Finding ways to save money on energy bills is a constant battle for the modern Brit. Despite our best efforts, year-on-year energy price rises mean that even if you are taking the right steps to cut costs, you still end up paying out more than you did before.
The issue is that, while you may take little steps to change your energy costs and consumption levels, they don’t really put much of a dent in normal, sustained usage. Having shorter showers, turning off lights and making sure appliances aren’t left on standby is a good way of lowering energy bills slightly, but it isn’t going to have the major impact many are looking for.
To make a real change, you need to think of long-term strategies.
There are a number of methods available to all homeowners that, while costly upfront, can help shrink bills for years and even decades to come.
Solar panelling is no longer the future of energy. It is a tool of the here and now.
Installation of solar panelling has been shown to be an effective way
to save money on energy bills, with your average homeowner capable of saving around £800 a year — the kind of savings we all dream of making.
Of course, solar panels do not come cheap. The going rate for installation of the panels, and the cost of the solar panels themselves currently sits at around £7000. This is where the long-term strategy comes into play.
With £800 a little over 11% of the initial investment price, reclaiming your expenses will take time. However, solar panels have a guaranteed lifespan — often covered under warranty — for 25-30 years. Yet, they are thought to last even longer than that, upwards of 40-50 years.
This means your savings are all but certainly going to reach £20,000 over the tech’s lifetime, potentially pushing as high as £50,000.
With Britain becoming an ever-more eco-conscious nation, energy-efficient technology is a quickly rising in popularity and availability.
While energy-efficient light bulbs are found in most homes these days, their savings don’t come close to making long-term investments such as replacing old appliances like boilers and dishwashers with energy-efficient alternatives.
So what are the annual savings of the major household appliances? On average, you are looking at savings up to:
Investing in new, energy-efficient appliances could save you as much as £480 a year. Of course, these appliances do not come cheap, but with such substantial savings to be made, it’s another short-term cost that reaps incredible long-term rewards.
Low-cost energy is all about efficiency. This is something we’ve already established.
The problem is, though, that things become less efficient over time. Wear-and-tear can wreak havoc on items such as a boiler. While it may seem like it is operating correctly, coming on when prompted and warming the house, if there is something not quite right inside, you could end up haemorrhaging money.
Yet, things could get even worse. If these small problems become bigger ones, you might find your appliance giving up on you without warning, leading to extensive and unnecessary costs.
You wouldn’t expect a car to keep running smoothly without maintenance, so why expect your appliances to do the same? Establishing maintenance schedules, such as an annual boiler service, ensures that your appliances are running in top condition.
Of course, there are costs involved, hiring professionals to inspect and service the items and paying for any potential repairs that need carrying out. But, when you consider the energy you are saving through efficient appliance operation, these small overheads are more than worth it in the long term.
Additional Home Insulation
It’s tough to know exactly how much heating costs the average UK homeowner, because the energy usage is often banded under comprehensive tariffs, although estimations put it above £600 a year.
This is a significant figure impacting British homes and, when looking to save money on energy bills, it cannot be ignored.
The best way to save on heating bills is to limit your need for heating. But, even mild winters can force homeowners to turn up the thermostat. However, with improved property insulation, you can negate some of the costs of heating by ensuring that more heat stays trapped within the house when the boiler goes on, thus resulting in less frequent use.
One of the primary areas in which heating is lost is the loft, which are often poorly insulated. At the cost of around £400, insulating your loft space can save around £240 a year on heating bills. This means not only do you recuperate your expenses within two years, but you carry on saving large amounts for the long term. Likewise, insulating wall cavities comes at a cost of around £700, with savings of nearly £300 expected for a four-bedroom house.
Through investing in the long-term, homeowners can ensure a better and more economically stable future.