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How to save on energy bills this winter

Your Money
Monday 03 December 2018
Winter is coming.

After a scorching summer for the most part, winter is on our doorsteps. And with it comes the concern of overspending on trying to keep warm.

So, to offer a helping hand, here are five energy saving tips and busted myths around winter heating.

Round-the-clock low heating or when I need it?

It’s a common misconception that if you leave your heating on all day – even at a low heat – it will save you money. In fact, by doing so, and not just using the heating when you need it, you’re going to spend more*.

So, make sure you either remember to manually turn your heating off when it’s not needed. Or, ideally, set a timer so you can still enjoy the feeling of getting back to a warm home.

Is it the same for the hot water boiler?

Yes. If you have a gas, oil or LPG central heating system, it will always be cheaper to work off the system timer, so water is only heated as and when needed*2.

The thermostat

Although it’s only a little plastic box floating around your home, the thermostat can cause some real headaches when it comes to saving energy.

For example, turning the thermostat up higher will not mean your home will heat up faster*2. Although, it probably will mean you’ll waste more energy.

Your boiler can only work at one speed, and by turning the thermostat up, you are essentially asking it to work for longer, not faster.

Therefore, an hour later, when it’s hotter than the Arabian Peninsula, you will probably regret your earlier decision.

Dishwashers use a lot of energy

Another hugely common misconception is that dishwashers are a much greater energy zap than washing up by hand.

It can actually be quite the opposite.

If you do a full load and select a medium temperature on your dishwasher, it can be more cost-effective than hand-washing the same amount of dishes.

So, put your feet up, and let technology do the work.

The bigger picture

Of course, you will only really see a significant benefit from these tips and busted myths if you have a reliable and efficient heating system already installed.

Modernising your home’s central heating and windows can be costly, although, not always.

It can be a great investment, though, giving an often immediate return on your property’s price as well as the monthly direct debits, too.
* https://www.uswitch.com/energy-saving/guides/heating-on-all-the-time/
*2 https://www.cse.org.uk/advice/energy-saving-tips/energy-mythbuster
Page last updated: Tuesday 04 December 2018