What are the best ways to reduce your energy bill?

Win prizes by giving us your best suggestions for saving energy!

From October 1st we will all be paying higher energy rates. Bord Gais got the ball in motion back on July 13th announcing a 12% increase in electricity rates from August 1st. Airtricity followed suit on Aug 16th when they announced a 12% increase in electricity rates and a 20% increase in gas rates. This kicked in from Sept 1st. Then surprise, surprise folks, on Aug 26th the ESB announced that electricity rates will increase by 12% from October 1st.

So we will all be paying more as we get ready for another cold winter. Lets not dwell on it though and lets instead create a positive out of this. There are of course many ways we can combat the increases and make changes in our homes and businesses. Last month I gave you some tips on this which you can view here

We want to hear from you though. What tips can you share with us? Lets put together a great guide here and help people all over the country combat the price increases and save money.

We are giving away three prizes which will help you save energy in your home. The winners will be selected based on what we feel are the strongest and most creative ideas put forward. To enter simply add your comment below. Winners will be announced on Oct 1st.

1st Prize: Owl Electricity Monitor

2nd Prize: Chimney Balloon Plus Inflation Tube

3rd Prize: Efergy Electricity Monitoring Socket

 

 

50 Comments

  1. Change all you bulbs to energy efficient, even the down lighters (or halogen spots). Only ever fill your kettle with as much water as you need… I actually think Purchase.ie sell energy saving kettles?

  2. We all have rooms in the house that we don’t use frequently, such as a study, or a spare bedroom; switch the radiator off in those rooms when they’re not in use and keep the doors closed.

  3. Make sure all of your sockets have switches on them so it’s easier to flick off the supply to the TV, satellite box, etc.etc. every night. Also having a policy of last up to turn off everything at the wall at night works! Making a habit of turning off lights when they’re not needed is my obsession 🙂

  4. You can buy very inexpensive remote control plug adapters that allow you to effectively turn things off at the plug remotely. I find these great as I have different devices plugged in in different parts of the room and can turn them fully off when not in use with no effort, and then use an “all off” button when I leave the room.

  5. Turn everything off at the switch when not in use.. like the radio when not in kitchen, the TV & Dvd player etc when not watching TV.. phone charger when not needed…do more than just turn it off..switch it off.

  6. I know its so simple and everyone knows it but not alot of people do it! Plug everything out thats not been used! everything thats on stand by uses energy! At night time when Im going to bed the only thing thats plugged in, in my house is the fridge!

  7. Try to avoid using your tumble dryer,hang clothes on a horse instead. Only use your dish washer, dryer and washing machine when absolutely full. Reuse towels you dried with after showering – you were clean when you used them so they aren’t dirty right?

  8. Start an Energy Action Plan!
    The most important energy saving step of all takes place inside our head. Once we make the decision to “do it,” we’ll discover that reducing our home energy consumption is easy and the rewards are great.

  9. Its great receiving all this information on how to save electricity We had the walls insulated (interior & exteriour) We will certainly invest in a monitor as we are very careless not switching off when the appliances are not in use.

  10. When cooking, ensure that the size of the saucepan matches the size of the hob ring you are using. This applies to both gas and electric cookers.

    This means you are not paying (as much) to heat the air. Gas flames should only heat the bottom of the pan and not the sides. This will also help prolong the life of your saucepans.

  11. everyone should have a back boiler because in the colder weather everyone lights a fire and instead of the heat going up the chimney it could heat the rads and hense save on oil and gas, make sure all appliances are switched off when not in use, insulate the attic and tanks.

  12. I have covered large pieces of cardboard with tin foil and sellotaped the tinfoil in place. I have then fitted these in behind my radiators in my house. It is cheap to do and easy. And a very good way at bouncing the heat from the radiator into a room instead of it being absorbed into a wall where the heat is wasted.. you will feel the difference straight away.

  13. Put some plug timers so that heavy using appliances can be operated at night to avail of cheaper electricity. Try when possible to put A rated appliances they are a bit dear but easily payback over their life time. Insulate insulate insulate also!!

  14. Get organized before you open the fridge door when restocking it as the longer it is open the more energy used to restore it to the freezer/deep freeze temperature setting

  15. Make sure you are getting the best deal for your electricity. Compare the prices of the three service providers. I stayed with ESB , with one phone call i cut my bill by 17%.
    I signed up for direct debit and my bill is emailed to me, cutting down on the use of paper too.

  16. I don’t really have the money to invest in solar, windturbines, etc but i do a few things to keep costs down..

    – I was always a loyal ESB customer, but these days, the cheapest quote is the best.
    – Simple things like doing your washing / drying at night, and use an outside line for fine weather can save you money.
    – Turn off your appliances at night, including items you might not initially think of like your wifi box, computer station, etc. (and keep them switched off if not being used)
    – It’s a bit of a stretch, but plugged in items still draw a certain amount of elecrticty. Try to plug them out too.
    – Once a light is on, it’s draw is minimal. the initial switching on draws most power. Aviod turning on lights frequently and/or flippantly.
    – Charge your phone at work or in the car.
    – Keep your doors closed to keep the heat in.

    seems a bit much to consistenly do these, but defo keeps bills down, even if only minimally..

