How to save on energy bills this winter is just one of many seasonal concerns for budget-conscious consumers. Winter is an expensive time for many reasons, with high electricity bills being one of the worst contributors. As the nights draw in and the temperature plummets, many of us reach for electric heaters to combat the chill and amp up our use of lighting. If you’re spending more time working from home, your everyday electricity usage is likely to have sky-rocketed over the past year.
Turning off the heating and using fewer appliances isn’t a practical option for most people. However, there are many things you can do to curb your energy usage and enjoy significant long-term savings. Below, we explore some of the best things you can do to bring down your electricity bill this winter, as well as future-proof your home against rising energy costs going forward.
1. Carry Out Regular Meter Readings
One of the easiest ways to ensure you’re not paying more for your energy bills is to carry out regular readings of your electricity meter. Regardless of which supplier you’re currently with, the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) should inspect your meter once every few months. However, there will be instances when the ESB can’t gain access to your property to carry out these readings. Should an inspection be missed, an estimated reading will be applied to your account instead. If you’re looking into how to save on energy bills, estimates are something you want to avoid.
Although an estimated reading shouldn’t be too far removed from the actual usage of a standard household, you can’t count on maximum accuracy. If you’re taking other steps to minimise your electricity use during the winter months, an estimate can see your monthly bills soaring. The best thing you can do is perform your meter readings. Most suppliers will send you a reminder to perform a reading before your bill is generated and you can report readings over the phone or online.
2. Set Up a Direct Debit
Energy deals aren’t as competitive as they once were, but there’s still a chance to pocket some welcome savings. Paying your bills by direct debit almost always yields a small discount. Direct debit payments aren’t just cost-effective, they’re incredibly convenient. You never run the risk of missing a payment date and incurring overdue charges.
Opting for paperless billing is also worth considering. In addition to being better for the environment, many suppliers reward customers who go paperless with a tiny discount. Online billing also provides you with clear insights into your electricity consumption, making it easier to manage your usage.
3. How to Save on Energy Bills with a Smart Meter
Smart meters provide a practical way to monitor how much electricity you are using. In most cases, energy suppliers provide customers with a flat rate, charging the same price for electricity, regardless of what time of the day you are using it. Smart meters have allowed energy suppliers to be more inventive with the kinds of tariffs they can offer customers.
Provided you’re using a smart meter, you may be able to take advantage of so-called ‘smart tariffs’. These tariffs offer customers flexible rates, with electricity used during the evening or night cheaper than if you were using it during the day. Some smart tariffs may even offer free usage during allotted times.
4. Consider Switching to a New Supplier
If you’re convinced you’re paying too much for your electricity, switching to a new supplier is a good idea. If you’re looking on how to save on energy bills, switching suppliers can bring you impressive discounts and new customer perks.
Energy prices are higher than ever, so you need to be prepared to carry out some research to find the best deal for you. Although potential savings are marginal between the biggest suppliers, you may be able to save several hundred euros a year if you’re currently paying a premium.
5. Replace Inefficient Appliances
Everyday appliances contribute a lot to our energy bills. If your white goods or kitchen essentials have seen better days, consider spending a little more on an energy-efficient replacement. The worst-offending appliances in terms of energy consumption are tumble dryers, washing machines, and fridge freezers. However, integrated ovens and dishwashers can also contribute premiums to your monthly energy bills.
If you’re wondering about how to save on energy bills, switching to energy-efficient appliances is one of the best long-term strategies. When choosing appliances, use EU Energy Labels as a guideline on how much you can expect to pay in running costs.
6. Think About Installing a New Boiler
Purchasing a new boiler is an expensive investment, but it can pay dividends in the long run. It’s worth remembering that heating accounts for around half your annual energy bill. Because your heating tends to be on more during the colder months, you’re spending a considerable amount of money on energy during the winter. Although central heating systems use gas, it’s tempting to compensate for an inefficient one with secondary radiators and electric heaters.
A new boiler can set you back several thousand euros, with installation costs often adding to the price. However, an A-rated boiler that features a programmer and thermostat can yield savings of several hundred euros a year. If you’re searching for inspiration on how to save on energy bills in winter, buying a new boiler is one of the best things you can do. In addition to being more efficient, a new boiler with an extended guarantee will bring you peace of mind, reducing the risk of a breakdown and unexpected repair costs. If your boiler is relatively new and needs a gas boiler service, we at Brosnans highly recommend you book a service with us today.
7. Smart Central Heating Controls
The way you control your central heating system may also be contributing to higher energy costs. A cost-effective heating system should include a programmer, room thermostat, as well as thermostatic radiator valves. Not only will these components cut down on energy waste, but they’ll also reduce your carbon emissions.
Smart controls will allow you to take charge of your heating system and hot water supply, ensuring you’re only using energy when it’s needed. Furthermore, you can choose to only heat certain parts of your home, as well as tailor temperatures in different rooms. Making use of a smart thermostat is another good idea if you’re looking for ideas on how to save on energy bills. With a smart thermostat installed, you can control your heating system remotely via an app on your smartphone.
8. Invest in Insulation
Poor insulation is a problem plaguing many older properties. If you’re struggling to heat your home affordably, it may be time to consider investing in insulation. Cavity wall insulation and loft insulation are the two most popular choices, although solid wall insulation is also available to those looking to spend a premium. Because heat rises, you’ll need to ensure your loft is kitted out with sufficiently thick layers of insulation. Ideally, your loft should be fitted with loft insulation material with a thickness of around 270 millimetres.
Once you’ve tackled lofts and walls, you should turn your attention to windows. Double glazing should be the basic standard if you’re looking to guarantee your home is properly insulated. However, you can also think about triple glazing if your budget will stretch.
9. Take Care of Draughts
Draughts can lead to heat loss in even the most well-insulated home. Taking care of these spots can help you pocket a small annual saving on your energy bills. Focus on windows first, installing draught-proofing strips around the edges of the frame. Once this has been taken care of, you can draught-proof your doors with draught excluders.
Chimneys and fireplaces also pose a draught risk. If you’re using your fireplace, install a chimney cap to minimise heat loss. If you tend to rely on your central heating and your fireplace is purely for show, consider blocking up your chimney entirely.
Reduce Your Energy Bills Today
As you can see from our guide on how to save on energy bills, there’s no shortage of steps you can take. It’s simple to switch suppliers or make the jump to a new tariff, while several smaller maintenance tasks can be carried out yourself. Just a few minor fixes can save you hundreds of euros over a year, while more substantial remedies can ensure you’re never paying over the odds for electricity again.
However, if your central heating system needs an overhaul or your property is calling out for insulation, you’ll need professional help. Here at Brosnan Property Solutions, we offer a wide range of commercial and residential services that can help you take charge of your energy use and slash your winter electricity bills. Get in touch via the online contact form or call us on 1850 911939 to speak directly with our team.
We also help many homes and businesses with other services such as electricians, plumbers, roof repairs, handyman services, landscape gardeners, general property maintenance and bespoke facility management.