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Ways to beat increasing energy costs in 2019

You are most likely aware of the increases in the price of electricity, water, and other utilities. According to the Office for National Statistics the cost of gas has almost tripled, rising by 190 per cent, in just ten years. While the cost of electricity has increased by 120 per cent in the same period, meaning it has more than doubled. These figures may seem alarming, but there are a number of ways that you can avoid paying more for your energy. Here are our top tips on how you can make your home more energy efficient, reduce environmental harm, and save money on your energy costs:

Collect and recycle rainwater

A simple way to save money on your water bills is to collect rainwater and use it as a clean, renewable resource. The water can be pumped through a filtration system and then used safely for things like showering or laundry. Or, you can simply collect rainwater in water storage tanks and then use it directly in the garden. Tanks for Everything explain how you can benefit from a rainwater harvesting system - “With water being a valued commodity many parts of the UK are now charging households for their water usage. There are many benefits to storing rainwater in a rainwater harvesting system, the main one being the saving made on metered water costs which can see up to 50% savings.” Collecting rainwater is a simple way to reduce water wastage and save money on your utility bills.

Use comparison websites

Using price comparison websites is a great way to save money on your energy bills. Make sure that you regularly review price plans from all UK energy suppliers and look out for the best deals. Switching providers is simple, can be done quickly online, and according to Simply Switch means average savings of around £390 a year!

Generate your own electricity with solar

With rising electricity costs and a significant decrease in the cost of solar systems, solar power has become an extremely cost-effective energy alternative for many households across the UK. Solar panels harvest sunlight and then convert this into electricity. In the right conditions, solar has the potential to power your whole household without having any negative impact on the environment.

Energy prices have soared over the past few years and are expected to continue rising at a similar rate. Having solar panels installed can result in substantial savings on your energy bills as solar allows you to effectively forward purchase your electricity at a set price. This means that you will not be subject to any future energy price increases.

Once you have paid off the solar system's costs and installation fees, you can then enjoy a free electricity supply for anywhere between 25 and 40 years, which is the average lifespan of a solar panel system. According to energy experts at MyPower you should typically be able to pay off your solar power buying and installation costs in 6-9 years and see a typical return on investment of 11-16% or higher.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, you could also actually make an extra income from solar with the Feed in Tariff (FiT). This government scheme means that households who choose to install solar panels will receive a set payment for any energy that don’t use and export back to the grid. These payments are set for 20 years and offer a great opportunity to earn some extra money from switching to renewable solar energy.

Use less electricity

Reducing the amount of electricity you use can significantly lower your energy bills and save you money on energy costs. If you’re not using something, then make sure that you turn it off from the wall instead of leaving it on standby - this includes computers, lights, and any other electronics. Spending less time on electronics and getting rid of any unnecessary gadgets is another great way to reduce your electricity usage. You should also try dimming the brightness on your mobile phone and turning of 3G to save electricity and money on charging.

Final thought

With the prices of electricity, water, and other utilities increasing, many people are looking for ways to save money on their energy costs. Switching to greener practices such as - recycling water, switching to solar power, and using less electricity - are all great ways to save money on your energy bills, while reducing your carbon footprint and doing your bit to help the environment.

Article by Ella Hendrix for Bristol Property Centre, Feb 2019