I don’t think there are many people out there who like throwing money down the drain, particularly in recent years with the challenging economic climate. Rising unemployment and a general uncertainty in the jobs market has ultimately pushed the importance of savings up people’s radars.
A simple Google search will throw up hundreds of money saving tips and advice, but in essence, it’s all down to common sense. It's fairly obvious stuff. Look for the best deal (not necessarily the cheapest!), don’t spend more than you earn, try and pay off as much credit as possible, eat out less, swap luxury holidays for budget ones, drink less alcohol, stop smoking, try and reduce your travelling to save fuel costs… the list goes on and on.
Looking specifically at your home, there are a number of changes you can introduce that will make an immediate impact on the size of your energy bills.
The first thing that will help is trying to change your habits. Turning off lights when you’re not in a room for example, or not leaving your TV and appliances on standby, will make small savings, but savings none the less. It all adds up.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to start saving energy is by switching to energy saving light bulbs. Not only do they typically last 12 times longer than ordinary bulbs, but by switching, it could save you over £100 a year.
Next you need to think about how old your boiler is. Replacing an old or inefficient boiler (usually those over 15 years old) with an energy efficient condensing boiler could save you up to 40% off your heating bill straight away. Whilst the initial capital outlay is expensive, reducing your bill by up to £250 each year should enable you to recover the cost within five years, with the savings continuing much longer after this. But it's even better. If your boiler is over 10 years old, it will qualify for Energy Saving Trust's Scottish Boiler Scrappage Scheme Voucher of £400 AND if you decide to install new Vaillant boiler (recommended as Best Buy by independent consumer magazine Which?), you will get extra £100 cashback!
If you already have an energy efficient boiler, try turning your heating thermostat down. According to the Energy Saving Trust, turning it down by just one degree centigrade can save up to 10% on your heating bill. Then there’s loft insulation. 15% of heat is lost through your roof so if you insulate properly, it could save you another £150 a year.
There are a host of other energy saving tips out there, from changing your older appliances to newer energy efficient ones, to looking at switching your gas, electricity and phone supplier. With best offers available in the UK you can not only save money, you can actually start making money via clever cashback schemes. All genuine, all above board, government regulated and recommended year by year by the clever consumer's "Bible", independent Which? magazine.
Some of these measures may seem expensive initially, but they really will make a difference. If money is tight, then just start with the smaller changes first, your wallet will benefit in the long run.
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