With energy costs rising at this difficult time, how can we save money on energy bills?
Below are a few ideas that could help your bills, and any measures that you take would have the added benefit of reducing your carbon footprint, so that you can help the planet too!
Have you got thick curtains? If not, why not invest in some thermal-lined ones and make sure you draw them at dusk to keep the heat in. It is amazing how many people don't draw their upstairs curtains until bedtime.
Draught-proof your windows and doors. This simple DIY project is one of the cheapest ways to save energy. However, take care not to block or seal any ventilation such as underfloor grilles or air bricks - fresh air needs to circulate to reduce condensation in your home.
Have shorter showers and only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need for your cuppa (the water often tastes better freshly boiled too!). If you use a dishwasher, fill it to capacity before you set it running.
Turn the heating temperature down, and put on an extra layer. Even a degree or two can make a big difference. If you have multi-zone heating, only heat the parts of the house you are using.
Wash clothes at a lower temperature – 30 or 40 degrees is often adequate.
Avoid using a tumble drier and dry your clothes outdoors when the weather allows.
Fit foil or reflector panels behind radiators so that heat is reflected back into the room.
If you have a hot water cylinder, fitting an insulating jacket could save £20 a year. Similarly, make sure all pipes are lagged.
Make sure that your doors and windows with efficient double or triple glazing.
Install roof or loft insulation. In an uninsulated home, a quarter of heat is lost through the roof.
Houses built between the 1920s and the 1990s could have cavity walls. These can be injected with insulating material by a specialist company.
Replace halogen bulbs with LEDs and use energy-efficient appliances.
Don't forget, making these small changes can help both you and the planet
For more information, look at: www.energysavingtrustorg.uk
Cathy Gaulter-Carter Chinnor & Thame Friends of the Earth