The cost-of-living crisis has impacted all of us in some way, shape or form. With the rate of inflation topping out at 11.1% recently, more and more families are noticing the impact on their shopping bills and other household costs.
The place where this has been most keenly felt, though, is energy – with energy bills doubling their 2021 price even after government subsidy. Energy being the biggest overhead for many families, what can you do to bring the cost of the bill down?
In the long term, utilising lending avenues can be useful for consolidating expenditures and offsetting costs – especially if you know there is financial light at the end of the tunnel. Important as this can be overall, it does not answer the immediate, short-term question of how to reduce your cost burden.
As well as seeking more efficient ways to organise your money and spending, there are some more involved ways in which you can act to reduce your monthly energy outgoings, and in so doing save every possible penny this winter. What are they?
Addressing your supplier
Unfortunately, the increased cost of energy is nearly uniform across suppliers. Before the cost-of-living crisis, keeping your energy expenditure as low as possible was as simple as switching energy suppliers for a better tariff. Today, not only are tariffs essentially the same across suppliers, but few suppliers are willing to take on new customers.
Still, there are some small ways in which you can reduce the cost of your energy bill to your supplier. Some suppliers add a small surcharge for sending paper bills; minuscule as the saving may be, going paperless is indeed a way to save. Another, more important way you could save is by submitting meter readings every month. This stops your supplier from projecting usage and potentially charging you for more than you used.
Addressing your boiler
Perhaps the most effective place to properly begin your money-saving measures is your home’s boiler. Many domestic boilers have been in service for years, and do not represent the modern standards for energy efficiency. This means that you could be effectively burning your money by continuing with an inefficient boiler.
While replacing a boiler is initially expensive, it can be a worthwhile and ultimately paltry cost in the long term – and another score for better managing your finances through credit. But boiler replacement isn’t the only way to benefit from energy and cost savings.
Your boiler will have a dial or setting for ‘flow temperature’, which is the temperature to which water is heated before flowing to your radiotor. Setting this lower can help your boiler achieve maximum efficiency.
Lastly, considerable energy savings can be made through making essential changes to your habits as a household. Simple things like setting and forgetting your central heating can lead to costly bills. Setting your thermostat to automatically switch your heating on by your schedule can ensure you are not needlessly keeping the heating on.
You might also change the way you use certain household appliances to achieve better efficiency. Only filling your kettle with the water you need is a good example, as is using your oven’s ambient heat for multiple dishes as opposed to one.