As energy bills soar, everyone is feeling the pinch, which is why we’ve outlined some tips to help you reduce costs.
If you’re a landlord, these tips can help you transfer lower energy bill costs to tenants, which could make all the difference to help them save money too.
Here the household insurance experts at Adrian Flux provide ways to save on energy bills this winter.
Most of these measures will have upfront costs, but they will pay for themselves in terms of savings pretty quickly, and in some cases you may even qualify for a grant to help get the work done.
1. Improve the property’s insulation
There are several great ways to insulate your home and keep the warm air in and the cool air out. You can get:
- Double glazing. This has the added bonus of helping to reduce the sound of traffic and other noises you can hear from outside.
- Draught insulation. This will help reduce damp and condensation. Often-overlooked areas include keyholes, letterboxes, chimneys and fireplaces.
- Cavity wall insulation. This may be required if your home was built after the 1920s.
- Solid wall insulation. This may be required if your home was built before the 1920s.
- Loft insulation. This is a DIY job you can probably manage yourself.
You may be able to claim a grant for insulation by asking your energy supplier about the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. Read our blog to find out which home improvement grants are available for landlords.
2. Upgrade to an energy-efficient boiler
Heating can account for over half of your home energy use, according to the Energy Saving Trust. If you’ve got a boiler that’s over 15 years old, it’s likely that a new one will help reduce your heating bills. Newer boilers are usually called “condensing boilers”. This means that the heat is extracted from flue gases (or exhaust gases) which an older boiler would just waste by releasing into the air.
You will have to outlay the initial cost, but your shiny new boiler could save you hundreds of pounds in energy bills. This means it could pay for itself within a number of years. You may even be entitled to a grant or other financial assistance to help you with the cost, meaning you could see those savings earlier.
3. Fit solar panels to generate your own energy
Installing solar panels can be expensive, but they will lower your energy bills. If you create more energy than you need, you can even sell the excess back to energy companies.
Read our blog to find out how much money you can save by fitting solar panels.
4. Get a smart thermostat and smart meter
A smart thermostat can help you use your energy more efficiently. It will analyse how and when you use energy, and learn the best way to heat your home while using the least amount of energy possible. With many smart thermostats, you can often remotely control your heating, allowing you to turn it off or down remotely when it isn’t in use.
Smart meters are also useful as they allow you to track your energy usage. With one of these installed, you will be able to compare current and past usage of energy, be able to do a meter reading at any time and see when you’re spending the most money on energy. All of this means you can basically monitor your energy usage much more easily than ever before. And real-time figures mean you can see exactly where your money is going.
5. Consider an ground source heat pump
Ground source heat pumps are a great way to create your own energy and could save you money in the long-run.
The ground source pumps are buried in the garden and will absorb heat from the ground, turning it into energy. Of course, your property will need a garden for this to be applicable.
6. Install energy-saving lighting
This is a really simple one that can save you a bit of cash on your energy bills. You can no longer buy the older-style inefficient light bulbs, but if you do have some knocking around at home it’s worth replacing them. Energy-efficient light bulbs last up to 10 times longer than their older counterparts. Replacing your light bulbs could save around £25 a year on your energy bills. Hardly megabucks, but it all adds up over the years!
7. Turn off your taps when they’re not in use
You might be surprised by how many people in your family are guilty of this, but when brushing your teeth or washing your face, don’t keep the tap running. Doing this wastes a whopping six litres of water a minute. If you have small children, keep an eye on them when it’s time to brush their teeth and think about maybe putting stickers on the bathroom mirror to remind them.
Whilst we are on the subject of taps, if you notice a dripping tap, fix it sooner rather than later. A dripping tap can waste 15 litres of water a day!
8. Consider taking a shower rather than a bath
There’s nothing like a good soak in the bath after a long day, but when you consider the water usage, it might not seem quite as relaxing. The average full bath will use up to 80 litres of water, whereas a five minute shower uses only 45 litres. Of course, how much water you use depends on the water pressure and a number of other factors, so it can be difficult to quantify exactly how much your shower will save you. If a family of four people switched from daily baths to showers, the savings could be in excess of £20 a year on gas and £25 on water.
9. Choose a laptop over a desktop computer
If you still have a family PC or a desktop computer for personal or work use, it may be worth thinking about switching to a portable laptop. Not only are they lightweight and ensure you can work on the move, they can have an effect on your energy consumption too.
The energy benefits are:
- Laptops use much less power than a desktop
- Most models have energy saving modes that can help you control the amount of power it uses
- Studies show that you are more likely to switch off and unplug a laptop than a desktop
You can also tinker with the screen brightness and power management settings to get optimum energy efficiency.
10. Only do full loads in the washing machine
Do you pop a wash on every time there‘s a set of PJs and a few towels so you can empty the laundry basket? If so, you could be wasting a lot of energy, water and money. It makes sense to wait until there is a full load – your washing machine probably uses the same amount of water and electricity no matter how full it is. However, don‘t be tempted to overstuff your machine – you could cause damage and your clothes will not clean efficiently.
If you have a fancier model with an economy setting, why not give that a go? It will use less energy than a standard cycle, and you might be pleasantly surprised at the results. You can also wash most things at 30°. Your average detergents and washing fluids will still be effective at this temperature, and you will save up to £10 a year.
11. Buy an energy-efficient toaster
Most of us wouldn’t consider a toaster as a big energy user, but with fantastic energy efficient models out there, why not do your bit and save a bit of money in the process? Whilst an energy-efficient toaster might be slightly more expensive up-front, it could help save you money further down the line on electricity costs.
Bespoke insurance deals from the experts at Adrian Flux
Whether you need landlord insurance for one rental property of an entire portfolio, Adrian Flux will have a bespoke insurance package to match your needs. Call 0800 369 8590 for a fast no-hassle quote – 81.5% of all customers receiving an online quote in August 2022 could have obtained a cheaper quote over the phone.