Why is my energy bill higher during the winter?
As we know too well in the UK, winter gets pretty cold. A colder exterior means that your house is having to work much harder to keep warm, resulting in higher energy bills.
Moreover, you’re probably at home a bit more during the winter than during the summer. This leads to higher electricity bills, since you might be watching more TV, and higher gas bills from those longer showers you might be taking.
Luckily there are a number of ways in which you can keep your costs down during the winter months. You can already be reassured by government schemes, such as the Energy Price Cap, the Winter Fuel Allowance and Cold Weather Payments, that there are safety nets out there to protect people who are struggling to pay their bills. However, there are also lot’s of other, proactive measures you can take from the comfort of your own home to keep your costs as low as possible.
Put on more clothes!
This is a pretty obvious tip, but before reaching for the thermostat to turn up the heating, put on an extra jumper or some fuzzy socks. This comes at no extra cost, and you’ll often find that you won’t need to turn up the heating. Being mindful of these small changes can help to drastically reduce your energy bill, since you will become accustomed to heading for your wardrobe, before your temperature dial.
Switch to a more affordable energy plan
During the winter, none of us can afford to waste money or be overcharged. We all need electricity and gas to keep our homes warm, but none of us wants to pay over the odds for our energy. But so many people in the UK are doing just that. Switching energy suppliers is a foolproof way to lower your energy costs. Put simply, if you haven’t switched suppliers in a while, you are most likely overpaying. This is because costs increase year on year, and your energy habits change, meaning that there is most likely a better plan out there for you.
Use a smart thermostat
If you have a smart thermostat already, make sure it is set and ready to go for winter. In the simplest terms, smart thermostats are absolutely worth it. You can change the temperature of your home from the sofa, or even when you aren’t at home at all! Most smart thermostats are paired with a smartphone app that allows you to regulate your home temperature wherever you are.
A smart thermostat tends to work with most existing boilers including gas, heating oil and electric varieties. Your system has to be compatible with a thermostat or programmer, and then you will be able to get in touch with a technician or engineer who will be able to fit it for you.
However, also be aware that changing the temperature of your smart thermostat too often can actually cause your energy bills to rise, since your boiler will use more and more energy by constantly heating up and cooling down again. A steady temperature is best.
Add some extra insulation to your home
This is a slightly bigger change you can make to your home to save on your energy bills, but it’s worth mentioning as it can make you big savings in the long run. No matter how much heat you produce at home through your radiators or underfloor heating, you will never reap all the benefits if your windows and doors aren’t insulated properly. Moreover, a poorly insulated home causes environmental degradation, as around 54% of the UK’s energy production is wasted by homes and businesses. Keeping your home well insulated is also far better for your health, given that you are less likely to catch a chill. During the colder winter months, this is a crucial aspect of staying healthy.
You can lose up to 10% of your home’s energy through poorly insulated windows, which is a staggering proportion of your energy costs. Arranging for a professional to come and judge the insulation properties of your windows, doors, and roof can have some great benefits. Often, making some small changes to improve your home insulation can take as little as a couple of hours. When it comes to insulation, small changes can have great results. And the results aren’t just enjoyed during the winter, but all year round. The Energy Savings Trust claim that you can save up to £215 each year on your energy just by insulating your roof.
Keep your fridge clean and well-organised
Now, this might sound like a pretty random tip, but clearing out old food from your fridge that is out of date will help to lower the amount of energy that your fridge uses to keep your food cool. A fuller fridge demands more energy, so only having food that you know you will eat, or that is in date, will keep your fridge running at a lower cost. This isn’t just something you should do during the winter, but all year round to keep your costs low, and be a bit kinder to the planet.
Clean your windows
There’s a slight trend here. A clean house is typically a lot more energy efficient! When it comes to your windows, if they are dirty, then sunlight can’t enter your home as efficiently. Although we don’t enjoy much sunlight in the winter months, we want to make the most of it when it reappears from behind the clouds, so keep your windows clean, and your house will stay that little bit warmer.