Energy Transition

5 ways to reduce your home energy bills

According to UK consumer organization Money Saving Expert, you’ll reduce energy bills by around 4% for every degree you dial down the heating temperature control.

According to UK consumer organization Money Saving Expert, you’ll reduce energy bills by around 4% for every degree you dial down the heating temperature control. Image: Unsplash/thiago japyassu

Simon Torkington
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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Energy Transition

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  • Rising energy inflation means higher bills for domestic consumers.
  • People in the poorest homes are being hit hardest by energy price rises.
  • There are many simple adjustments that can help reduce home energy bills.

Staying warm and running our homes without breaking the bank is becoming a growing challenge for millions of people.

The rising cost of energy is adding to inflation, while the war in Ukraine is threatening gas supplies to large parts of Europe as winter approaches. This all adds up to higher household bills.

Let’s have a closer look at the background to this before diving into ways we can cut our domestic energy costs.

A chart showing how energy bills have been consistently rising in the EU since 2020
Energy bills in Europe have risen sharply during 2022. Image: Statista/Eurostat Data

As the Statista chart above illustrates, (figures for July 2022) the price of gas has risen by more than 50% in the EU since 2018 and is up by 10.7 percentage points this year, Electricity costs are up by almost 30% since 2018. Overall energy inflation in the EU for 2022 stands at 41%, up by 14.1 percentage points in 2022.

Have you read?

Many countries across Europe are putting in place energy price caps to protect consumers from the full impact of energy inflation, as this report from the BBC explains.

Analysis from the International Monetary Fund, illustrated in the chart below, suggests those price caps will be vital for families on low incomes, who are being hardest hit by the energy price increases in almost every country in Europe.

A chart from the IMF showing how people with low incomes are being hit hardest by rising energy bills.
People in low incomes are being hit hardest by soaring energy bills. Image: IMF

5 ways to reduce your energy bills

There are many ways we can reduce energy consumption in our homes. The first step is to understand which appliances are using the most power then finding ways to optimize how we use them.

A graphic showing how energy is consumed in EU households.
Heating rooms and water are major sources of home energy usage. Image: Eurostat

According to EU research, heating and cooling rooms and providing hot water to the home account for almost 80% of domestic energy consumption. Targeting those for savings can prove effective. There are many other small actions we can take that can add up to significant savings.

1: Turn the heating thermostat down

According to UK consumer organization Money Saving Expert, you’ll reduce energy bills by around 4% for every degree you dial down the heating temperature control.

2: Insulate hot water tanks and pipes

Water cylinder jackets and pipe lagging are cheap and easy to install. They will quickly recoup your outlay and provide continuous savings, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

3: Draught-proof your home

Block gaps around doors and windows, says the Energy Saving Trust. Gaps allow cold air into your home while letting heat escape. If your home has unused chimneys, block them with a chimney balloon or old pillows.

4: Use appliances efficiently

Only use washing machines and dishwashers for full loads to reduce the number of cycles is the advice from America Saves.

5: Spend less time in the shower

Reducing the duration of your shower by just one minute can bring significant savings in energy bills. There are additional water bill savings for those with a metered supply, says Money Saving Expert.

Discover

How is the World Economic Forum facilitating the transition to clean energy?

Saving energy and the planet

By making small adjustments to the way we run our homes we can all reduce our energy consumption and save money on bills. We’ll also be contributing in a small way to reducing the threat of climate change. Research by the London School of Economics and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment found that, “in the European Union, buildings consume 40% of overall energy and emit 36% of total CO2 emissions.”

While only fundamental systemic change will create the impact required to reduce the threat of global warming, it’s important to recognize the things we can do. The actions each of us take in our homes may appear insignificant, but together they add up to a greater global impact on climate change.

We can all start by turning the heating down a touch.

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