Sunday, September 25

How to Save Money On Your Energy Bill

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With energy prices continuing to rise, and food and other household essentials becoming more expensive, the Direct Stoves team wanted to share some of our top tips that’ll help you save money on your energy bill. Keep reading and you’ll discover some insights that could really save you money in both the short and long term…

Actively monitor and check your energy bills

Unfortunately, the price cap for energy bills rose by a staggering 54% on 1st April 2022.

This means that there are very few, if any, energy providers providing fixed tariffs at reasonable rates. 

So, for the majority of people, there’s not much point switching to an alternative energy provider. 

BUT, there are still some things you can do to make sure that your energy bills are kept in check…

  • Ensure you are paying your energy bills by Direct Debit. This is often the most economical way of paying your energy bills.
  • Send regular meter readings to your supplier. This will help to keep your bills accurate and will reduce the likelihood that your supplier will send you an ‘estimated’ bill. Note – if you have a smart reader, it will send readings automatically to your energy provider.
  • Go paperless. If you are given the option, you should choose to receive paperless bills and manage your account online. This is because many energy companies will add an additional charge for providing printed, paper bills.
  • Take the time to scrutinise any changes that occur to your billing or account. It’s important to spot any inaccuracies as soon as they occur. 

Insulate your home

If you have a loft and cavity walls in your home, then adding insulation can help you to significantly cut down your energy bills. 

Insulate your home to save money on your energy bill

According to Which?, laying loft insulation in a typical three bedroom house could cut your annual energy bills by as much as £135 per year. Insulating cavity walls could result in a reduction in your energy bill of around £155. 

It can also help to take things a step further and use draft excluders at the bottom of doors and windows, and thick curtains across doorways. 

These will help to reduce the flow of cool air into and around your home. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the use of draught excluders and curtains could trim around £25 a year from your energy bill. 

Use less hot water

You may only use your central heating during the colder months of the year, but it’s likely you use hot water all year round. 

By reducing the amount of hot water you use, you can significantly reduce the cost of your energy bills. 

Reducing the amount of hot water you use will save you money on your energy bill

Ways in which you can reduce your hot water usage include: 

  • Washing your hands with cold water rather than hot.
  • Adding an eco-shower head to your shower. This will reduce the volume of hot water you use when showering.
  • Ensure that your hot water tank and pipes are wrapped in additional insulation. This will help to keep the water you have heated, warmer, for longer.
  • Wash up plates and utensils in a bowl rather than under a running tap.
  • Use a shower timer so you know how long you’ve been showering. Keeping your showering time to less than 4 minutes can save you around £35 on your energy bills according to the Energy Saving Trust.

Use a thermostat

If you haven’t got a thermostat in your home, then get one. If you do have one, start using it!

Many people have thermostats in their home, but rarely change the settings or adjust the temperature based on the time of year. 

With a quality thermostat, you should be able to change these things, as well as: 

  • Being able to set your heating and hot water to turn on and off at preset times of the day.
  • Heat only the parts of your home that need it.
  • Set different temperatures in different parts of your home. 

If you only have one thermostat for your entire home, then think carefully about what will be the single most comfortable temperature you can set – without being either too cold or too warm. 

Why? Because every degree you turn up your thermostat, your energy bill will increase by 10%. 

So, think carefully about what temperature will be most appropriate. 

Use a thermostat to save money

A note on smart thermostats

Increasingly, more and more people are installing smart thermostats in their homes. 

Smart thermostats connect to the internet and allow you to control your home’s heating via your smartphone. 

Where smart thermostats can really help you reduce your energy bills is where they have a weather monitoring function. 

Smart thermostats with this feature will monitor the weather forecast for your location and adjust your home’s temperature accordingly, thus reducing your energy bills when the weather is mild or warmer. 

Find out if you can access energy grants

Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to one of the UK government’s energy grants to help you pay your energy bills. 

