Four energy saving hacks that cost pennies but save hundreds


Energy bills are never far from the headlines at the moment, with more misery in store next month when families face a huge £693 per year price hike.

But there are baby steps you can take to cut your energy bills as a very low cost.

While a new, more energy-efficient boiler, replacement windows or upgraded insulation will all cut costs, they are beyond the means of many families, who are balancing rising energy bills with rocketing fuel and food costs.

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Increased National Insurance payments and rising council tax and broadband bills are also coming next month, putting a strain on household budgets.

And as a result, many Brits will be thinking about how to cut down their energy usage to slash the cost of their bills.

Luckily you can pick up supplies from the supermarket for as little as 60p that could help you make decent savings.

Tashema Jackson, energy expert at energyhelpline, said: “While some tips may seem fairly low tech, they can make a difference in how much gas or electricity it takes to get your home to your ideal temperature.”

Here are some of the budget ways you can make a difference to your heating bills.

Hack 1: Switch to LEDs

Cost: From 80p extra per bulb

Potential saving:£96 per bulb

Kicking off with a nice easy one – when you need to replace a lightbulb, spend a bit extra and replce it with an LED one.

Although the upfront cost of the LED bulb is greater, it has an average rated life of 20,000 hours, while the filament bulb only lasts for 1,000 hours. So, one LED bulb would last as long as 20 incandescent bulbs.

The biggest benefits of LED light bulbs are their energy efficiency. An LED bulb that uses only 5 watts of power does the same job as a filament bulb that uses 40 watts. This drives real energy savings.

On an example energy rate of £0.28 per kWh, the LED light bulb would cost £28 over its lifetime. The incandescent bulb, however, would cost £224 over the same period.

Man puts clingfilm on his windows
Putting clingfilm on your windows gives a similar effect to double glazing without the hefty price tag

Hack 2: Clingfilm your windows

Cost: Around 60p

Save: £30 per year

Create the effect of double glazing without the hefty price tag by placing a layer of plastic film on window frames to seal up more pockets of hot air that could be escaping, or cold air filtering in.

Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you around £30 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust.

It can be achieved from as little as 60p if you buy something as simple as cling film from a supermarket.

You can buy actual window film kits for around £5 to £10 too which is far cheaper than the cost of full double glazing.

Hack 3: Tinfoil behind radiator

Cost: 65p for a roll of foil

Save £20 a year

Putting tin foil behind your radiator could save on your energy bills every time you put the heating on.

It works by reflecting the hot air coming from the back of your radiator back into the room, instead of at the wall.

Simply put sellotape on the corner of the foil and pop it behind your radiator.

British Gas says the trick could save you £20 a year.

If you want to push out the boat, DIY stores such as Screwfix or B&Q stock special heavier-duty radiator foil such as this.

Hack 4: Draught excluders

Cost: £3

Saving: Up to £74 a year

Who remembers the sausage dog draft excluders in your grandma’s house?

She had the right idea – to save money, you want to stop cold air coming in and prevent warm air getting out.

Millions are wasting a whopping £128 a year on their heating bills alone, according to Uswitch.

DIY draught-proofing starts at just over £3 for a roll of self-adhesive draught-excluding tape, or you could get the knitting needles out.

Whatever you use, place it block up unwanted gaps around windows, doors and chimneys that let cold air in and warm air out.

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