7 tips for how to save energy at home after Ofgem price cap hike

Energy bills have skyrocketed due to Ofgem’s new energy price cap, with likely worse to come due to the Russia-Ukraine war

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But what can you do to lower your energy bills with no further government support on the horizon?

NationalWorld has curated some of the top tips on how to cut your costs.

Gas prices have been boosted because Russia is a major producer of the fossil fuel (Image: Adobe)

Quick wins on energy bills

Keep an eye on your prepaid electricity meter

Most prepayment meters for electricity and gas have tariffs that are subject to the price cap, leaving households that have them fully exposed to the 54% increase and their bills could rise to more than £2,000 a year.

Before the price cap increase, there were some suggestions that consumers could temporarily bypass the increase by adding the maximum possible charge to their electricity meter (it wouldn’t work for gas meters unless you’re with Octopus). new upper limit introduced – therefore delay as to when the new rate would apply.

Prepaid meters can often be found in the homes of the UK’s most vulnerable people (Image: Adobe)

However, money saving expert Martin Lewis had a mixed reaction when following this up with Ofgem and the utilities.

For example, Scottish Power said the new tariffs would apply from April 1, regardless of whether the meter was topped up before then.

Money saving expert Martin Lewis has mixed messages about maxing out your prepayment meter to break the new price cap (Picture: PA).

But if you’re with another provider, it might be worth checking how your meter reading compares to what it was before the price cap changed.

As it’s been a few weeks since the new price cap went into effect, now might be the time to check if you’re being overcharged for your usage.

It’s that little piece of advice we’re always given but forget to follow.

According to the Energy Confidence – an independent organization campaigning for energy efficiency and sustainable energy use – you could save £55 a year by switching off devices like TVs and games consoles completely instead of leaving them on standby.

Turning off your TV properly can save you a lot of money on your annual bill (Image: Adobe)

This estimate and all of the organization’s other estimates included in this article are based on the new energy price cap.

Limiting your shower time to four minutes — the equivalent of a lengthy pop song — could also take money off your annual bill.

If you do this and skip a bath a week, you could save £35 per person in your household, says the Energy Saving Trust.

If you’re lucky enough to own a gym membership, you can maximize that savings by post-workout shower or swim.

Keep an eye on your devices

Appliances, especially “wet” appliances like dishwashers and washing machines, are notorious for burning energy.

The Energy Saving Trust estimates you could save £28 off your annual energy bill by keeping your washes at 30 degrees and reducing the number you do per week by one.

If you have a dishwasher, it’s also a good idea to only run it when it’s full.

Draft excluders can eliminate those pesky jets of cold air while saving money (Image: Adobe)

Getting rid of jets of cold air that you often get through windows and doors could mean you’re less likely to need your heater.

And that could save you a lot of money, according to Norton Finance.

With this hack, getting it done professionally is probably more effective.

However, this would cost the average occupant of a two bed flat an estimated £110 (with the Energy Saving Trust saying the average annual saving on energy bills could be £55) and the average occupant of a three bed semi detached house £240 ( with an annual saving of £95).

So if you go the professional route, you’ll save more in the longer term—but you won’t save money right away.

Medium to long-term energy cost savings

These hacks all require professional work, so you won’t save on energy bills right away.

Instead, you’ll likely see positive results in your energy bills over a longer period of time.

Better insulating your home means you’ll lose less heat in colder months, so you won’t have to reach for the thermostat as often.

Better insulation means you don’t have to reach for the thermostat as often (Image: Adobe)

There are two types of insulation recommended by the Energy Saving Trust:

According to the organization, a third of heat loss from an uninsulated house goes through the walls.

If you have a cavity in your wall – a standard building practice common to most UK homes – you can fill it with insulation, which will stop heat from escaping like this.

While it will cost you around £1,200 if you live in a standard three bedroom semi-detached, you could save £285 a year.

For a larger four bed detached house the cost could be in the region of £2,500 and you could save £480 a year.

If you live in an apartment, you’ll have to manage the project from your co-owners or the landlord of the building, but it’s likely to have a better cost-to-annual savings ratio.

Attic insulation has a long-term impact on your energy bill (Image: PA)

The Energy Saving Trust estimates that a quarter of the heat in an uninsulated home is lost through the attic.

At least 270mm of insulation in your attic will therefore help reduce your energy bills.

But don’t expect dramatic overnight savings.

For a standard three-bedroom semi-detached it costs around £465 but only represents an annual saving of £25.

If you have a four bedroom detached property the cost could be £1,100 and only average savings of £40 a year.

If you live in an apartment that isn’t on the top floor or doesn’t have a gabled roof with an attic, you’ll have to rely on the people living above and below you for insulation.

Less reliance on fossil fuels means you are better protected from the price shocks we are currently experiencing in global energy markets.

But investing in things like solar panels comes with a high upfront cost, meaning many people can’t afford the measure.

If you can pull it off, the Energy Saving Trust says a typical installation of solar panels will set you back £6,500.

But you’ll save a significant amount of money – £505 in London, £475 in Manchester and £450 in Stirling, says the Energy Saving Trust.