These grants include: 

  • Winter fuel payment – if you were born on or before 26th September 1955, then you may be eligible to receive between £100 and £300 towards your energy bills. 
  • Warm home discount – if you are on a low income or get the ‘Guarantee Credit’ element of Pension Credit, then you may be eligible for £140 off your energy bill. 
  • Boiler upgrade scheme – up to £5,000 pounds is available if you replace your current oil or gas boiler with a low carbon alternative such as a heat pump (provided you are eligible).

In addition to the grants listed above, some home energy suppliers also offer help with loft insulation and boiler costs.

Switch off standby

Do TVs, computers and other electronic devices really use all that much electricity when they’re on standby? 

The answer may surprise you…

According to the Energy Saving Trust, switching your TV and other devices off standby can chop around £50 a year off your energy bills. 

In most instances you’ll be able to fully turn off electric devices without them losing any programming. However, if you’re in doubt, check the manual!

Use LED bulbs

Whilst many people do prefer traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs over newer alternatives, these older types of bulbs do tend to use more energy. 

Use LED bulbs

So, it’s worth seriously considering switching to LED bulbs. 

Not only do LED bulbs offer a very bright, clean light, but they are far more energy efficient. 

Other lighting tips

Aside from switching to LED bulbs, there are number of other things you can do to reduce the energy consumption of your home’s lighting: 

  • Always turn the light off when you’re leaving the room. It may be a classic Dad joke to moan about the house being “lit up like Blackpool illuminations”, but it’s true! By getting into the habit of turning the light off when you leave the room, you’ll help reduce your energy bills.
  • Think about how many lights you have on in a room. For example, do you really need the main light on as well as a lamp?
  • Think about using smart timers. These can be connected to lamps and programmed to turn them on and off at set times of day. 

Wash clothes at a colder temperature

Do you really need to wash your clothes at higher temperatures? The Energy Saving Trust states that you can save almost £30 a year on your energy bill, by washing your clothes at a colder temperature like 30 degrees.

If you can, it’s also advisable to reduce the number of times you use your washing machine per week. Instead of using it half full, wait until you have a full load before you run it. 

Be careful with the kettle!

In many UK homes the kettle is arguably one of the most-used electric appliances. 

So, making little changes when using your kettle, can add up to big savings on your electricity bill. 

Save money by only boiling the water you need in your kettle

Try and avoid overfilling your kettle. By only boiling the amount of water you’re actually going to use, you can cut around £11 per year from your energy bill (per the Energy Saving Trust).

Only heat the rooms you’ll be using

During the colder months of the year, it can be a significant waste of energy trying to heat your entire home. 

If you tend to spend most of your time in only one or two rooms, then focus on heating those alone. 

Not only will this reduce your energy bills, but it’ll also reduce your carbon footprint and ensure that what heat is generated, is enjoyed by someone!

Use an alternative, low-carbon cooking appliance

Did you know that you don’t have to rely on gas or electricity powered cooking appliances? 

You can cook your meals using a wood-burning range cooker

These beautiful, yet highly practical appliances date back to the Victorian era and are a brilliant way of reducing the energy you use to cook and heat your kitchen. 

Wood-burning range cookers today feature a range of modern features and technologies, making them highly efficient, easy to use and ideal for reducing your energy bills. 

Shop Wood Burning Range Cookers

Shop Wood Burning Range Cookers

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Use an alternative, low-carbon heating appliance

For the foreseeable future, it looks like gas and electricity bills will be only going one way – up.

So, why not consider installing a heating appliance that uses a renewable, low-carbon alternative form of fuel – a wood burning stove

The benefits of using a log burner for home heating

Installing a wood-burning stove in your home, may not seem like an immediately obvious idea. After all, many homes across the UK have been connected to the mains gas network for decades, and it is possible to buy high efficiency gas fires.

Is a wood burning stove really a better alternative? As you’d expect, our answer is a firm yes.

Here’s why…

Log burners are highly efficient

Thanks to the incorporation of modern combustion technology as well as the new EcoDesign regulations, modern log burners are incredibly efficient. 

In some instances, wood burners can be as much as 85% efficient, meaning that you get a lot of heat for the cost of your firewood. 

