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Smart Meter Not So Smart? Other Ways to Save Money on Heating Bills
This entry was posted on 11/10/2016.
The government has pledged to offer a smart meter to every home in the UK by 2020. These digital energy meters are supposed to help us save money on bills by making us more aware of our energy use. However, last week it was revealed that so far only 3.3 million of the 53 million planned have been installed. Not only that, but studies have found that smart meters only result in savings of 3% or less – not great news when the scheme is due to cost consumers £11 billion! These ‘free’ meters are actually paid for by increased bills and most cannot be transferred if you want to switch energy companies. With winter approaching quickly it seems we may need to find smarter ways to save money on heating bills; read on for some great tips.
Over 70% of people are on their supplier’s standard tariff, which will end up costing far more than is necessary. Energy companies intentionally make their tariffs confusing so that it’s hard to tell whether you are paying more than you need to. It can feel like a big chore to switch suppliers, but it’s actually easier to do than ever and can save you a huge amount on your bills.
There are many comparison websites around that will do almost all the work for you. Just fill in a few details and you can find out how much you can save in a few seconds. It’s a good idea to take a look at least once a year as energy companies are so good at getting as much money out of you as possible. Some comparison sites can even track your tariff for you and let you know as soon as there’s a better deal out there!
Invest in some quality bedding
When you’re on the hunt for a new duvet it can be difficult to tell what the difference is between the cheaper and more expensive ends of the market. However, it really is worth spending a bit more on your bedding. Think about it – over your lifetime you will spend around a third of your time sleeping. This amounts to an average of about 229,961 hours, or 26 years! Why spend all that time feeling uncomfortable and cold?
Cheap duvets are made of synthetic fabric that will leave you feeling sweaty as they trap hot air and moisture in the bed with you all night. This also makes a synthetic duvet a lovely home for dust mites, fungus and allergens as they all feed on dampness. A 100% alpaca wool duvet from The Wool Room will give you a perfect night’s sleep every time! This is because wool insulates but is breathable, allowing you to stay at the perfect temperature all night. It will also wick any sweat away as soon as it occurs to leave you comfortable and dry and keep dust mites and mould far away! A wool duvet will keep you and your family warm for decades whatever the temperature in your home.
Try some simple DIY heating hacks
You can get free insulation installed in your home through the big energy companies even if you’re not a customer. This can save you up to £160 a year and make your house much warmer. If you’ve already taken advantage of this but still feel chilly then there may be little things in your home that you can adjust to make a big difference. Here are a few quick and easy things to try:
- Put tinfoil behind radiators – yes, really! This will help to keep heat contained where you need it. The foil will reflect it back into the room so it can’t go through the walls and end up wasted.
- Turn the thermostat down by 1 degree. This is a barely noticeable adjustment that can save you up to 10% on bills over the year.
- Use a draught excluder. You may remember these from your grandma’s house – but granny had some good ideas! There are a wide range of designs available these days so the traditional sausage dog is optional!
- Check for hidden gaps. There might be spaces around pipes or doors that you haven’t noticed before. These will let in draughts and leak out heat, so a few minutes with some sealant can save you money.
It’s a common argument in every home when winter rolls around – one person wants to switch the heating on and is met with a cry of ‘Just put a jumper on!!!’. But sometimes an extra layer or two just doesn’t cut it! If you feel the cold more than your partner but want to avoid evil glances every time you go near the thermostat, why not try using personal heating?
A heated mattress cover will allow you to snuggle up into a wonderfully warm bed every night. Or a heated over-blanket can be used both in bed or on the sofa. The models we stock only use around 2p of electricity for a full 8-hour night’s worth of heat! This is far cheaper than heating your whole home and will feel much cosier too.
If you find that it’s just specific parts of your body that get cold then you can save even more with a foot warmer or heat pad. These can be used wherever you like to save you from the discomfort of cold feet, hands or shoulders. They’re also ideal for pain relief – heat therapy can help to ease stomach or period pains with a heat belt or a foot warmer can relieve you after a day on your feet.