17 clever ways to reduce your energy bills

Energy bills
Last updated on 24 July 20247 min read

We run through the easiest and most effective ways to cut your household energy costs

Photo of author Melody Abeni

Written byMelody Abeni

A cartoon yellow energy bill with a black downwards arrow next to it, and a smart meter in the background with a light green filter over it

💷 Small adjustments at home can collectively lead to significant savings

🚿 Consider changing your habits in the kitchen and the bathroom

⚡ Getting solar panels is a proven path to lower electricity bills

You don't have to make drastic lifestyle changes or spend a lot of money to lower your energy bills. Just a few tweaks and conscious choices can make a big difference, as well as helping the environment.

From minor adjustments to larger upgrades, there are lots of strategies available to help trim your energy costs. In this article, we'll explore 17 of them, sharing tips on simple techniques that can lead to significant savings over time.

How to reduce your energy bills

Whether you're more interested in cutting costs or decreasing your carbon footprint, these tips will empower you to take control of your energy consumption and expenses.

1. Turn off unused lights

Flicking the switch when leaving a room can save you at least £7 a year on your electricity bills, making it one of the easiest and cheapest ways to reduce energy bills.

Even though it might not seem like much, it can make a difference as part of a larger contribution. By making this small change in behaviour, you can contribute to both cost savings and environmental sustainability.

2. Switch to LED bulbs

While LED bulbs may have a slightly higher upfront cost compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, they usually last much longer and use significantly less energy.

Replacing old bulbs with LEDs throughout your home can help you quickly recoup the initial investment, as you can save £3-£4 per bulb per year (Energy Saving Trust, 2024).

LED bulbs are widely available and easy to install, making it a quick switch with a big impact.

3. Switch off (most) electrical devices at the plug

Save money by unplugging or completely powering down your appliances. By simply unplugging appliances or using a standby saver or smart plug, you can save around £45 each year.

Most electrical devices can be safely turned off at the plug without affecting their programming. While some appliances may require standby power for specific functions, the majority can be powered down completely to minimise energy consumption.

Verified expert

An easy way to save money on your energy bill is to understand your ‘phantom load’, which is the energy used by appliances left switched on or on standby in your home. This wasted energy makes up around 30% of the average energy bill so there are big savings to be made. Computers, media servers, set-top boxes, heated towel rails and underfloor heating can be major energy stealers.

Headshot of Dr Steve Buckley, Head of Data Science

Dr. Steve Buckley

Energy Doctor and Head of Data Science at Loop

With a background in statistics and data science, Steve is in charge of product direction at Loop and has worked at multiple successful startups.

4. Get solar panels

A solar panel system is a great long-term solution to reducing electricity bills, but it's not necessarily easy or cheap to get started as the initial solar installation costs can be high.

However, if you're looking to avoid the large price tag, a solar panel subscription like Sunsave Plus offers a convenient alternative.

With our subscription, you can have a solar & battery system installed at no upfront cost, and instead you’ll pay the same fixed monthly fee across 20 years. Sunsave Plus also comes with the Sunsave Guarantee, which includes monitoring and maintenance support, replacement parts, insurance, and downtime cover. 

To sign up for Sunsave Plus, answer a few quick questions below, select 'Sunsave Plus', and we’ll get back to you.

5. Get a smart meter

Installing a smart meter is an easy and cost-effective way to monitor and reduce energy bills instantly. Smart meters provide real-time information on energy usage, helping you identify areas where you can save.

Installation is usually free, and the meter automatically sends usage updates to your supplier, eliminating the need for manual readings. It's a simple yet effective tool for managing your energy usage and reducing expenses.

What’s more, you also need a smart meter if you want to benefit from any solar export tariffs.

6. Draught-proof your home

Lots of UK homes, regardless of age, can experience heat loss through draughts around doors, windows, and floors. But by sealing gaps and cracks, you can prevent heat from escaping, leading to noticeable savings on your energy expenses with a little investment and effort.

Professional draught-proofing could set you back around £250 initially, but can save you approximately £80 annually. Alternatively, DIY draught-proofing solutions are often more affordable.

7. Keep good kitchen habits

Simple habits like avoiding overfilling the kettle can save you around £10 annually on electricity bills. Fitting an aerator on kitchen taps also reduces water consumption without affecting functionality, saving approximately £19 per year.

Also, sometimes the larger appliances aren't the best tool for the job. Using an air fryer instead of your oven, or a microwave instead of your hob, can be cheaper and often faster.

8. Check your fridge freezer

Regularly checking and maintaining your fridge freezer is a simple way to reduce electricity bills. For it to work at its best:

  • Don't overstuff your fridge
  • Pack your freezer (more frozen stuff = more coldness)
  • Only use the 'fast freeze' switch when necessary
  • Defrost your freezer regularly

Keep the temperature at the recommended levels for fridges (5°C) and freezers (-18°C). Colder settings just waste energy and don't improve your food quality.

Most modern units allow you to adjust temperature settings easily, but it's worth investing in a fridge thermometer if yours doesn't have a temperature gauge.

