With the energy and cost of living crisis, making informed decisions on how to cut costs is important.
Gas and electric prices have skyrocketed this year, with studies finding that prices have increased by approximately 54% since 2021, and according to the Office of National Statistics, the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) rose by 8.6% in the 12 months.
The squeeze on household finances is impacting most households but even more so the most vulnerable.
There are some solutions to help with reducing outgoings and costs such as being energy efficient in your home, shopping round for the best prices for products whether it being your food shop, daily essentials or any other needed purchases.
When it comes to energy efficiency, investing in renewable energy for your home is always a good but isn’t the only option. They are plenty low cost to no cost actions that you can do to be energy efficient, and some are down to behavioural changes. All the while still being kind to the environment and helping reduce your carbon footprint.
- Don’t waste energy. If you aren’t using it turn it off. Starting from lights to plugs around your home.
- Don’t leave your TV or other equipment on stand-by.
- Turn your heating and water thermostats down by 1 degree Celsius
- Boil as much water as you need for a cuppa
- Make use of natural light through the day – keep curtains and blinds open.
These may seem very frugal actions but compiled together could save you around £248 per year and reduce your impact the environment.
- Use plug in timers. If you are forgetful, a cheap yet effective way to make sure things turn off is using timers. They cost as little as £3.99 and come in a range of mechanical and digital.
- Draught proof your home. Whether its windows doors or any other area this keeps warmth in your home.
- Insulate your loft and cavity walls
- Invest in some thermostatic radiator valves to help warm up only the rooms you use.
There are many resources available on how to save energy on a budget, but it’s picking the most suitable for your budget that can be challenging. The Energy Saving Trust has some very useful information that covers a range of budgets which you many find suitable.
While energy efficiency measures may help for your home, there is further help for County Durham residents.
Recently a network of Warm Spaces has been set up which are free to access. So, if you are cold and want to get warm, stay warm and enjoy a little company, check out where the nearest one is to you on the Durham Locate website. Some Warm Spaces also offer refreshments, wi-fi access, parking and baby change facilities.
Additionally, If you would like to know more about energy efficiency measures and access further advise you can visit the Warm Homes webpage.