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We may be through the worst of winter, but it doesn’t look like energy bills are coming down any time soon.
In 2022, the cost of energy in the UK increased by a staggering 65.4% and 128.9% for electric and gas, respectively1.
These heavily inflated prices have led people to make changes to their daily living habits in their homes. But what changes actually make the biggest impact on energy prices?
Let’s have a look at some of the biggest energy drains in homes across Britain, and what we can be done to help reduce energy consumption2.
1. Washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwasher – These appliances take the number one spot on the list, accounting for approximately 14% of household energy bills, according to the energy savings trust. The reality is we can’t get around needing to keep our clothes and dishes clean, but we can do things to reduce energy consumption.
Washing machines can be ran at a lower temperature (e.g. 40 degrees instead of 60 degrees), tumble dryers can be used less and clothes can be hung to dry (particularly if you’ve already got the heating on and can hang your washing near it), and dishwashers can be used on the eco settings.
2. Fridges and freezers – You may or may not have guessed, but the appliances responsible for keeping our foods constantly chilled take the number two spot, accounting for approximately 13% of the average energy bills.
If you’ve got an old fridge or freezer, it may not be as energy-efficient as newer ones are built to be. Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done about reducing the energy consumption of these appliances as we have no choice but to have them run constantly.
But if you’re fridge and/or freezer has run its course and you are in the market for a new one, make sure to check their energy rating before purchase.
3. Electronics – Think TV’s, computers, game consoles or even the constant charging of electronic devices, these account for approximately 6% of a households energy bills.
There is always the option to reduce screen time and pick up a good old book to save energy, but this may not always be practical particularly for those who use these devices for work.
However, it is helpful to get into the habit of turning devices off when not in use. Similarly to fridges and freezers, do some research before buying new electronics to get the most energy-efficient ones available.
4. Lights – Household lighting also accounts for approximately 6% of the average energy bill. You may have heard it said before, but switching to LED lights truly is a great way to save money on the cost of lighting as they are 80% more energy efficient than the likes of traditional halogen bulbs. Furthermore, they last up to five times longer3.
5. Kitchen appliances – Cookers, ovens, microwaves, kettles, and the likes, account for approximately 4% of household energy bills. Some things to consider for this category is to use an air fryer instead of an oven if you have the option as they are more energy-efficient.
And last but not least, as a good cup of tea is the heart of the nation, good kettle use such as not filling it beyond the water that will be used is a good habit to get yourself into.
Although these suggestions may not make your energy bills significantly cheaper, it does add up over time and every little helps! And just think, an added bonus is that you’re not just helping your pockets, but improving your homes energy-efficiency is also good for the environment too.
Diandra Latibeaudiere-Gardner 'Finance Dee' is a 28-year old British-Jamaican living in the SE of England. By day she's a research consultant and by night a finance YouTuber and FIRE blogger