Top free tips to lower your winter electricity prices
As the chilly season kicks off, many people become concerned about rising electricity prices as they try to keep warm, dry and healthy.
Here are a few energy-smart, lifestyle choices you can make in the home that won't cost you anything to implement.
Dress for the weather
Rather than turning up the heater, you might be better off popping on a woollen jumper or adding an extra blanket to your bed.
For every degree you raise the thermostat, you are increasing your energy use by around 5 to 10 per cent, according to Department of Industry initiative, Living Greener.
Use the heat from the sun
You don't need to invest in more expensive solar panels or solar hot water systems to use the sun to warm your home and lower your power bills.
Simply opening your curtains when the sun is shining and closing them in the early evening when it begins to disappear are great ways you can use this natural energy source efficiently.
This will help to boost your home's temperature by letting warmth in and then keeping it there later.
Not only that but the sun can be used to dry your clothes, rather than using a clothes dryer for the same purpose.
Consider your entertainment
While it can be tempting to rug up and sit in front of the telly or play games on your console during those winter nights, these appliances suck up electricity.
Instead, why not have a board games night, or read a book? Switching off those appliances for even a few nights can result in savings.
However, if you do choose to watch a movie, make sure you use the most energy efficient machine available to you. For instance, a DVD player will use less energy to run than a games console for the same purpose.
Turn off the switches
After you have finished with any electrical appliances, whether they be TVs, stereos, phone chargers, microwaves or kettles, make sure you switch them off at the wall.
This is because these still draw power even when they are turned off. In fact, gadgets on standby can result in around 10 per cent of the electricity your home uses.
It is particularly important to switch off your heaters. Make sure you do this when before you go to bed and when you leave the house, to reduce the chance of having a house fire.
Try not to have long showers
While it can be tempting to have longer than normal showers in order to keep warm, try to resist this urge if you can.
Hot water accounts for around a quarter of the average power bill. If you stand under two heat lamps when you get out rather than staying in the shower for a few extra minutes, your power bill may be around 20 times lower.
Shut the door to keep the heat in
Rather than heating your whole house if your family is all in one room, it is more energy efficient to simply heat one room and stay there.
Or you could simply close the door to rooms you're not using, such as the laundry and bathrooms. This will prevent you creating more heat than you need to.
It is also important to block draughts from coming into your home and lowering the temperature.
Consider an electricity comparison
Simply comparing the price you pay for electricity may help you to lower those bills. This is because there may be a cheaper supplier on the market that can offer you a better deal for the same product.
It will not cost you to run a check, so why hesitate?
Posted by Liam Tunney.