HOW TO TACKLE RISING ENERGY BILLS
With energy bills shooting up by 54% or £693 for millions of households in April 2022 (and further increases due in the autumn), it’s never been a better time to tackle your gas, electricity, or oil bills.
While big changes are needed to the UK’s housing stock, there are some quick changes you can make, which can bring many benefits.
Why reduce energy?
There has never been a better time to get in control of your bills:
- Tackle rising bills: With cost of living rises and energy bills rising by nearly £700 in 2022, investing some time and energy now, could pay off and help you shear £100’s off rising bills.
- Get fit for the future: With £1 in £4 spent on heating going to waste, investing in your home’s efficiency is better for your wallet and may even increase the value of your home.
- Have a more comfortable home: Living in a well-insulated, cosy home, is also more comfortable, quieter, and better for your health and wellbeing.
- Get self-sufficient: Reducing your energy demand means you are less likely to be affected by volatile prices and even installing renewables where possible means your less reliant on the grid or impacted by power cuts.
- Reduce your environmental impact: Did you know 22% of the UK's carbon emissions comes from heating and powering our homes? Reducing your home energy use is one of the biggest things you can do to tackle climate change.
Follow the energy hierarchy
When it comes to being savvy with energy, follow these three steps, in this order:
Reduce your energy demand - or ‘waste not, want not’ by turning things off using timers and settings to be savvy and in control of our home energy use. This is free (or cheap) and relatively easy and shave hundreds off rising bills – see our top 9 tips below.
Get energy efficient – that means keeping the heat in with better insulation and using more efficient appliances and lighting. See if you are eligible for a Better Homes grant for better insulation or boiler
Read our guides to find out more:
- Zero Carbon Craven guide to efficient appliances and lighting
- Zero Carbon Craven retrofit guide – keeping the heat in
- Install renewables – this means considering generating your own energy to get your home fit for the future and protect against energy price rises – or looking out for schemes that can help fund this. While more expensive and disruptive, it can mean you are more self-sufficient, protecting you against future price rises and you are helping to reduce your carbon footprint.
9 top tips to reduce your demand and reduce your bill by £100’s*
Get started right away with these 9 easy, free (or cheap) tips:
Use your heating settings: Heating and hot water makes up over half your bill and so a big part of your carbon footprint. If you have them, using your thermostat and heating timers to heat only when you need it could cut your carbon emissions by 300kg (that is equivalent to 200 deep baths). Turning radiators off in any rooms that are not needed can also help save. Saving per year (for an average home): £70
Dial down 1 degree: 18 degrees is the recommended temperature for corridors, and 21 degrees for rooms you are sitting in. If your thermostat is set higher than that, try turning it down by one degree, which will also reduce your carbon footprint by 300kg. Saving per year: £55.
Be a bright spark: Lightbulbs are small but mighty, making up 15% of your home energy bill. It is common sense to switch lights off when you don’t need them, but you can up your energy saving by switching to LED bulbs too. Saving per year: £41.
Keep your hot water toasty: If you have a hot water cylinder in your home fit it with an insulating jacket, which costs about £15. By increasing the thickness of the jacket from 25mm to 80mm (3 inches) you’ll be locking in the warmth. Saving per year (to top up): £18.
Flick the switch: Turn off plug sockets to stop electricity flowing into chargers and appliances when they are not in use. Smart plugs can turn off hard-to-reach plugs off using your smartphone and tell you which of your appliances use the most energy. Saving per year: £35.
Tackle draughty spots: Foam or brush strips will block up gaps in windows or get crafty and make a draught excluder for doors. Stuff a pair of tights with scraps of local treated sheep's wool, add some rice to weigh it down, cut off an old trouser leg, put the tights inside it and sew up either end. If you’ve an open chimney you don’t use, a chimney draught excluder stops heat escaping. Saving per year: £43.
Use eco settings: Dishwasher and washing machines makes up 10% of household energy bills so washing only when full and at 30 degrees uses 57% less energy. Cutting just one cycle per week helps save. Stack your dishwasher as efficiently as possible or use a washing up bowl if doing dishes by hand. Saving per year: £23.
Sing in the shower: Could you swap baths for showers? Spending one less minute in the shower could save shave £47 off your water bill if you’re on a meter. The optimal time to spend in the shower is 4 minutes, so try cutting down a minute at a time or pick your favourite 4-minute song. Saving per year: £47.
Get savvy with your brew: Only fill the kettle with the amount of water that you need by using the cup indicator in your kettle or filling a cup you’re using with the water you need, then pour it into the kettle. Saving per year: £6
*Prices correct before the energy price rise in April 2022. Savings from April are likely to be even bigger given bills will have risen for most.
If you’re worried about your bills:
- Nobody should have to choose between heating or eating and with energy bills increasing by 54% for million from April, now is the time to find out what support you’re entitled to keep warm or pay your bills.
- Speak to Warm & Well in North Yorkshire who can provide advice and support specific to your situation. Contact them by calling 01609 767 555 or going to their website: https://www.warmandwell.org.uk/Referral-Form
WHAT IS NET ZERO AND WHAT ARE CRAVEN COUNCIL DOING?
What is net zero?
- What does #ZeroCarbonCraven actually mean? It refers to ‘net zero,’ which means there is an equal balance in the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted and removed from the atmosphere.
- Why is that important? To put it simply: more carbon emissions = more climate change.
What is climate change?
- Why is it important to reduce carbon emissions to slow down climate change? Climate change is mainly caused by burning fossil fuels, and it causes changes in temperature and more extreme weather.
- This damages our communities and economy in Yorkshire, through flooding and high summer temperatures.
What is a carbon footprint?
- To reduce the effects of climate change, we can reduce our own carbon footprint. This is a measure of how much carbon is produced from your own actions like eating, shopping, and travelling. To put it simply: more carbon emissions = more climate change.
- The everyday choices you make can have a big impact on reducing your carbon emissions. 22% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from heating and powering our homes.
- You can measure your own carbon footprint via the WWF calculator.
What are Craven District Council doing?
- Craven District Council are taking big steps to reduce their energy demand and generate their own energy.
- With a £1.2 million fund from the European Regional Development Fund, the council are cutting costs, carbon and making seven public buildings fit for the future by measures such as installing new insulation and solar panels.
- Did you know Craven Leisure Centre’ is having solar panels installed, plus an air source heat pump to heat the swimming pool water? Together these will save the same greenhouse gas emissions, as heating 66 average homes for a year!
- Find out more about the works and Zero Carbon Craven.
- Did you know that only a tiny fraction of emissions come from the council’s buildings, while a quarter of the emissions in Craven come from our homes?
- Craven District Council have also declared a climate emergency.
What can I do to reduce my carbon footprint at home?
- A quarter of carbon emissions in the Craven district comes from our homes, so you can reduce your carbon footprint by reducing your home energy usage, which will save you money too.
- Check out these tips on heating, insulation, and energy-efficient appliances for inspiration.