The last decade has been a tough one for many of us financially, and whilst day-to-day living costs such as utility bills have continued to increase, wages have actually decreased in real terms. Over the years, this means that the cost of gas and electricity has started to take a larger and larger cut of our pay packets.
Across the UK as a whole, we spend an average of 4.4% of our salaries on gas and electricity bills. However, with the inflation of salaries in London, and lower wages in more rural areas, the percentage of our income that gets spent on energy bills varies quite significantly from one area of the country to another.
According to research carried out by The Electrical Guys, the region spending the greatest proportion of wages on utilities is Wales, where the average person spends 4.9% of their salary on gas and electricity each year. By contrast, in London the average person spends just 3.5% of their annual salary on gas and electricity (although usually an awful lot more on the house itself!).
With energy bills being a concern for people living all over the UK, we’ve put together some tips to help you keep your bills as low as possible.
How to save money on gas and electricity.
There are lots of simple steps you can take to keep your energy bills to a minimum. For example:
- Switch to LED bulbs – LED light bulbs use 90% less energy than traditional halogen bulbs.
- Wear more layers – Next time you’re considering putting the heating on, why not wrap up in some extra layers instead? Having the heating on for less time will really help to reduce your bills.
- Turn your heating down a degree or two – If you’ve got a thermostat, try turning it down slightly to avoid getting high bills.
- Add foil to the back of your radiators – Foil will help to reflect heat back into the room, so your radiators can be more efficient.
- Choose energy-efficient appliances – Next time you’re buying an electrical appliance, shop around to find the most energy-efficient option available.
- Service your boiler – If your boiler is working effectively, it will use less energy. It’s recommended to get your boiler serviced once a year.
- Bleed your radiators – Pockets of air can get trapped in radiators, making them less efficient. Bleeding your radiators can help to release this trapped air to ensure they are as energy-efficient as possible.
- Invest in insulation – Insulating your home might seem expensive, but taking a few measures such as insulating your loft and using draft excluders will help to keep your home warm, meaning you can save money on heating.
- Get in good habits – Simple things like turning lights off when you leave a room, and not over-filling the kettle, can make a big difference to your energy consumption. Keep energy efficiency in mind, and small changes could make a big difference.
- Use energy-saving apps – There are lots of apps available to help you see how much energy you are using, as well as giving you tips to reduce your usage and allowing you to control your heating and lighting remotely.
By implementing these suggestions, you’re sure to see a reduction in your bills, so you can keep more of your hard-earned wages in your pocket.