devices. What does this mean for your energy bill?
According to Uswitch, many households in the UK may be spending an extra £52 million a week on their home energy bills. That means you could be spending up to £16 a month on your energy bills. Over a year that could add up to an extra £195.
With everyone staying home, you may not even realize the amount of energy you’re using. Think of the extra heat, power for cooking, there may be more than one TV running most of the time, along with computers and even those cups of tea you enjoy!
Rising energy bills during the coronavirus don’t have to be a problem. There are some things you can do to keep energy costs from going through the roof.
It’s the Small Things That Count
Saving money on energy bills doesn’t have to be painful. Don’t worry! We won’t suggest turning down the heat, turning off the computers or anything that drastic. Instead, here are some small ways you can keep energy bills down:
- Turn off appliances when not in use; leaving them in standby mode uses up energy. If everyone did this, UK households could save an average of £690 million!
- Turn off lights when you’re not in the room. This can save you about £14 a year in energy savings.
- Take a shorter shower—even one minute less—could save a family of four about £75 on energy and water bills.
- Wash dishes in the sink, rather than using the dishwasher. And only fill the kettle the amount of water needed. Both of these could save about £36 a year.
These small changes really do add up, especially when calculated across 12 months. These changes are so small you’d hardly realize you’re doing it, yet they could save you several hundred pounds a year.
We told you it wouldn’t be hard! Incremental changes in your daily habits can save energy and lower your carbon footprint at the same time.
Change Out Bulbs
We’re not talking about flower bulbs; instead, we’re referring to light bulbs. Did you know that simply changing out the type of light bulbs you use could save money? Incandescent bulbs are notorious energy hogs; in fact, LED bulbs to use about 80% less energy than traditional bulbs. You read that correctly.
And if you choose to go with smart LED bulbs, you can use a smartphone to control the lights. The smartphone can turn off the lights, dim the lights and more.
If you’d rather not opt for smart LED bulbs, you can still buy regular LEDs. Doing so will save you about £35 a year.
Turning Things Off
According to Cornelia Samson, energy expert at Uswitch, an average household in the UK could be using an extra 50 hours of energy a week. Uswitch has estimated that this average household could be using about 25% more electricity and 17% more in gas each week during the coronavirus pandemic.
As mentioned earlier, you can save money by turning off devices, rather than leaving them in standby mode. For instance, if you turn off your laptop or desktop computer each day, you’ll save about £30 a year! If everyone in your household did this, you’d save quite a bit of money.
This applies to anything that doesn’t need to be on when you’re not using it such as gaming consoles, TVs and more.
Make the Switch
Another way to save on your energy bills is to switch energy suppliers. According to Ofgem, the average household could save about £300 per year just by switching their electricity and gas suppliers. You may be able to get on to a good value tariff by making the switch now.
If you’re on a fixed-term tariff, be sure to compare energy suppliers before the fixed term runs out. By not doing this, you could be automatically switched over to your current supplier’s standard variable rate. This is usually not a competitive tariff, and you’ll end up paying more per year for your energy needs.
When you’re getting ready to switch energy suppliers, be sure to use an energy comparison site that’s accredited by Ofgem. The site should display information that they’ve signed up for Ofgem’s Confidence Code. By using an accredited site, you’ll know the prices and information have been calculated in the right way. The information will also be unbiased. Some sites to check out include:
- Simply Switch
Each of these sites is a part of Ofgem’s accredited Confidence Code.
The Current Guidance from Ofgem
The coronavirus has caused all kinds of uncertainties in our lives. However, you should stay aware of the latest guidance updates from Ofgem about the energy supply to your home, how to handle a home visit when you’re self-isolating and more.
Here, you’ll find out how to handle a meter reading during the pandemic, and those who are vulnerable (such as pensioners and others) are advised to sign up for the Priority Services Register. You can find more information and guidance from Ofgem as we continue to deal with the pandemic.
We wish you and yours much good health and safety at this time.