10 ways to reduce your utility bills

Even if you are not environmentally conscious you will no doubt be happy to lower the cost of those bills. In the last 6 months my gas and electricity for a two bedroom house has cost less than £70 that’s less than £3 a week, here is how I did it.

Andy Hamilton, looking special
Andy Hamilton, looking special
  1. Close doors, windows and curtains at night. Go around the house and make sure that every door shut you will be surprised at how much warmer it will feel.  Obviously an open window will just suck out the heat of the room but did you know that 20% of the heat in the room can be lost just from keeping the curtains open?
  2. Wrap up indoors. Instead of turning up your heating up put on a jumper or sit under a blanket or duvet.
  3. Have short showers instead of Baths.
  4. Put tin foil or silver wrapping paper behind your radiators. This will help reflect the heat back into the room.
  5. Turn off the radiators/heaters that are not in use. I found that my kitchen was hot enough from using the cooker so I turned that radiator off; I don’t sit in my hall or landing so I turned off those radiators and the spare room rarely gets used so the radiator in there is turned off too. With half of the radiators off in the house half the energy is used.
  6. Turn everything off. Leaving electrical items on standby or mobile phone chargers plugged in still uses energy. You might as well be throwing money away.
  7. Microwave more! If everyone in the country who was going to have a jacket potato microwaved it for 10 minutes instead of putting it in the oven we could close down Kingsnorth power station.
  8. Don’t overfill. Only boil enough water in the kettle that you need the same goes for boiling vegetables.
  9. Dry clothes on a washing line, radiator or clothes horse. Tumble driers use load of electricity try not to use them at all.  It is also worth remembering that if you hang shirts up straight after you have washed them they won’t crease so much so you might not need to use an iron. Thus saving yourself even more money.
  10. Let your hair dry naturally instead of using a hair dryer. Not only will this save you cash but it is kinder to your hair.

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6 Comments on 10 ways to reduce your utility bills

  1. Hi I love this article about ways of saving money and the environment but I don’t own a microwave as I don’t really trust them so could I make a suggestion of investing in a slow cooker I do everything in my slow cooker Porridge for breakfast and veggie bolognaise for tea you can even do a jacket potato in them and I am now looking into cake making in them YAY for the slow cooker!!!

  2. Even better, use a DIY hay box or other material of hot box to save about 75% of cooking time/energy/money. Even more if you can make a solar oven to get things started.

    I have 3 hot boxes made from scrounged cardboard and/or polystyrene, shaped to each of my pots and insulated with shredded paper/card, old wool clothes, polystyrene packing materials etc. I’ve been using them for 22yrs and think they make the best soup ever.

  3. A few weeks ago I picked up one of those energy monitors (as advertised on TV)…

    When set up they give an “in your face” indication that you have left the lights on in the other room – or whatever – and is a real incentive to reduce consumption.

    For me, the real “killers” were leaving the TV on when I left the room, and leaving the fluorescent light on in the kitchen.

    Overall I am currently saving just under 30 percent on my previous consumption.

    The monitor is well worth getting!


  4. I’ll have to agree with Jo about the microwave. They emit radiation when being used and change the molecular structure of food, sucking any amount of nutrition right out of your meal. The oven does re-heat most food much better than a microwave. I refuse to ever use/own a microwave or eat food that I know has been microwaved.

    However, everything else is spot-on. Shut off and unplug! If you have an entertainment system, plug everything that you safely can into one of those power strips so you only have one plug to remove, and make sure it’s easily accessible so you’ll have no excuse not to do it. We started unplugging our center when we weren’t using it (which consists of a T.V., record player, receiver, X-Box 360, large speakers, and VCR) and are saving at least $20 a month on our electric bills.

    Winterize your windows as well!

  5. Microwaves emit non-ionising radiation. That means they do not actually break down molecules or atoms in the same way as gamma radiation. Microwaves just move around the molecules which happens when you boil water or put something in a conventional oven. To put it another way, heat is the movement of particles and microwaves move particles therefore they heat things up – that is it! Microwaves in a microwave oven lie on the spectrum between infra red light and radio waves, so are no more harmful than a radio.

    As for the nutrients, they will actually retain more nutrients than through boiling. Boiling will leach water soluble nutrients into the water.

    It is fine to just not prefer the taste of microwave food, it does taste different but they use far less energy than an oven.

  6. I always try to use my microwave instead of the oven/ hob but I also try to use my woodburner instead of my microwave. Tonight I cooked a curry, including pakoras, chapattis, and a kettle’s worth of hot washing-up water all for free, using wood that was blown down in high winds. I feel like I’m getting there but I paid for the beer that went with the curry, so I think it’s time to start a homebrew project next.

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