Ofcom had released figures revealing that UK homes are now spending almost £1,254 a year on energy bills. With that, it’s never been such a crucial time to become more energy efficient.

On top of that, as we’re becoming more environmentally conscious, learning to be more energy sufficient is a great way to reduce our CO2 emissions and lower our impact on the planet. For those keen to drive down the price of their energy bills and cut carbon this winter, adopting a few easy-to-follow steps could result in significant savings. LPG suppliers, Flogas, offer some practical advice on how to become more energy efficient this winter.

Dealing with draughts

Draughts coming in through doors, windows and floor can be a major contribution to energy wastage. Although they might seem small, gaps and cracks have the potential to let out a large amount of heat, while allowing cold air in — impacting on your bills unnecessarily. One way to tackle this is by installing draught excluders on your doors and windows. Even keyholes and cat flaps can make a big difference, so try to keep them covered where you can. Alternatively, sealants, insulating strips and even rolled up newspaper can go a long way to ensuring heat stays in your home. Finally, double-glazing is extremely effective at keeping your home well insulated. Whilst installation can be costly, it’s a definite way to save on heating bills.

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Smart heating

Thanks to the improvement of technology, we now have an aid to help us get to grips on our energy usage, and potentially slash our bills. Devices such as smart thermostats can go a long way to reducing heating bills by allowing greater control. As well as giving you the option to heat specific rooms, smart thermostats have the capabilities to learn your home heating habits – allowing you to consistently maintain the right temperature at the right time of day. Latest innovations, such as handy apps, have been designed to make smart technology even more convenient. If used correctly, it’s estimated that they could save households around £150 a year.

Invest in efficient appliances

There comes a time where your household appliances need replacing, so with that it’s always worth considering the long term and investing an appliance with a high efficiency rating. Whilst it may cost more initially, the long-term payoff will help reduce your bills. Look out for products that score an A+ and above. An A+++ fridge for example, could save you around £190 over ten tears when compared to an A+ model. [1]

Turning off your units

Through our habits, we’re quite used to using the standby button to turn off and on our electrical appliances, when in fact, it’s far more efficient to turn them off completely. TVs, laptops and mobile phone chargers are still switched on even when they’re on standby, which means they’re using energy unnecessarily. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you could save around £30 a year just by switching off appliances properly, whilst households with more gadgets could save between £50 and £80.

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Consider insulating your home

If you have the right insulation in place, you could make significant savings. In fact, it’s estimated that a quarter of all heat from your home could be lost through your roof if proper insulation isn’t in place. Insulation grants are offered as part of the Government’s Energy Company Obligation Scheme, so insulating your home could be easier than you think. Alternatively, smaller ‘quick fixes’ can also help – foam tubes that cover your pipes can keep your water warmer for longer and cost just a few pounds. You can also use a ‘lagging jacket’ which fits over your boiler and helps retain heat. At around £10, they’re a cost-effective way to prevent you from using extra energy to reheat water.

Get used to cold wash

When that chore comes that you need to wash your clothes, choosing a lower temperature is often an easy way to save money. Simply turning the temperature down from 40 to 30 degrees can be up to a third cheaper. Over the space of the year it could add up to a saving of £52. An occasional ‘hot’ wash is still a good idea though as it helps to ensure the washing machine is kept clean.

Compare energy costs

With utility bills being one of the main contributors to an overall household cost, you could potentially save hundreds of pounds per year if you switch providers. Remember, it’s not just the Big Six that offer competitive deals, switching to a smaller energy supplier could also mean a reduction in bills. It’s estimated that 62% of bill payers didn’t switch last year, so don’t miss out on a cheaper tariff.

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Choosing efficient fuels for off-grid areas

If you’re living off-grid, if you choose an energy efficient fuel than it could be grand for keeping your bills low. This can be done by switching from more traditional off-grid fuels like oil to a cleaner, greener alternative, such as LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). With the lowest carbon footprint of any off-grid fossil fuel, LPG is better for the environment and it’s cost-effective. Its abundance of supply also makes it reliable, so you never need to worry about running out.