Do you leave your phone charger plugged in all the time? Or forget to turn the immersion off? We’re back with our second round of energy-saving tips. This time we’re looking at habits you can add to your routine, helping you develop energy and money-saving habits. If you missed our first blog on Everyday Savers, you can find them here. We know these tips and habits will not work for everyone, but we hope they will get you thinking about your situation and the habits you can make to save.
Increases in the cost of goods and services are having an impact on many people living in Ireland. This blog’s tips, tricks, and life hacks are suggestions to help you find better value and stretch your euro.
MABS advisers are here and ready to help you through the MABS 6-Step Money Advice Process. This process will help you maximise your income and tackle and prioritise debt and spending. Advisers can help you access social welfare entitlements and hardship funds to get you through.
Read on to find out what easy habits you might create to save on your energy bills.
Around the house
- Keep your curtains closed at night to conserve heat, even in empty rooms. If you have unused empty rooms, consider turning the heat off in these rooms – if not already done so.
- Turn off the lights every time you leave a room. Try to make this a habit for everyone in the house.
- Turn off the immersion, as they are a costly way to heat water. Consider a timer to ensure it turns off in case you forget. Some newer boiler systems come with controls to heat the water and home heating separately. This means you can set the timer for hot water and heating the house at different times. This is particularly handy if you have a set routine for showers and using hot water, and it helps to keep costs down.
Unplug your appliances
- Unplug unused mobile phone chargers and any other electronics or appliances when you do not need them, for example, before going to bed every night. Tell your children why you’re doing it. You can also get smart plugs that you control on your phone, so you can set timers and schedules to ensure even if a charger is left plugged in, it will turn off at a certain time automatically.
- Dry the clothes out on the clothesline if possible, instead of using the dryer, which is expensive to run, and/or just use the dryer to finish the drying. Using a clothes horse inside the house is another option.
- If you are using the dryer, use it in the evening or when everyone is home, as it helps to heat the area around the dryer.
- Do not use the radiators to dry clothes as it lowers the temperature in the room (meaning you put the heat on more) and can create dampness which isn’t good for the air you’re breathing.
Cook & save money at the same time!
- As with the clothes dryer, put the oven on to cook food in the evening when it’s cold outside, which helps keep the house warm. Or if you’re baking with the children, do it in the mornings to help heat the kitchen. If using both, you could use one and then the other to keep the heat longer.
- Defrost your fridge and freezer regularly as this helps to save energy.
- When using the oven, try and prepare a few meals to get maximum efficiency out of it as it costs the same to cook one thing as filling the whole oven. Batch cooking saves on the fuel/electricity costs of your oven and your shopping bill.
Working from home
Working from home has presented many opportunities for a better work-life balance and new challenges. It means that we are potentially using more electricity or gas for heating. This may result in an increased bill that will come as a bit of a surprise. Shorter and colder days may add to this pressure, so follows these steps to help take control.
- Get up and move around for at least one minute each hour to stay warm and active. Sitting for 8 hours can make you feel cold, and you might switch on the heating unnecessarily.
- Switch off your laptop or computer and screens at the end of each day.
- Because you’re at home, you can take advantage of the other tips in this blog – like unplugging appliances and getting clothes dry.
Did you know you may be eligible for tax relief if working from home?
Checking your bill
- If you have a prepay meter, you will need to regularly top it up as there are daily standing charges and tariffs.
- Know how much energy you are using and compare all the available energy prices and plans. Most contracts are 12 months, so it’s worth shopping around or calling your energy providers to renew your contract so you get a better deal.
Have you got some ideas?
These are just a few ideas, tips, and life hacks that will positively impact reducing the cost of running your home. The best thing is that you can start them today. Do you have any ideas to share or great ideas to help reduce energy consumption? Head over to our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages to share.
You can contact your local office here, call the MABS Helpline on 0818 07 2000, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 8pm.
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