Ryan Gill, Engineer
31 Jan : Updated 27 Oct ● 9 min read
With the nation feeling the pinch of the cost of living crisis, we all must understand how to make our money stretch as far as possible.
Even with the energy price cap, electricity bills have risen to extortionate rates making your energy bill a key area you can look to save money on, just by making a few small tweaks.
To help you be more energy efficient and save some money, we’ve compiled this list of 15 energy-saving tips to maximise the use of your boiler, reduce heat loss, keep your home warmer, and save electricity.
By slightly amending your central heating settings, you could reduce your heating bill by up to £100 per year. Multiply that by the estimated 17 million households in the UK and the nation could save as much as £1.4 billion - just by turning their thermostats down by a single degree from the current average of 20⁰C.
According to uSwitch, higher temperatures are one of the biggest contributors to higher energy bills and carbon emissions, so making this slight adjustment can make a big difference.
For tips on setting up your boiler to reduce energy costs, check out our blog on the optimum temperature to set a boiler.
It can be very tempting, especially when in very cold weather, to get in from a long day at work and crank the heating up to get warm as quickly as possible. We’ve all done it, but this isn’t the most economical way to use your boiler.
Instead, BOXT recommends making use of your boiler’s scheduling functions to maintain optimum comfortable temperatures. By investing in a smart thermostat, like the Google Nest Learning Thermostat, you have all the benefits of a room thermostat with the bonus of managing your heating from anywhere at any time. Forgotten to turn off your heating on the way to work? You can turn it off in a few taps on your phone with a smart thermostat.
Smart technology is revolutionising the way we maintain and live in our homes, whether it’s security solutions like locks and cameras, electrical appliances like lighting controls, or smart thermostats. Other smart technologies include smart electric and gas metres. They are an excellent addition to any modern home which allow the end user to monitor their energy usage exactly and change their habits and usage to reduce their energy bills and help save the environment.
Thermostatic radiator valves allow you to control the settings on individual radiators, so you can manage the temperature in each room - helping you save energy by only heating the rooms you spend time in.
Installing thermostatic radiator valves and using them with your boiler’s thermostat could save you up to £75 per year.
Lowering the flow temperature on your combi boiler can help you save on your energy usage without turning down the thermostat.
Additionally, to prevent frozen pipes, which can cause hundreds of pounds of damage, the Energy Saving Trust recommends leaving the heating on during the winter, even when you’re not there. The rule of thumb is to keep your heating at a minimum of 10 degrees, rather than switching it off completely, to avoid pipes freezing.
Having the right boiler will depend on several factors, like the size of your home and the number of people who live in it. Most UK homes have a combi boiler, but if you live in a larger home and have a greater demand for hot water, standard boilers with hot water cylinders could be more appropriate.
Wondering where to get started checking if you have the right boiler? We’ve got your back - read our guide to the different types of boilers and which is right for your home.
Increasing how much energy you use to make up for heat escaping could be costing you a significant amount of money per year.
To avoid wasting energy and money as a result, you should ensure your home is fully insulated before the colder months begin - this could include checking:
To stop warm and cold air from escaping and entering rooms, you should also consider investing in draught excluders to fill any gaps between doors and floors.
To preserve heat, you may also want to invest in a hot water cylinder jacket - these products are designed to keep your heating system warm, so they use less energy when hot water is needed. Hot water cylinder jackets are only appropriate if you have a standard boiler, but they cost around £20 and you can fit them yourself - making them a convenient way to stop heat escaping from your boiler system.
The days of energy-saving light bulbs taking what feels like an age to provide some light are long gone. Modern energy-saving light bulbs are now made with bright UV lights that are ideal for any room setting.
You can even buy smart light bulbs too - these let you switch your lights off from your phone and with some models, like the Philips Hue, you can select how bright you want your lights. Perfect for creating an atmosphere and they help you save energy.
Smart and energy-saving light bulbs will cost more than standard ones, but the switch could save you around £30 per year, so could be a shrewd investment. You’ll lower your carbon footprint too, which is a nice bonus.
You’ll be surprised at how much electricity some household items use when you’re not using them. So many modern appliances are designed to not be turned off, like TVs, game consoles, and even our phone and laptop chargers stay plugged in when we’re not using them.
Technology is the biggest offender here, there’s no reason for a games console or any other device to be kept switched on when it’s not in use.
Studies show that the typical household spends an incredible £147 every year powering electronic devices that are left on standby overnight. So going around your home, making sure all of the plugs are turned off, could save you a small fortune.
While using your tumble dryer may be unavoidable at times, not using the appliance will help you take a big step to be more energy efficient. Most tumble dryers have an energy efficiency rating of C, by comparison, new boilers must, by law, be A-rated (over 90% efficient).
Tumble dryers are especially useful in winter when you want to wear a certain top or outfit and it’s just come out of the wash, but if you can, consider making use of clothes horses or just hang-drying clothes instead.
Similarly, using your washing machine at lower temperatures is a good way of saving money on your electricity bill too.
Another super-useful appliance is the dishwasher, but they do use a lot of energy, particularly if you’re running yours at only half-full. To get the best value for money from your dishwasher, you should:
As well as helping you save on your water bill, reducing how much water you use will bring down your energy usage too.
There are lots of different ways you can reduce how much water you use, from not over-filling your kettle, taking showers instead of baths, and remembering to turn the tap off while you brush your teeth.
Typically, the most expensive segments of your energy bill relate to heating your home and water. So, by making a conscious effort to reduce the amount of water you use, you’ll save on your energy bills too.
It is estimated that it costs 87p per day to run a traditional electric cooker, compared to just 12p per day to run an air fryer. Other appliances, like slow cookers (16p) and microwaves (14p) also offer cheaper alternatives to using a conventional oven.
The main benefit of using an air fryer over a cooker is that air fryers are much smaller - meaning they take less time to get hot and cook food. An air fryer may cost between £50-£100, but considering this cost is offset by the fact they are more than 7 times cheaper to run per day than an oven.
Given the huge increase in our bills, the energy market and energy suppliers are more competitive than ever. So, if your contract is up, or coming up soon, it’s a great time to shop around for a new energy company.
To help you see which provider is cheaper, comparison sites like uSwitch will help you find the best deals based on your existing and potential energy rates.
While it can take a little time to research the best prices, it can prove fruitful, so don’t be afraid to shop around.
One of the best ways to reduce your energy bills is to generate your own, e.g. by having solar panels installed on your roof. Although buying and installation of solar panels can be expensive, you may be able to access Government grants available to cover some of the costs.
One of the best things about sustainable energy solutions is that you won’t have to use less energy, you’ll just be generating it from another source - reducing your electricity costs by using the sun’s energy as opposed to the National Grid’s.
A modern, more energy-efficient boiler might not come cheap, but it’s an investment that will be worthwhile in the long term. With BOXT, you can spread the cost of a new boiler over 1, 2, 3, 5 or 10 years with our flexible repayment plans. Better still, 1- and 2-year finance options are interest-free. If you’re considering buying a new boiler, we’re here to help. Head to our handy Find a Boiler tool to discover the best new boiler for your home.Find a Boiler
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