Tips to ease your home energy bills

The winter nights can feel especially long when the temperatures drop and your energy bills go up. It can be difficult to keep your home warm without it costing a small fortune. Particularly right now.

  • Energy prices soared last winter, even with the government energy price guarantee that capped average annual bills at £2,500.
  • Average energy costs are 23% cheaper this winter. But the government’s £400 energy bill discount scheme is no longer available to cushion still-high bills. So you may still be spending more of your own money overall.
  • Ultimately, energy costs are significantly higher than they used to be. Industry experts Cornwall Insight believe prices will rise again in 2024 and remain at these kind of high levels for at least 15 years.

Don’t worry, there are practical steps you could take to improve the energy efficiency of your home and save money in the longer term.

We also have a very special member offer that could help you find ways of making your home more energy efficient – and potentially reduce your energy bills. More on that later.

Let’s start with the easy, quick-win tips

Here are four quick, easy day-to-day things you could do right now to reduce your bills – without having any real impact on your lifestyle.

Doing them all could save you around £325 a year, according to September 2023 research by uswitch.

  • Use a cooler laundry setting

    Washing your clothes at 30º or using cold water could save you around £40 a year.

  • No more standby

    If you’re not using appliances like a laptop or TV, switching them off at the plug could save you £70 a year.

  • Turn down your thermostat (just a little)

    Turning down your thermostat by a mere 1ºC could save you a £145 a year.

  • Take shorter showers

    Limiting yourself to just a four-minute shower could save the average household £70 a year.

These ideas could make some difference to your energy bills over time. But in truth, they’ll only do so much. And with higher bills here to stay, this could be the ideal time to consider more significant changes to boost your home’s energy efficiency.

Here are six longer-term ways of keeping your home warmer

  1. Top up your home’s insulation

    Adding insulation to your walls, attic and floors could give you stronger barriers. It will help you to keep the cold out, and the warm air inside. A better insulated home could save you hundreds of pounds a year. You might like to know that the government is running a scheme which – if you’re eligible – could give you access to free or cheaper insulation.

  2. Install pipe lagging

    When it comes to those especially cold winter mornings, the water that runs through any exposed pipes you have can freeze. This means taps, or your shower, might not run until it gets warmer and the frozen water thaws. In the worst case scenario, the pipe could even burst.

    By insulating exposed pipes (basically, covering them up with material that can trap heat and protect the pipe from the cold) you could reduce your energy use. It also lessens the risk of costly water damage.

  3. Monitor boiler pressure and schedule a boiler service

    Depending on your boiler, you should be able to check its pressure fairly easily. You need to be looking for a boiler pressure of between 1 and 1.5 bar. If its outside of these parameters, or you’re not sure how to check, it might be a good time to get your boiler serviced.

    Checking that your boiler is operating at maximum efficiency could help you save on energy costs.

  4. Bleed your radiators

    This is something that sounds confusing but is easier to do than you might think. From time to time your radiators might develop air pockets that reduce their efficiency. Bleeding your radiators helps you find and fix air pockets, which can save you money. Watch this British Gas video for advice on how to bleed a radiator.

  5. Address roof repairs

    It’s not always obvious if your roof isn’t in the best condition. However, any problems at the top of your property might cause leaks and impact your insulation efforts.

    If you spot a loose tile when looking at your roof from the outside, or notice any damp inside your loft, it’s probably a sign you need to get your rooftop repaired.

  6. Get your chimney swept by a professional

    If you have a fireplace, you’ll know how important it is to keep it clean and safe to use. Getting your chimney swept on a regular basis will help this further. Improving the energy efficiency of your home and reducing fire hazards.

Finding the right approach for your home

According to October 2023 research by finder, 46% of UK adults cite energy bills as their biggest financial concern. So if you’re feeling worried this winter, you’re not alone.

Your home will have its own characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. And what might help you save money on energy costs could be very different to your neighbour, friend or family member. Answers unique to your situation might make the biggest difference.

This is where we could help. 

Free Home Energy Report for Skipton Building Society members

At Vibrant, we’ve teamed up with Skipton Building Society offer their members who own a home over ten years old a comprehensive home energy report for their property. We’ve been providing Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for homes since 2007 – helping thousands of people identify ways they could become more energy efficient.

It’s completely free for you to get your own, personalised report

  • A member of the Vibrant team will visit your home and carry out a thorough review of the property.
  • You’ll receive a detailed report on how energy efficient your home is. Plus tailored recommendations that could help you reduce your energy use.
  • It could also identify ways you could improve your environmental footprint.

Looking for more information?

Learn more about the EPC member offer and how to arrange your free EPC Plus report.

EPC Plus

EPC Plus is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Vibrant are owned by Connells Group, a Skipton Building Society Group company.