Save money on your fuel bills

You may be feeling the pinch at the moment (by pinch we are referring to the economic climate of course, but don't fret, there is always the British summer) and there is never a better time than right now to start saving money. Also with rising fuel costs and shortages of oil, gasoline, natural gas, and electricity all over the front-page news where better to start than in the comfort of your own home on your own energy consumption.

So here are some tips on how to reduce your fuel bills without having to kit your entire family out in woolly jumpers and mittens...

Draft excluders

These are quick and cheap to fit and are very effective at stopping cold air from entering your home and hot air from escaping.

Initial cost: About £15 per item + fitting.


Low energy lighting

Low energy light bulbs (often referred to as fluorescent bulbs) are only a tiny bit more expensive to buy yet they use about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, are safer to operate, produce about 75 percent less heat and last up to 10 times longer. They are available in many different sizes and shapes and fit in almost any fixture, both indoors and outdoors. Although the bulbs themselves cost a fraction more than the standard bulbs you can significantly reduce your electricity bill and cut energy costs associated with home cooling.

Product: 20watt BC/B22 Bayonet Cap (Equivalent to 100watt) energy saving light bulb
Initial cost: Around £2.20 per light bulb
Reduction in lighting bill: 75%

If every UK home replaced just one of their light bulbs with a low energy light bulb we would reduce green house gases equivalent to the emissions of over 160,000 cars.

Turning off electrical appliances

This table gives you an idea of how many Watts typical appliances use on standby compared to when fully operational.










Video recorder



DVD player



Digital TV top box



Computer and peripherals









Broadband modem



Answering machine



Mobile phone charger






All figures are in Watts Per Hour


We are not about to promote that you turn all these appliances off all the time, imagine, instead we suggest that if you can, without losing important settings, turn them off at the wall when you are not using them. If you turn the above appliances off at night, say for 10 hours, then you are saving 10 X 82 = 820 Watt-hours, or 0.82 Kilowatt hours (kWh) per day. Given the cost of 1 Kilowatt hour from British Gas is around 12p  per kWh you would be saving around £50  per year.

OK so you're not going to retire on that any time soon but its money in the pocket none the less.

Initial cost: £0
Reduction in electricity bill: Approximately 10%

Insulate your loft

As you know hot air rises and in most cases it keeps going past your loft and out through your roof. Put a stop to that by laying down some loft insulation. Fairly easy to install and with grants available from the Government you can't afford not to insulate your loft.

Product: 150mm Loft Roll Insulation - 1140 x 5330 x 150mm
Initial cost: Around £20 per roll or £4.50 per Square meter
Reduction in energy bills: Around 20%.

Replace your windows with double glazing

This creates a big saving over time however there is a fairly large initial investment. As well as reducing heat loss and noise pollution it will also increase the value of your property.

Initial cost: Approximately £500 per window for supply and fix of new double glazing, slightly less if you are converting a sash window to double glazing.
Reduction in energy bills: Around £100 or 10-25% depending on overall energy usage.

Cover your immersion heater

If you have an immersion heater hidden in some cupboard somewhere then lagging it (lagging is the material wrapping around pipes or boilers to prevent loss of heat) will save you on your electricity bills as it helps to keep the tank warm.

Product: Immersion Tank Cylinder / Lagging Jacket
Initial cost: £20 + fitting.


Turn down your heating

Sounds a bit obvious (and detrimental to your cosy evenings in front of the telly) but just reducing your thermostat by a few degrees will save you money on your central heating bill.

Try reducing your thermostat by 1 degree per day and see what is comfortable for you. The optimum temperature for comfortable living is 19-20 degrees but you may find you can go lower than this and still be functioning OK without exhaling visible breath. Also try turning down the thermostat by a few more degrees each night and then turn it up again in the morning, this will save you more money and possibly provide you with a better nights' sleep (due to greater physical comfort but saving money is also helpful for a peaceful sleep).

Initial cost: £0
Reduction in central heating bills: Reducing by 1 degree can save 10%.



Yes, we have come to the end of the article, but one last tip: Close your curtains as soon as it gets dark.  This will stop heat from escaping (and people peeking into your home as they walk by...come on, we all do it).