  17. 1.Turn down the temperature to 30 degrees on your washing machine to save energy.
    2.Stop heat from escaping from your home with draught proofing around doors and windows and by shutting the curtains when you can.
    3.Try to avoid electric fires or heaters.
    4.Use a blanket and hot water bottle if cold instead of turning on heating.
    5.Hand wash clothing where possible.
    6.Hand wash and towel dry dishes instead of using a dishwasher.
    7.Always make sure you fill your washing machine instead of a half load.
    8.use the microwave for more than one item at a time.
    9.In winter, after using the oven leave the oven door open to send some heat into the kitchen.
    10.Take quick showers instead of baths.
    11.If you leave the water run for a few minutes before shower gets hot, capture that water in a bucket and use it wash the floors.
    12.Always use lids on your pots, they will boil faster and save energy.

  18. Like a lot of people the last couple of years, i have been trying everything to keep the bills down. Switch off all the lights in the rooms not being used. Turn your washing machine cycle to 30 degrees ( yes the clothes still come out lovely and clean). Close the curtains when its getting dark, to keep the heat in. Dont fill the kettle up the whole way, only boil what you will use. I unplug everything thats not in use, even the phone chargers, dvd player, microwave etc. Its all adds up at the end of the day and we have noticed our electricity bill has come down.
    We updated the insulation in the attic last year & also fitted a new lagging jacket to the cylinder. I tip for this winter is lag the water pipes for the winter to prevent freezing. iv found another way to save, even when im cooking. I put 2 lasagna in the oven, use one for dinner and cool the other, cut it into sections and then freeze it, so i get 2 days dinners out of one days oven use.

  19. Air con systems are some of the largest single energy consumers. By retrofitting your air conditioning systems with ultra violet C it kills the biofilms that grow on heat exchangers in cooling coils increasing airflow and increasing the thermal efficiency of your a/c system, typically saving about 10-20% on your a/c energy.

  20. Lots of things you can do to save energy in the house, turn off lights when not in room, use energy saving light bulbs, unplug any electrical items not in use, and take tv etc off standby, keep doors closed to keep in the heat, don’t use drier,use clothes horse or washing line, close up vents in the winter, cook with lids on pots, cooks faster, take a shower and not a bath, wash dishes instead of dish washer. Insult attic. These have all kept my bills down over the last year so that has to be good new. Daughter always on my case as she is on the green team in school, and comes home with all energy saving ideas.

  21. I live in a flat so cannot affect too many changes on the building but this is what I have changed since I moved in.
    All windows have blinds and curtains( heavy ones for winter – amazing how much heat these keep in)
    All energy saver light bulbs
    Learned to use my storage heaters correctly
    All water heating, washing machine use is done at night (the boiler has a fantastic lagging jacket and keeps the water hot for two days)
    I live alone but at least half the time when I cook, I cook bulk for the freezer
    Only boil enough water for the cup of tea I will drink
    Changing all my white goods to A rated(nearly there- only one more to go)
    Everything gets unplugged and switched off. No standby, no leaving phone charger plugged in. This is just part of my night time routine now, no effort involved but real energy and therefore money involved.
    I had to lobby the management company but we now have some recycling and more to come
    I do not run a car and use public transport and try to walk as much as possible (more for weight loss than energy saving)
    I cook from scratch and buy as many local ingredients as poss (if they made Irish wine I’d never have to buy anything from outside the country again)
    Every now and again I have a little think about everything and try to come up with new ideas and research online but mostly I think of things in terms of money!
    Money is hard to earn and I do not want to throw it away on things like bills when It’s really easy to save it and the earth at the same time.

  22. ive 8 kids so my energy saving tip has got to be “Who needs heating blankets?? put them all in same bed and body heat will do the trick 😉 ” on a serious note though teach them not to leave the tv on standby or the fridge door slightly open and to plug out xbox/wii/tvs/radios in their bedrooms and turn out lights before they fall asleep

  23. Always turn off lights and unplug electricals when leaving a room. Add a small water bottle filled with rice in a citrin to cut down on water usuage when flushing toilets. Use heavy tog duvets in beds instead of electric blankets.

  24. Proberly insulate your walls and attic, Insulate your Water tanks in attic as it help’s keep the water hotter for longer and reduces the use of your heating. Change all light bulbs to energy saving light bulbs. Instead of constantly using the dryer hang clothes outside as often as you can even for a few mins and use a clothes horse, place it in front of the radiators when on to dry clothes. Only turn on lights when they are really needed, and don’t forget to turn them off after yourself. If you are sitting down watching telly when kids are in bed, sit with no lights on use the light from telly. Only boil what you need in a kettle and when needed. When washing clothes wait till you have full loads not small loads, to reduce the usage of the washing machine. Switch to a company that uses mostly energy saving electricity ex:airtricity. Purchase energy saving electronics. Turn your thermosat for heating down a bit an help reduce your bill, also use a shower where possible reduces use of water. We have applied these to our house and have saved nearly 300 euros a month 🙂

