Changing how we use our domestic electricity saved £278
Today we found out that we’d saved £278 pounds on our domestic quarterly energy bill through changing the way we use it within our home. We live in a property which does not have mains gas. We don’t have oil and instead run our heating and water from an Air-Source heat pump. Whilst this technology is deemed energy efficient it is certainly more costly to run than with a Ground-source Heat-Pump as we don’t have solar thermal or solar PV as an to generate electricity or provide hot water.
Don’t just change tariff
We have been in the property for 2½ years, it is a 500 year old barn conversion and has a high standard of insulation and glazing. However our monthly electric bill was still £555pcm. We have taken steps to fix our energy prices but are keenly aware that the price we are paying now will most likely be increased when we renegotiate our terms and conditions in 12 months and we wanted to see how much energy we could save and what, more importantly, the impact would be on our purses.
Steps to save domestic energy
We decided that we would put into practice what we preach and start to change the way were using the energy at home, so what did we do?
- We turned the heating off in rooms which are unoccupied – if we have visitors we will turn the heating back on, it only takes an hour for it to get up to temperature
- We turned unnecessary lights of – our home no longer looks like the titanic beaming out over the dark Bedfordshire countryside.
- We heat the house to temperature in the early hours – our heating system is like a large storage heater, it is designed to release its heat throughout the day. So we heat the required rooms between 3am and 6am, when electricity is cheap.
- We adjusted the room thermostats to reflect times of occupancy. We have programmed a boost period for those rooms where we spend most time in the evenings (sitting room and sons’ bedrooms) No longer is our thermostat programmed to heat the room from 4pm to 9pm, it is set to warm when we are in the room and switch off an hour before we go to bed.
- We reduced the room-stat temperatures by between 1 and 3 degrees. Our halls are now heated at 19 Degree’s which is perfectly adequate, not to mention our boys’ rooms are set at 2 degrees cooler since they have the normal teenager electronic gadgetry in there which increases the temperature in their room space.
- We put Hot Water on once a day – we get our hot water through an immersion heater. It now comes on once a day between 4am and 6am when it is time for cheap electricity. If we want a shower we manually switch on the hot water system, it takes about 15 mins to get to temperature.
- We invested in draft excluders. This stops the warmth escaping through the external doors. We have also used them to seal bottom of the internal doors in empty rooms, to stop cold air escaping and hot air leaking in.
- We now ensure all appliances, except for fridges and freezers, are switched off at the mains at night.
- We shut the curtains at night, they act as a barrier for heat escaping through the glass.
- 10. We bought family onesies! – who needs heating when you’ve got your Wolf, Monkey, Skeleton or Reindeer all-in-one?
Energy savings, equal 20% of bill, don’t ‘worry’ make the change.
So over a 3 month period we have saved just under 20% of our house hold energy bill through changing our behaviour. Our own Gebs Energy Survey showed that, despite recent energy price increases and growing concern, most of our respondents had not taken any steps to reduce the way they consumed energy in their homes. Using our experience as an example we can honestly say there are some great savings to be had.