How to save energy at home: Ways to save energy and money from your energy bill
It's been a month since SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford warned that the cost of living crisis is quickly becoming an emergency. Now that we’re in a new financial year, many of our monthly costs have increased, while essentials like food and fuel have also continued to rise in price.
Back in 2019, the Scottish Housing and Social Justice Directorate found that 24.6% of Scottish households were in fuel poverty, equating to roughly 613,000 households. With rising energy bills, that number has likely increased since then.
That means that a large swathe of the population are spending more than 10% of the household income after housing costs on fuel costs. With energy and fuel taking up such a large amount of the average person’s income, finding ways to save even a small amount each month could make a real difference.
How to save energy at home
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about energy saving tips for the home, answered.
Is it cheaper to use the washing machine at night?
For some people on certain tariffs or with a two-rate meter, you may have cheaper electricity rates during off-peak times, such as at night. That means that it could save you money on your tariff by using larger appliances that require more energy during these off-peak times.
However, having a washer or dryer running while you're asleep could present a safety risk, with it increasing the risk of fire. You could try to run it later in the evening, depending on when your off-peak times are, such as early in the morning around 6 or 7am.
Is it cheaper to use gas or electricity?
Gas is generally cheaper than electricity. However, installation, maintenance, and ongoing expenses tend to be cheaper for electricity. What’s more, the average lifetime of electrical products tends to be longer than that of gas, so the costs could even out in the long run.
Is it cheaper to boil a kettle on gas or electric?
Still, when it comes to basic energy costs, gas is still cheaper. That means it can save you money on your energy bill to boil a kettle on a gas hob than it is to turn on your electric kettle.
Even if you’re using a kettle, be sure to keep your kettle at peak efficiency by descaling it regularly. Also, boil only the quantity of water you actually need, rather than a full kettle, so as not to waste unnecessary energy.
Is it cheaper to boil water in a microwave?
Boiling water in a microwave isn’t very efficient for a number of reasons. You’ll likely find cold patches of water throughout your container, as the water will only boil where the microwaves hit. What's more, a microwave will spread energy throughout the box, rather than focusing on the container, using more energy than required. It’s therefore cheaper to stick to the kettle or the hob.