  25. Here’s a few things that we have done to help save energy:
    We have replaced all of our bulbs with energy saving ones, including the LED spotlights in the kitchen and bathrooms and standard lamps, lagged the loft again (so double the thickness) and put down boards so that not only can we use the area for easy storage- it will retain more heat in the house. We have put lagging on all the pipes including the outdoor tap to (hopefully) prevent it freezing. There’s a lovely red jacket on the hot water tank and we changed the boiler and all appliances for energy efficient ones (we moved into a house where everything needed upgrading!) added TRV”s to all the radiators. Laid carpets rather than laminate flooring and put a little hairy thing over the letter box to prevent drafts (and added security measure against ‘fishing’ for car or house keys) We also bought some thick curtains to close over the front door when the nights get colder to keep the heat in, the drafts out and make it extra cosy, and one day soon i will make a couple of sausage dogs out of trendy fabric to ensure our home will be draft free this winter!

  26. *Tuck curtains behind radiators- Heat wont escape as easily
    *Draw up a family energy saving plan- Have a checklist/rota for each day. Include kids. Will be a good way to teach them how electricity and heating work!! Eventually it will be second nature.
    *Drain your radiators
    *Close doors behind you throughout the house
    *Shop around for electricity, heating oil, gas, coal etc. Dont stay with the handiest if its alot more expensive

  27. Hi,
    Most modern Kitchen sinks are on the large size.Use a basin in your sink to limit the amount of hot water you have to use. This will cost you little or nothing and save you a small fortune.
    Ann.

  28. Turn down the thermostat one or two degrees. I turned it down and couldnt believe the saving it made with virtually no difference to the heat in the house. Also i dont think every room in the house needs to be heated all the time. Its such a waste
    I think you could save alot too by reducing the temperature of the water heater too. The waster doesnt need to be scalding hot. Great suggestions by everyone so far..

  29. Hi again, I added a comment but id just like to add more if you don’t mind.
    OK. If you are in one room more than most you can buy a superser and a bottle of gas to turn on and off when needed, you can also make toast off it lol (but be very careful)
    Seal up windows in winter, (can buy very cheap seal strips in euro shops)
    Have a night light in kids room instead of leaving landing or bathroom light on for them.
    If you have a shower above bath, leave the plug in the bath then let kids play with there toys in the water, kids will have fun while getting clean (supervise young kids)
    Recycle everything possible.
    Cuddle together, not only is it a lovely feeling but also will keep each other warm 🙂
    Have early nights-Sleep better, use less energy and as the saying goes, Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and oh so wise.
    Plus share baths 🙂 Save water plus lots of fun
    Peace Out
    Linda

  30. switch all your lightbulbs to low energy ones.
    never leave appliances on stand-by
    stop using your tumble drier
    only boil the water you need
    insulate your attic
    lower your thermostat by 1 degree
    train your kids to turn lights off and close doors when leaving the room (they particularly enjoy doing this if their sibling is still in the room so watch out! :), you may need to clarify!)

  31. Turn off all your lights! Use energy saving bulbs, put draft excluder’s on all your doors and keep them shut, get your boiler serviced regularly.
    Also do not leave electrical items on standby, turn off where possible, not only does it save energy, but it could save your life.

  32. One of the most memorable energy saving tips happened in an office I worked in, as with most office there was always someone complaining about cold office. We had a new office manager and someone went over going ‘its too cold’, the manager looked her up and down and said ‘put on a cardigan’… after some splutter they lady in question said ‘ why?’ to be told by the new manager ‘ its -2 C outside, and you are in a thin t-shirt, put on a cardigan and come back to me if you are still too cold’!
    We seem to feel now that a room should be hot at all time, but 18C is a perfect temp, and if you are feeling cold, wear appropriate clothing… have Thermals as part of your wardrobe for winter, and cardigans/layers for adding a layer of heat.

  33. for doing online banking, grocery shopping etc, I stay an extra half hour at work. Ok I’m using their electricity but with the economy of scales it’s still better for the environment and for me.

  34. Thank you all for entering the competition and all those great replies. The winners of the prizes are as follows.
    1st Prize: Owl Electricity Monitor – Davina Long (with 8 children it should come in useful)
    2nd Prize: Chimney Balloon & Inflation Tube – Linda Caulfield (not 1 but 2 great posts)
    3rd Prize: Efergy Energy Monitoring Plug Garrett McCord – (Love the point on the towels)
    Details of another competition coming soon.

  35. Use “space heating” when possible. We tried an experiment this past winter – we used primarily oil-filled radiator heaters in the rooms we used the most during the day, and then put small heaters in rooms at night as needed. The winter electricity bills plummeted!

  36. I always ensure I get the best value out of using the oven by sticking in a batch of scones with whatever Im cooking, they freeze well and I feel that I have made efficient use of the energy consumed, I usually use up the milk that has turned sour as well so its not just energy efficient but eco friendly too as it cuts down on waste. Plus warm scones are always a welcome treat!

  37. I have found one of the best ways to reduce your electricity bill is to UNPLUG YOUR SKY TV AT NIGHT.

    HOPE I WIN SOMETHING.

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