Optima’s Top 10 tips for saving money and keeping warm in 2017

Posted 13th January 2017

The rising cost of energy bills is putting a strain on household budgets, and wasting energy is bad news for the environment. Here are 10 tips that require no capital outlay:

  1. Switch your energy supplier

Compare gas and electricity prices at www.uswitch.com and make sure you’re on the cheapest tariff for you. It only takes a few minutes and they’ll do all the paperwork. Ofgem estimate that the average household saving will be £300.

  1. Turn your thermostat down

Keep your thermostat at 21oC max. If you’re still cold you should put on more clothes! For every 1 degree above 21oC it will cost you 10% more on your heating bill.

  1. Make sure your immersion heater is OFF

Using on peak electricity to heat your hot water is 3 times more expensive than using your gas boiler. Make sure your kids haven’t accidentally left it on! Stick some tape over the switch so that everyone knows it shouldn’t be switched on.

  1. Get insulated

Many homes in Milton Keynes are already built to a high energy standard. But check that your loft has a minimum of 150mm loft insulation, and if you have cavity walls that they are insulated.  Just Google “free insulation”.

  1. Keep your timeclock settings up to date

Make sure you don’t heat your home when you’re not there, and get the heating to turn off an hour before you go bed. You won’t notice.

  1. Adjust your TRV settings on your radiators

Thermostatic radiator valves sense the air temperature and adjust the flow of hot water through the radiator. Different manufacturers use different settings, so it’s hard to give specific advice, but many are numbered from 1 to 5, with 1 being 16oC and 5 around 24oC. Experiment with your settings but generally between 3 and 4 is optimum. If you don’t use a room, turn the TRV down to the minimum setting.

  1. Spend less time in the shower

Here’s a fact! If everyone in a four-person household with a power shower took just one minute off their shower each day, on average they’d save £60 on their energy bills and a further £60 off their water bills. If you have an old inefficient boiler you’ll save much more.

  1. Turn off lights

An obvious one, but turn your lights off when you’re not using them. It is a MYTH that if you switch off a light it will use more energy than you have saved when you start the light up again. In a future edition, we’ll tell you about the massive savings from replacing halogen spotlights with ultra-efficient LEDs.

  1. Shrink your bills, not your clothes

90% of a washing machine’s energy is spent on heating the water, so if you wash your clothes at 30oC instead of 40oC you save nearly 50% in your energy costs. Putting the machine on a longer cycle will only cost a fraction more.

  1. Get the kids involved

Play energy saving games with your kids. Get them to spot the areas in the home where energy is being wasted, and where lights, switches or appliances have been left on.