9. Use your washing machine carefully

By being more mindful of your washing machine usage, you can save around £24 annually on your electricity bill.

Simple adjustments like washing clothes at lower temperatures, using shorter wash cycles, and washing full loads (instead of small amounts) can make a big impact on energy consumption. You should also find out if your washing machine has an 'eco mode', and check out Loop Energy's handy guide to using appliances on eco mode.

These practices not only save energy but also prolong the lifespan of your clothes and washing machine.

Verified expert

Switching your appliances to eco mode is an easy and effective way to cut your energy bills and reduce your environmental impact. It just takes a quick setting change! Eco cycles might run longer, which can be a bit confusing, but they always use less energy. This is because heating and cooling are the most energy-intensive parts of the process.

Headshot of Dr Steve Buckley, Head of Data Science at Loop

Dr. Steve Buckley

Energy Doctor and Head of Data Science at Loop

With a background in statistics and data science, Steve is in charge of product direction at Loop and has worked at multiple successful startups.

10. Skip the tumble dryer

Tumble dryers are convenient, but they use a lot of electricity, which means higher bills. Air-drying clothes outdoors or using a drying rack indoors requires minimal effort and incurs no additional costs.

Making this simple switch in your laundry routine can have a noticeable impact, saving you around £24 on your electricity bills each year.

11. Fill your dishwasher

To make the most of each cycle and reduce the frequency of running your dishwasher, be sure to run full loads, just like you do (or will) with your washing machine.

While dishwashers are designed to be energy efficient, running them with fewer dishes wastes both water and electricity. Sticking to full loads and reducing your runs each week can save you at least £12 a year without too much effort.

12. Upgrade your old appliances

If it's time to upgrade your appliances, opt for more energy-efficient models with higher energy ratings - you'll want to get as close to an 'A' rating for maximum efficiency.

Although energy-efficient appliances might have a higher price tag at the start, they'll save you money in the long run.

13. Have showers instead of baths

Showers generally require less water and energy than baths, making them a more efficient choice. Swap one bath a week for a shower and you'll save about £9 a year on energy costs.

If you enjoy long showers with a side of karaoke, just cutting them down to four minutes (about the length of one song) will save you about £55 a year on energy costs.

14. Increase your boiler insulation

Save £40 a year by switching to a thicker insulation jacket for your hot water cylinder, such as an 80mm British Standard Jacket. This upgrade is relatively inexpensive and can be easily installed by a professional, or as your own DIY project.

Better boiler insulation means lower energy bills and more money in your pocket.

15. Turn your thermostat down

Lowering the temperature on your thermostat by just 1°C could save a typical three-bedroom home an average of £100 on heating costs per year.

While the temperature you set will primarily depend on your household's tolerance levels, this tweak requires minimal effort and can be managed with a smart thermostat.

16. Bleed your radiators

Over time, air can become trapped inside radiators, causing them to work less efficiently. Bleeding them involves releasing this trapped air, allowing hot water to circulate more effectively.

You'll know it's time to bleed your radiators if you can feel cold patches or hear gurgling noises when you switch them on. All you need is a radiator key, and this will keep them working at their best and heating your home evenly.

17. Use reflective panels behind radiators

Reflective panels sit behind your radiators and bounce heat back into the room instead of letting it escape through the walls. They are relatively cheap and easy to install.

When you use reflective panels with your radiators, it improves your heating distribution and reduces the need for constant heating, ultimately leading to noticeable savings on your energy bills.

Summary

From simple adjustments like turning off lights to larger investments like upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, each of these practical steps contributes to a more sustainable and cost-effective home.

Pick a few of these measures to adopt and you'll see a significant difference in your household's energy usage and expenses.

Cutting your energy bills: FAQs

How can I lower my energy bill in the UK?

To lower your energy bill, consider simple adjustments like turning off lights when not in use, setting your thermostat wisely and maintaining and using appliances efficiently.

If you're happy to spend a bit more, draught-proofing your home and switching to energy-efficient LED bulbs can be a big help, as well as switching to more energy efficient devices. Also, consider getting a smart meter to help manage your energy better.

What is the best first step for reducing energy consumption?

The best first step for reducing energy consumption is to conduct an energy audit of your home. Identify areas where energy is being wasted, such as leaky windows or inefficient appliances.

Once you pinpoint the problem areas, you can take targeted actions to address them, like sealing drafts, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, and improving insulation.

How can I use less energy at home?

To use less energy at home, start by turning off lights and appliances when not in use. Opt for energy-efficient appliances and LED light bulbs. Adjust your thermostat to a slightly lower temperature to save some cash when it gets colder.

It's also a good idea to seal draughty doors and windows and to use curtains or blinds to regulate indoor temperature. Lastly, encourage your household to adopt energy-saving habits, like taking shorter showers and air-drying laundry.

Photo of author Melody Abeni

Written byMelody Abeni

Based in London, Melody is a specialist green technology writer who has been covering sustainability, climate action and ESG for the past five years, after gathering operational experience in green investing and financial services. She has written for various industry publications, including renewable technology advisor The Eco Experts, and she holds a Master’s degree in law from Birkbeck University.

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