My clients don't have any spare income to replace their appliances or purchase energy saving things like double glazing. Is there anything they can do to cut the cost of their bill?

Answer:

Hi Kim,

 

The good news is that you don't necessarily have to spend a lot of money to reduce the cost of your energy bills.

Around 80% of the money spend on energy is related to heating, cooling, fridges and hot water.  A good place to start is to encourage your clients to look at these four areas.  Here's a few cheap and simple ideas for saving money on energy:

Heating

  • pick up a thermometer and use it to heat rooms to around 20 degrees (or whatever's reasonably comfortable).  It's good to remember that each additional 1 degree of heating can add 10% to the cost of running the heater
  • Sealing draughts is also really important as it ensures the money being spent on heating remains inside the house

Cooling

  • fans are around 20 times cheaper to run than air-conditioners.  That means they're a cheap way to stay cool when it's not overly hot
  • windows exposed to the summer sun let a significant amount of heat into a home.  Shading the outside of these windows with vegetation or bamboo blinds will make the home more comfortable and reduce the need for air-conditioning

Fridges

  • you can use a thermometer to check your fridge and freezer temperatures to make sure it's not over cooling.  Aim to keep fridges no colder than 3 degrees and freezers no colder than -18 degrees
  • try and locate fridges and freezers away from any sources of heat, such as clothes driers, heaters, hot sheds or the sun.  Hot fridges and freezers cost more to run
  • if your clients have multiple fridges and freezers and notice that they're not fully stocked, they can transfer the goods to a single fridge or freezer and turn the additional units off until they're needed

Hot water

  • washing machines are generally cheap to run as long as clothes are washed in cold water (using hot water can cost significantly more)
  • apart from keeping an eye on shower times, it's a good idea to swap old, high flow shower roses for low flow versions with your local water company.  You can usually do this for free