Inflation in Ireland is now at 6.7% a 22 year high and shows no signs of slowing down. As a result, the prices of energy costs are creeping up, so it's more important than ever to be savvy with your spending and control your expenses. Small changes around your home add up to significant savings over time and positively impact your budget to keep those rising energy bills in check.
This inflation hike is the sharpest rate of price growth recorded in the Irish economy since November 2000. The most significant increases were seen in transport (15.4 per cent) and housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (12.7 per cent). Combatting inflation has become increasingly difficult as a result. However, there are several ways to fight inflation on the home front.
Here are some easy to implement ideas that can help ease slow the trajectory of your energy bills.
Drop that emersion thermostat setting and see the savings
A straightforward way to save money is by reducing your thermostat by one degree. This may not seem like much, but it can save you 10% on your energy bill. In addition, turning down your thermostat can help to reduce your carbon footprint and conserve energy. So next time you're feeling a little bit chilly, don't be afraid to turn down the heat and give yourself a little break from the high cost of living.
Living area thermostat
Suppose we lower the temperature in our living areas. By turning the thermostat down to 20°C, we can save 10% on our heating bill. Hallways and bedrooms can be even cooler, between 15-18°C. This small change can make a big difference in our monthly budget. So next time the temperature starts to drop, don't reach for the thermostat—reach for a sweater instead.
Radiators are a great way to heat your home, but they can also be a great way to save money on your heating bills. Using the radiator valve to turn the temperature down or off in rooms that you do not use a lot can save money on your energy bills by not heating those rooms. Being clever with your radiators can be a great way to save money on your heating bills.
When it comes to energy use, dishwashers and washing machines are some of the biggest offenders. The majority of the energy they consume is used to heat water, so by running them on a lower temperature setting, you can significantly impact your energy costs. When clothes don't need a deep clean, wash them at 30°C instead of opting for a higher temperature. This will save energy, but it will also help your clothes last longer. If we all took these small steps, we could make a big difference in the energy we use every day.
Optimise Fridge freezer temperatures
Conscientious fridge usage can ensure that your food lasts longer and stays fresher. One way to be money smart is by ensuring that the temperature in your fridge is set to between 2-3 degrees Celsius; this keeps food safe to eat and prevents freezing. Additionally, setting your freezer to -15 degrees Celsius; helps preserve food for longer. Overall, by following these tips, you can help to keep your food fresh and minimize waste.
A win on several levels!
Maximize natural light
Maximizing daylight is a great way to save energy in your home. During the daytime, natural light from windows can provide most of the light you need in a room. Positioning your furniture to make the most of this natural light is a great way to reduce your reliance on artificial lighting. In the evening, hold off switching on lights until absolutely necessary. By making small changes like this, you can significantly reduce your energy consumption and save money on your utility bills.
Get clever with light bulbs.
Lighting is often one of the first places people look to save energy because it is an easy place to get started, and the savings can be significant. There are two main ways to save energy with lighting: using less light and more efficient light sources. Getting clever with your light bulbs is a great way to reduce your energy consumption without sacrificing light or quality. You can do this in a few different ways:
Try to use the lowest wattage bulb needed to light the room or area.
Consider the size of the space and how much natural light the space gets.
Remember to turn off the lights when you are leaving a room or where you do not need them.
These simple tips can help you get started on saving energy with light bulbs
Another way to save energy is to use outdoor light sensors. These devices can be fitted to outdoor lights and programmed to turn the lights on only when needed. For example, a sensor can be set to turn off in the mornings when it's not needed and when it becomes dark outside they come on. This way, energy is only used when needed, which can save a significant amount of money over time. In addition, light sensors can help to reduce light pollution by ensuring that lights are only turned on when they are needed. Using light sensors is a simple and effective way to save energy and reduce your impact on the environment.
Draughts, close the door!
No one likes to feel a cold draught in their home, yet it is something that many of us have to deal with on a daily basis. Draughts can account for a significant amount of heat loss in a typical household. The good news is that there are plenty of simple things you can do to combat draughts and keep your home cosy. For example, you can close doors between heated and unheated rooms to prevent heat from escaping. You can also check for gaps around windows and doors and seal them with weatherstripping or caulking. By taking these simple steps, you can make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient.
Plug those draughts
Yes, it was worth putting in two sections on draughts as they are one of the biggest culprits of heat loss in a home. If a house is cold, it's not cosy. One of the best things about winter is coming home to a comfortable place after a long day in the cold. But if your home is full of draughts, all that cosiness can quickly disappear. Fortunately, you can do a few simple things to plug those draughts and keep the heat in. Start by checking your windows, doors and keyholes for any gaps where cold air might be coming in. You can also use draught excluders to block cracks around doors and windows. If you have an unused fireplace, seal it up with a chimney balloon to prevent draughts from coming down the chimney. These simple measures can make a big difference in keeping your home cosy and warm all winter long.
Get good curtains
Many people are surprised to learn that one of the best ways to keep a warm home is to let the sun in. During the day, open all of the curtains in your home to let the sunlight and heat in. Then, at night or when the sun isn't as intense, close the curtains to help keep that heat in.
There's nothing worse than coming home to a cold house on winter nights. But there's also nothing quite cosy as waking up in a warm bed on a chilly morning. Fortunately, keeping your home at the perfect temperature is easy if you know how to use your curtains. Simply close them at night to keep the heat in, and open them in the morning to let the sun's heat in. By following this simple routine, you'll be able to keep your home warm all winter long, and for our country that applies for most of the rest of the year too.
Electricity monitors are devices that tell you how much energy you are using in real-time. If you switch on the shower or the kettle, you can see the numbers jump. Monitors are great for getting a handle on where you use the most energy. It feels empowering to can make decisions on your energy use based on accurate data in real-time. For example, if you find that you are using a lot of power in the kitchen, you might decide to invest in energy-efficient appliances. Or, if you notice that your energy use spikes during the summer months, you might choose to install solar panels. Energy monitors can help you save money by making informed decisions about your energy use.
Shop around for the best deals on energy
It pays to shop around for the best deals on energy. There are several ways to compare energy prices and find the cheapest supplier for your needs. The Commission for Energy Regulation of Utilities ( CRU) has a helpful tool to compare gas and electricity prices. This is a great way to ensure you're getting the best deal on energy.
While it may be difficult to control the ever-rising cost of energy, there are still steps you can take to reduce your consumption and save money. Installing an emersion thermostat on your radiators is a great way to start – this will allow you to set specific times for your radiators to come on and off, rather than keeping them on all day long. You could also try replacing any old appliances with more energy-efficient models, look for the energy rating logos, and keep curtains and blinds open during the day to let in as much sunlight as possible. Taking these small steps can add up over time, so why not give them a try?
Our current high inflation means we all need to be conscious of how much energy we are using and find ways to reduce our consumption. Thankfully, you can do a few things to help keep your energy bills under control without making too many significant changes in your life.
Pick a few off this list and implement them today.