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See how Home Solar Panels can save you money on your energy bill whilst reducing your carbon foot print.

Not only will you save money on your energy bills but you will receive income tax relief on the money you make from the Feed In Tariff, allowing you to build a nice little nest egg courtesy of HMRC!

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10 ways to lower your energy bills…

With energy costs on the rise and solar power growing in popularity, often people’s first instinct when they want to make serious inroads into reducing their bills is to look at large solutions like solar panels or solar heating. But actually, while these are great ways of driving down the costs of your energy bills there are an awful lot more small changes you can make before having a solar energy system fitted.

 

Here’s a few hints and tips to help you take control of your bills, starting with the cheapest and working up towards the most expensive. In fact, the first two cheapest changes are actually free!

 

Turn down your thermostat

Over the last 30 years the temperature of the average home has risen from around 12 degrees in 1970 to around 17.5 today. However, thermostats are frequently pushed up a lot higher at 21 – 24 and we heat all of our rooms for a lot longer. And then there are the areas that we heat which we rarely stay in for great lengths of time, like bathrooms and corridors, which were traditionally rarely heated many years ago.

 

Consistently keeping your radiator down by just one degree can lower your energy bill by around 8%. You can take this one step further if you have thermostats on your radiators by turning down those in areas that are rarely used, like spare rooms and corridors.

 

Wear more clothes indoors!

It’s surprising the number of people who don’t like having high energy bills but who turn up their thermostats because they want to wear skimpy clothing, e.g. t-shirts indoors during the winter. Adding an extra layer, even a thin one if you don’t like bulky clothing, can help you to drastically reduce your energy bills by letting you lower your thermostat.

 

Reduce your tumble dryer use

On wet days tumble dryers can be a godsend to getting everything dry, but they do eat electricity. A standalone drying rack used a couple of times a week and left in the warmest room in the house can help cut down the amount of electricity consumed drying clothes.

 

If you have Economy 7, run your appliances during the night

If you have Economy 7, you have the capacity to have cheaper electricity during the night. To run washing machines or dishwashers on timers, which many modern machines have, or by using a timer plug can save money every time you use them. However you do have to be set up with two meters, one that operate on the standard rate and one that operates on the cheap rate, so if you have only one you may have to ask your energy supplier to fit a second meter.

 

Check your boiler and radiators for efficiency

When was the last time you had your boiler serviced? A good service can cost under £100 and help it work more efficiently by heating the house and hot water much faster. In addition, a power flush of the system helps remove the accumulated rust and crud that congeals at the bottom of your radiators and stops them from heating up properly. You may also find having the radiators bled to remove air in the system will stop any cold stops from appearing in them.

 

Insulate your loft and cavity wall

A huge amount of energy leaves a property through the loft and walls. A good thickness of loft insulation can stop this in its tracks and help keep your home noticeably warmer. This is a relatively simple DIY job although it is a little messy and unpleasant working with some mineral-based insulation. Cavity wall insulation however is a job for the professionals and involves injecting a plastic-based liquid into the cavities which expands and hardens off, preventing the cold air from whipping around the cavity and the heat to escape through to the outside.

 

Check for drafts through keyholes and letterboxes

These are an often forgotten source of drafts. If you do not have a well fitting letterbox or cover for your keyhole you will almost certainly find cold air leaking in to your house. Use a keyhole cover or alternatively a quick cheap solution is to cover the keyholes with a piece of tape. You could also block up your existing letterbox and add an outside post box on the wall of your property near your front door. Door curtains will also as a draft excluder and insulator.

 

Check your windows

Old, poorly performing double glazing is one of the single biggest sources of drafts in a property. If you cannot afford to replace it, consider trying to block up some of the drafts with sealant. It is also possible to buy triple glazing kits, which at their cheapest and simplest is a sheet of sticky plastic stretched across the window and shrunk into place using a hairdryer.

 

Once you have addressed all the energy leaks in your home, you’ll find your bills come down automatically and you’ll also start to think differently about how you use your appliances. Now is the time to consider fitting a good solar energy system to help you bring down those bills further and maybe even bring in an income.

 

Fit solar panels for electricity

Solar panels are the most popular solar energy system available. If you have an appropriately angled pitched roof, the average solar panel system can save you up to £180 a year on your energy bills and produce an income of around £550 a year, even if winter.

 

Fit solar thermal for hot water

Solar thermal is another form of solar energy, but this time to give you hot water. It’s not as simple to fit as solar panels, as you need to have a hot water tank and appropriate piping put into place if you don’t have them, but it should provide you with a year round source of hot water and much lower gas bills as your boiler will not need to heat the water up as it did before. If you want to slash your energy bills, it makes sense to make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible first before adding in solar energy solutions…