The COVID-19 pandemic is an incredibly difficult time and our lives have been disrupted in many ways. During this time, we’re all having to spend nearly all of our time at home. This inevitably means your energy use will increase and so will your costs. We’ve put together some simple tips you can put into practice to help keep your bills low.
Have a spring clean
Not only is it a great way to keep yourself busy while stuck at home, but you can keep your appliances running efficiently too.
There are a few simple things you can add to your to-do list:
- Vacuum dust off the coils at the back of your fridge freezer. A build up of dust will mean your fridge has to work harder to keep your food cold
- Clean your oven hobs – grease and dirt absorb heat meaning it takes longer to heat your food
- Dust electronics – a build up of dust can cause appliances to over heat, meaning they use more energy. Clean out any fans on PCs and laptop to keep them running efficiently too
With limited opportunities for ‘eating out’ and plenty of time at home, you’re likely to be spending more time and money preparing and cooking meals. In order to make this not only easier, but more energy efficient, there are some easy changes you can make:
- Use a slow cooker – not only do they take most of the hassle out of cooking, but they’re much cheaper to run too
- Use a microwave where possible – no need for culinary brilliance when you have a microwave at home; it’s more efficient to stick some beans in the microwave than in a pan on the hob
- Keep lids on pots and pans – not only will this help food cook quicker, but it helps reduce condensation in your home
- Fill a bowl when washing up instead of leaving the tap running – you could save around £25 a year by doing this
Save on standby
Since our time outdoors is going to be limited over the next few weeks, we’ll probably all spend more time watching TV and on games consoles. Those working from home will also spend more time using IT equipment. As a result, we’re all likely to see an increase in our energy costs.
- Make sure you switch appliances off rather than leaving them on standby – some appliances can use as much as 85% of what they usually do when in ‘power saving mode’
- Laptops are cheaper to run than PCs – if you can, use one of these instead
- If you and the kids have access to tablets, use these for watching TV – they’re much more efficient and cheaper to run than a TV in each room!
Most offices, schools and public buildings are designed to optimise lighting for those working and visiting there. It’s important to ensure your home is well lit when working and home schooling too, but this is obviously another additional energy cost.
- If you can, pick up some LEDs on your weekly shopping trip (don’t make an extra journey or visit shops you wouldn’t usually though!) Most supermarkets stock these – you can reduce your lighting costs by as much as 85% compared to traditional bulbs
- Open the curtains and position yourself near a window – not only is natural light good for your wellbeing, it saves on lighting costs too
- Remember to switch lights off when not in use!
Get switched on
One of the easiest things you can do to save money on your bills is to ensure you’re on the cheapest available tariff. You could save around £300 a year by switching to a cheaper supplier.
We have a dedicated COVID-19 energy advice blog with everything you need to know about the support available at this difficult time. You can find it here.
Our energy advisors are also available to offer free and impartial advice by telephone or online. They can be contacted by: