Thursday 7 November 2013

Where is your money going?

Where is your money going? Understand the energy spending in your household.

 If the energy bills in your home continually seem to be rising, then it may be time to consider approaches that will reduce your energy usage. Although you may be able to save money by switching suppliers, it's vital that you should understand where your money is being spent.

It's very easy to get into the habit of briefly glancing at energy bills and then making the appropriate payments. Such a casual attitude may, however, mean that you are spending more than you really need to.

If you have gas central heating, for example, then you may well expect that your gas bills will rise during the coldest months of the year. This makes sense, since it's likely that you will have the heating switched on much more frequently. But are you spending more on heating your home than is reasonable?

It's likely that you would be able to make significant savings. There is usually room for improvement in terms of insulation and investments in this area will often allow you to reduce energy bills over time.

Perhaps more obviously, you can reduce the cost of heating your home by having the heating switched on less frequently, or by ensuring that the thermostat isn't turned up too high. Most modern boilers have digital displays, allowing you to review the times when the hot water and central heating are switched on. When did you last review those settings? Is your boiler switched on more often than it really needs to be?

You may also wish to examine the rooms of your home that are being heated. In most families, there's a tendency to use some rooms more frequently than others. You may feel, for example, that it's vital that your living room should be heated on winter evenings.

If you're not using your dining room, or a spare bedroom, however, then you could consider reducing radiator thermostat settings in those rooms. Such small changes can make a significant difference. If you don't take the time to review your existing energy usage, then it's likely that you will be spending more than you actually need to.

Depending upon your existing tariff, there may be advantages associated with using particular appliances at night. If your tariff means that costs fall overnight, then you might consider running washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers at such times.

When you look at the way in which electricity is being used, you may come to realise that there's a residual level of usage that is actually unnecessary. As an example, you may frequently leave the lights switched on in rooms that aren't being used. If you're failing to use energy saving light bulbs, then this will simply compound the problem.

Many devices, including television sets, stereos and games consoles, have standby settings. These are intended to make such devices easier to use, but you need to be aware that they will also be making use of electricity, even when it seems that they are not really in use. If you think about all of the electronic devices within your own home, then you'll see that the associated costs can soon add up.

By understanding the way in which you are using energy within your home, you can start to cut back in some areas. This will allow you to reduce your energy bills, without even having to make significant lifestyle changes.

It's also worth noting that you can protect yourself from the worst of the price rises by looking for specific deals. Fixed energy prices are an option offered by a number of reputable suppliers. By opting for such tariffs you can ensure that you'll have a clear understanding of how your bills are likely to change over time.

As has become clear in recent months, a failure to switch to such a tariff may leave you open to ongoing price increases.

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