6 tips on how to keep energy costs down this winter2 January 2020
Households across Devon will be cranking up the central heating and switching to thicker duvets as the cold weather begins to sweep across the county. It’s not unusual for your energy bills to rise in the winter but sometimes, it can be hard to keep costs down. Before you reach for that plus button on your thermostat, check out our six top tips on how to keep your energy costs down this winter:
1. Activate in short bursts
It’s not unusual for household members to be in and out of the home, particularly on weekdays. Make sure that your central heating is switched off when you are out and about. After all, you’re not at home to enjoy it, so why pay for it? Some argue that keeping the heating on all day but at a low setting is cheaper but according to the experts at the Energy Saving Trust, this is a myth. When you need that extra warmth whilst relaxing at home, consider activating the heating for a short amount of time. A Devonshire Homes property is built with energy-efficiency in mind and is well insulated. Our homeowners can turn on their heating system for a couple of hours and when it’s switched off, the house will stay warm and snug.
2. Always submit your own meter readings
Only pay for the energy that you use! No matter how carefully you control your energy usage, your efforts won’t matter if your energy provider estimates your readings. Ensure you only pay for what you have used by voluntary submitting your meter readings to your provider. Most companies allow you to submit your readings online so it’s quick and easy. If you are unsure on how to take and submit a meter reading, this is a great guide.
3. Only heat the rooms you use
If you have a big family, this tip may be hard to execute as often there will be at least one family member in each room at all times! However, if you’re a couple and only use a couple of rooms throughout the day, consider heating only those rooms. For example, many couples like to kick back and relax in the living room after a long day at work, therefore, you only need to heat the living room and perhaps your bedroom rather than the whole house. Think about it. Do you really need the landing radiator on when your downstairs in the living room?
4. Shop around
As the winter weather kicks in and you prepare to switch the central heating on more often, consider switching energy providers. It’s really easy to do and you will never lose your supply whilst you’re going through the process. First, gather a variety of quotes by using a price comparison site such as Compare the Market or Confused.com. Once you’ve chosen a new supplier and have completed your application, you will need to wait to hear from your new supplier on the next steps. This can take up to 14 days as you will have a ‘cooling off’ period in case you change your mind about switching. You will then get a final bill from your old supplier. It’s a good idea to run a price comparison regularly to benefit from superb savings as rates do change regularly.
5. Install a smart meter
Smart meters are a fantastic way of keeping track on exactly how much energy you are using. These savvy devices are so clever that you can see how much you are spending, right down to the penny. All of our new homes come with a smart control meter already installed. This means that you can control your central heating and hot water from your smart phone. You can use an app to set up time slots for your heating, ensuring that you are never heating an empty home. It’s a great tool that will help you save money across the year.
6. Grab your jumper!
You may not even have to kick in the central heating at all! Before you run a bath full of hot water or whack the heating up to tropical temperatures, consider if you are really that cold. Relaxing in shorts and a t-shirt? Try adding an extra layer to see if it makes a difference. If you’re still cold then it’s definitely chilly enough to turn the heating up but try this first as sometimes, we think we feel colder than we actually are!
We hope you have found these top tips useful but please always remember to stay warm, cosy and healthy throughout the winter months. If you would like to find out more about our approach to sustainable building, click here.