The winter chill has set in which for many of us means; the heating is turned up, the Christmas films are on, stews are in the oven and lights are on earlier and for longer. These little winter luxuries all ultimately lead to higher energy consumption and increased energy bills! In fact, Ofgem predicts that our bills rise by 20% during the winter! On top of our increased energy spend, with Christmas just around the corner, this time of year can be an expensive time for many of us!
Follow our 3 helpful tips in both the energy spend section and Christmas spend section to help you to spend wisely and save money this winter!
How can I spend less on electricity?
Heat your home smartly!
Research by insurer Direct Line found the average UK household spends £80 a year on unnecessary heating, so be smart with your settings including temperature and timings. According to the Energy Saving Trust, if you turn down the heat on your thermostat by one measly degree you could save 10% on your annual heating bill!
Lower the lights!
Try swapping your lights for LED bulbs. They are safer for children and can also save up to 90% electricity, compared to regular bulbs! There’s also plenty of printable decorations online that you could have a go at making instead of using lots of electrical light decorations!
Make the most out of generated solar energy
If you’re lucky enough have solar panels for your home providing you with free electricity, try and put on larger appliances during the day and monitor your production to judge when is best to use the more energy-hungry appliances! Solar PV can cut your electricity bills by up to 75% and with the Government Feed-In Tariff ending next March, currently worth up to £7,000, there has never been a better time to go solar! Adding battery storage to your home’s energy mix also means you can use your free solar energy during the evenings too!
How can I save money over Christmas?
According to the Bank of England, a typical household in the UK spends over £2,000 each month, however in the run up to Christmas our spending habits change dramatically and we spend an extra £500+!
Don’t buy unnecessary gifts
Sometimes it can be all to easy to get sucked into discounts, deals, offers and numerous ‘Black Friday’ events which seem to happen every single day in the run up to Christmas! We often buy items for the sake of it and then have to find somebody to give the gift to, even if we were never planning on buying for that person at all!
Reuse last year’s leftovers
Each year we usually overbuy and overspend! If you have leftover wrapping paper, decorations, Christmas cards or even gifts – use these first before buying more and see how much you could save!
Wait until the January Sales
Well, this one really made us chuckle in the office! The MoneySavingExpert has an IOU generator so that you can create a printout, letting family and friends know they can expect their gifts in January, once you’ve bought them in the sales – some call it stingy we call it savvy!
Our Christmas Conclusion
The key message within this blog seem to mainly revolve around money savings, but take a look over these again and notice that a lot of these are also better for the planet too! Being more energy efficient means using less energy – ultimately burning fewer fossil fuels, and buying less unnecessary goods will reduce the need for mass production, ultimately reducing your carbon footprint.