Top Tips for Saving Money this Winter

Top Tips for Saving Money This Winter

With heating bills set to increase this winter, it’s more important than ever for households to find ways to reduce energy costs wherever possible. This article will provide practical tips on understanding your winter energy use, improving efficiency, optimising heating systems, finding discounts, using less power, saving on lighting, and reducing food bills. Follow these essential pieces of advice to help minimise expenditure over the colder months. 

Understand Your Winter Energy Usage

When beginning your quest to cut winter bills, the first step should always be analysing your existing energy use more closely. This allows you to identify where the majority of costs come from and set a benchmark for improvements. 

  • Heating vs Electric - Calculate the split between your heating bill and general electric use. Heating often makes up over 60% of winter spend. But don’t neglect smaller electric costs like lighting and appliances. 
  • Analyse Past Bills - Compare bills from this winter to last. See if you used more or less energy. Cross reference with weather data – colder Decembers increase heating use. 
  • Real-Time Tracking - Smart meters or energy monitor devices can break down real-time energy use so you can spot waste and make changes. 

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Improving your home’s energy efficiency should be the number one priority this winter. While upgrades do require some upfront investment, the long-term savings are significant. 

  • DIY Draft-Proofing - Block heat loss and cold air ingress with brush or foam strips around windows, doors, and flooring for just a few pounds. Also close off chimneys. 
  • Insulation - Having professional insulation in walls and lofts pays for itself over 2-5 years. Prioritise roof insulation as heat rises. 
  • Double Glazing - Replacing single pane windows with modern glazing reduces heat loss by up to 43%. Locks in warmth. 
  • Efficient Appliances - When old appliances need replacing, choose A+++(highest rating) models. Especially important for fridges and washing machines. 

Home improvements like these could collectively reduce your winter energy bills by over 20%. Make enhancements step-by-step over time for maximum benefit.

Optimise Your Heating System

It’s equally important to ensure your current heating system runs as efficiently as possible. Make the following tweaks for quick savings: 

  • Programmable Thermostats - Setting different temperatures for daytime, evening and overnight creates major savings. Lower by 10°C at night and when house is empty. 
  • Regular Boiler Service - Annual services improve efficiency by up to 10%. Special winter servicing deals are available. Ensure filters are changed. 
  • Bleed Radiators - Bleeding radiators releases trapped air preventing heat circulation to rooms. Use special keys. 
  • Control Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) - TRVs on individual radiators give precision control over room temperatures. Lower temperatures do not damage pipes. 

Improvements to heating habits and programming times could save over £100 over winter. Get your boiler in shape before cold weather sets in. 

Take Advantage of Energy Discounts

There are special discounts and savings to capitalise on over the winter months if you shop around wisely: 

  • Switch Energy Suppliers - Changing to the cheapest energy tariff can reduce annual bills by £200-300. Use comparison sites but watch exit fees. 
  • Winter Rebates - Some providers offer winter bill rebates if you switch. British Gas has offered £100+ off this winter. 
  • Free Boiler Servicing - Special winter deals with certain suppliers include a free boiler service. This improves efficiency. 
  • Winter Fuel Payments - Low income houses can receive £100-300 payments from the government to help with bills. 

Review switching sites for the latest deals and utilise any eligible discounts. Every little saving helps cut expenditure this season.

Reduce Your Energy Usage

Alongside technical solutions, modifying daily habits around the home can significantly reduce the amount of energy used this winter: 

  • Line Dry Laundry - Skip the tumble dryer and air dry clothes on racks indoors or outdoors when possible. Saves £40+ over winter. 
  • Batch Cook Economically - Slow cookers, pressure cookers and other airtight cooking methods use less energy. Cook in large batches. 
  • Limit Portable Heaters - Heating the whole house is cheaper than using multiple plug-in or gas heaters. Only use for 1-2 hours to boost temperatures. 
  • Switch Off Standby - Electronics in standby still use power. Switch off at wall to eliminate this wasted usage. 

Changing how household tasks are powered leads to effortless long-term savings on bills.

Lighting Tips 

Simple lighting tweaks make a difference: 

  • Use LED bulbs – Use energy-saving LED bulbs wherever possible as they use 90% less power than traditional bulbs. This makes a big difference over months of winter nights. 
  • Maximise Natural Daylight – Open blinds and curtains whenever possible to make use of free natural light. Also helps solar gain. 
  • Install Motion Sensor Lights – External security lights with motion sensors avoid wasting power with limited use. 

Save on Winter Food Bills

With fresh produce more expensive in winter, you can also optimise grocery costs: 

  • Meal Plan - Plan weekly meals in advance and only buy the items needed to avoid waste. Making shopping lists saves money. 
  • Batch Cook - Prepare big batches of stews, casseroles and bolognese sauce and freeze portions to limit future cooking time and energy. 
  • Buy Reduced Produce – Some supermarkets offer fresh fruit and veg that would’ve gone to waste for a reduced price. See where you can find these deals. 
  • Use Leftovers - Be creative with leftovers – make soups, fried rice dishes and more rather than wasting food. 

Adopting some economical food preparation habits allows for savings on the weekly food shop during the pricier winter months.