According to statistics brought forward in recent years the average UK household spend on energy fuels, typically gas and electricity, is £106 a month. Compare this amount to ten years ago when the average spend was a mere £69 per month we can see spend has almost doubled. It’s documented that the average amount of energy used per household was 17% lower a decade ago than it is now, which points to a hike in energy costs rather than usage.
With energy companies pushing up heating and fuel costs more homeowners are turning to practical methods of minimising spend on monthly bills. Renewable energy experts Global Energy Systems give four fool-proof ways to keep a handle on home energy bills.
1. Installing an Air Source Heat Pump
Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) are a modern solution for reducing fuel bills and lowering carbon emissions. They are seen as an eco-smart way to heat up the home and provide hot water. The Government also agrees that using an air source heat pump is the way forward, and is pushing an initiative that will see homeowners who install ASHPs benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). This particular scheme can generates extra income for the user.
An air source heat pump is low maintenance and is said to be easier to install than a ground source heat pump. It operates on a system that pulls on heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. A single unit can generate heat from the air even when the temperature is as low as -15° C. Companies often champion such devices, because unlike gas and oil boilers, air source heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over a longer time period.
2. Regulating Set-top Box Usage
The small box that sits close by to the TV in the living room is a powerful source of energy that remains powered day in day out. Homeowners feel the need to keep their set-top box switched on because it is the lynchpin between digital television, phone and internet but experts agree that it’s counterproductive ad can cause energy bills to spike to unreasonable levels.
It has been claimed that having a DVR on your main TV and a regular set-top box on a second TV could equal the energy use of a new refrigerator. Some states in America are campaigning for stricter legislation demanding limited use of set-top boxes for a greener outlook but the responsibility must lie with the user. Switching off your set-top box for just short amounts of time can go some way to lowering home energy bills.
3. Sealing Windows
Of the four tips discussed, sealing loose fitted window panes and frames may be the most overlooked, regardless of the convenience at which the problem can be managed. Replacing single window panes for double glazing isn’t cheap, but there are alternative measures, as given here.
Windows can be covered with transparent material to improve insulation; one such technique known to give the desired effect is securing a layer of bubble wrap against the window pane, which can reduce heat loss from a window by half. Other materials, such as clear plastic window film can also work to your advantage as a short-term method of prevention. Adhesive foam weather stripping is ideal for trapping heat in from loose window fittings to lower costs all-round. This rolled product can be easily installed at the bottom of a window and even the outside edge of the door frame.
4. Minimising Electrical Kitchen Appliances
A microwave will only be used about 70 hours a year in its lifetime. Despite its limited activity it burns as much as 35 kilowatt hours in “vampire power” to power the clock feature when in standby mode. New energy standards in 2016 will attempt to help reduce that wasteful consumption by 75 percent for most microwaves as a result of upgraded efficiencies in power supplies, control boards, and cooking sensors. In the meantime it’s essential that kitchen appliances that require the attention of microwaves be switched off indefinitely when not in use, otherwise they may play a key role in the hike of your energy bills.
This is a guest post from Global Energy Systems, a leading UK renewable energy company supported by over 50 years of international engineering experience. Three generations have been involved in the company, each innovating and developing engineering excellence, particularly in air source heat pumps. For more information on energy saving services and products visit the Global Energy Systems website today.