With the cost of living crisis affecting everyone from students to pensioners, those on low incomes will be disproportionately affected. Whilst those from older generations may have a few tips to hand to help reduce costs, it’s possible that those living away from home for the first time won’t have experienced it and won’t be sure what they can do to save money. So here are 13 tips, which can help reduce the energy costs in your home.

  1. Only boil the kettle with enough water that is needed, don’t fill it to the top every time
  2. Turn lights off when not in rooms. For high traffic areas such as hallways or kitchens, change the lightbulbs for LEDs which are much more energy efficient. For other areas such as bedrooms or living rooms, then using an energy efficient lamp can also be beneficial. 
  3. Turn appliances off standby and unplug chargers for laptops and phones. Get into the habit of turning appliances off at the wall, this includes things such as microwaves with a clock. The clock on the microwave uses more energy to power than it does using the microwave every year. 
  4. Use dishwashers if you have one installed. Although not immediately recognisable as a good way to save energy as they use electricity, they use far less water than washing by hand and it costs less to heat the water too. 
  5. Turn down the temperature that you wash your clothes. If you are concerned about whether bacteria will be removed at a lower heat, then there are antibacterial products that you can put in the washing machine which kill bacteria on clothes at lower temperatures. The next time you’re at a large supermarket then have a look in the laundry aisle. 
  6. Keep an eye on how much you use the central heating. If you have a thermostat then try turning it down a degree or two (around 20 degrees is the normal room temperature, less in bedrooms and slightly more in living rooms and bathrooms). If you don't have a thermostat then use the timing function on your boiler so it isn’t continuously on during cold snaps.
  7. Take shorter or colder showers. Now colder showers might not be for everyone (regardless of the health benefits) but everyone could probably take slightly shorter showers. There will always be times when it’s a bit longer, like hair washing day, but if most of the showers are a minute or two shorter, not only will you save money on heating hot water but your housemates will thank you as they'll be able to use the bathroom quicker.
  8. Use other cooking options such as microwaves or invest in a slow cooker. These are much more energy efficient than a traditional hob or oven. If you prefer to cook using a hob or oven then try and cook one meal for several people in the house at the same time, rather than a continuous stream of people using the cooker. Not only will it save money on ingredients but it will save the energy bills too.
  9. Using lids on pans. Might seem like an obvious one but by using a lid, you can boil water at a lower temperature and use less fuel than an open pan. 
  10. Use timer plugs on electrical devices when you know no one will be in the house or your room. This will ensure they aren’t using electricity in case you forget to turn them off at the plug. Even things like turning the wifi router off when everyone is asleep for a few hours will really help.
  11. Heating the person is more energy efficient than heating a property. So as your parents say, put another layer of clothing on before turning the heating on. Also, if you're someone that feels the cold then consider investing in an electric blanket. They cost minimal amounts in electricity but will keep you feeling toasty for all of those Netflix marathons. 
  12. Keep your freezer full even if it’s with ice blocks. An empty freezer costs more to run than a full one. It’s also good to batch cook food, so you always have something to eat in store. 
  13. Draughts can be a real problem for heat leaving homes. So if you are living in an older property then look at draft excluder options. You will be surprised how much difference some options you can buy online will make to retaining heat in your home.