Still working from home? 10 ways to save money at home this winter
It has been a tough year for everyone and with household bills typically rising as we head into the winter months, financial pressures are set to be exacerbated further. With the cold weather here to stay, on going COVID-19 restrictions and home working, Brits could see their energy costs rise by up to £300 meaning there is no better time to look at ways you can save money this winter.
Experts at Hitachi Personal Finance have provided their tops tips on how to save money on your household bills.
1. Only boil the water you need
As a nation we consume 165 million cups of tea each day, yet two thirds of us boil far more water than we need. Collectively, UK tea drinkers could collectively save nearly £1m a day in electricity savings by only boiling what's needed. That's not even including coffee drinkers, or anyone else boiling water for cooking.
2. Don’t over shop
For most households, a fridge is the single biggest power consumer, running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To keep costs as low as possible, pack your fridge about two thirds full without overcrowding. This allows the cold air to circulate and means less than a third of the cold air can escape when you open the door.
3. Lower the thermostat
While it may seem like a small change, adjusting your thermostat to just one degree lower can have a huge impact on your heating bill, reducing it by up to 10%.
4. Bleed your radiators
If a radiator is colder at the top than at the bottom this usually means it needs bleeding. This process releases the trapped air that stops radiators heating up properly, impacting the efficiency of your heating system.
5. Take a shower
On average taking a shower instead of a bath saves around 40% of the water, and therefore cuts the cost of heating that water. Of course, this is dependent on the type of shower you have and how long you shower for.
6. Consider upgrading your thermostat
Updating your thermostat to a smart thermostat allows you to create automatic and programmable temperature settings based on daily schedules, weather conditions, and heating and cooling needs. While the initial cost of this tech may seem high, keep in mind that savings through a smart thermostat could end up paying for itself in the long run.
7. Check your windows
Simply closing and opening your curtains or blinds will help to reduce the energy use of your home. Closing your blinds or curtains can add insulation to your windows resulting in less heat loss, while on sunny winter days, opening your windows will allow sunlight to shine through and help to heat inside spaces.
8. Heating help for renters
Since April, all rental properties with an energy-performance rating of F or G must be improved to E, and this cost is payable by your landlord. So, if you are renting, check if your home will be made more energy efficient as this will help reduce your heating bills.
9. Warm home discount
The warm home discount deducts £140 from winter energy bills, which benefits mainly OAPs without bumper private pension schemes. However, some low-income families and people receiving benefits also qualify for this assistance. Other benefit recipients should ask their supplier if they qualify for this discount.
10. Tax relief
If you are working from home, tax can be claimed back on up to £6 a week to help cover the additional costs, such as higher energy bills. To claim tax back on working from home costs you will need to complete a P87 form online.
You won't have to show receipts or prove this is how much you spent, however, if you have been reimbursed by your employer, you can’t claim, as they have already included this.
You usually get the money back by paying less tax, rather than receiving a refund and therefore, your tax code may be adjusted to show this change.
Vincent Reboul, Managing Director of Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance, commented: “The effects of the pandemic, compounded by the fact many people are still working from home have meant there are widespread concerns around budgeting for heating costs this winter. However, small changes around the home could save you hundreds of pounds on your bills.
“Renters should also be aware that since April those in properties with an energy-performance rating of F or G must be improved to E and this cost is payable by your landlord. If this applies to you, check with your landlord as a more energy efficient property will help to reduce your heating bills.”
For more expert insight into how to get your home ready this winter, click here.