This essentially means you don’t have to spend as much on firewood in order to keep your home warm. 

Off grid and independent

Having a wood burning stove in your home means you’re no longer reliant on energy providers to keep your home heated. 

You aren’t beholden to sudden price increases or long-term contracts and tariffs. Instead, you can source firewood yourself – there are plenty of merchants that sell firewood in bulk at great prices. 

Environmentally friendly

Despite what many urban myths say, wood burning stoves are incredibly environmentally friendly. 

Firstly, thanks to the new EcoDesign regulations, log burners give off very few combustible materials and particulate matter. Instead, because of advanced combustion technology, almost all pollutants are burnt off before they leave the stove pipe. 

Secondly, log burners use a renewable resource for fuel. Unlike natural gas, oil and electricity generated from non-renewable sources, wood is a plentiful, renewable resource. 

You’ll also find that almost all firewood sold in the UK is from carefully managed, sustainable woodlands. 

Stoves are flexible!

There’s a good reason why wood burning stoves have been in use for hundreds of years; they’re so incredibly flexible and versatile!

Not only can a log burner be used to keep your home warm, but you can also use stoves to cook food (check out our cook top stoves), and even to heat up water for use throughout your home (check out our boiler stoves).

Energy efficient log burners UK

If you’ve decided that a log burner is the right heating option for your home, then explore the highly-efficient models that we’ve set out below. 

All of these stoves are EcoDesign compliant, meaning they are highly-efficient, emit almost zero pollution, can be used in smoke control areas, and feature the very latest combustion technology. 

Woolly Mammoth 5 Wood Burning/Multifuel EcoDesign Stove

Woolly Mammoth 5 Wood Burning/Multifuel EcoDesign Stove

Woolly Mammoth 5 Wood Burning/Multifuel EcoDesign Stove

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Perfect for small to medium sized living rooms, the Woolly Mammoth 5 takes the design features of a traditional cast iron stove, and integrates them into a stylish, modern steel body.

The Woolly Mammoth 5 has an exceptionally large viewing glass, so you’ll be able to truly take in and enjoy the view of the fire as it burns. 

Aside from its modern looks, the Woolly Mammoth 5 also incorporates modern tech, including adjustable primary and secondary air intakes that work harmoniously with a pre-adjusted tertiary air supply to produce incredibly clean and efficient combustion. 

Thanks to this tech, the Woolly Mammoth 5 is highly-efficient and will make your firewood burn for longer. 

Plus, if you want to add some additional character to this stove, you can select the stove door in a number of finishes including cream, red or grey. (Note, these colour options are a special order item and not available with 48 hour delivery).

Saltfire ST4 Wood Burning/Multifuel EcoDesign Stove

Saltfire ST4 Wood Burning/Multifuel EcoDesign Stove

Saltfire ST4 Wood Burning/Multifuel EcoDesign Stove

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If you have a larger living space to heat, then think about the Saltfire ST4 stove. Thanks to its large 7.5kW heat output, it’ll easily warm large spaces and rooms. 

Don’t worry. All of that heat doesn’t come at the expense of efficiency, as the ST4 has an impressive efficiency rating of 77.7%, meaning you’ll get as much value as possible from your firewood. 

The ST4 is also an ideal stove for those of you who want to achieve a contemporary look in your living space. Thanks to its rounded modern edges and sleek finish, the ST4 will be at home in the most urbane of environments. 

The ST4’s simplicity extends to its controls, which are designed to be as user friendly as possible. 

Ekol Clarity 12kW Wood Burning/Multifuel EcoDesign Stove

Ekol Clarity 12kW Wood Burning/Multifuel EcoDesign Stove

Ekol Clarity 12kW Wood Burning/Multifuel EcoDesign Stove

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Do you want a stove that can easily heat the biggest of living spaces? Then you’ve just found it in the Ekol Clarity. 

With a frankly huge heat output of 12kW, the Ekol Clarity will keep your home toasty warm on even the very coldest of days. 

The Ekol Clarity is able to achieve this impressive performance thanks to its state of the art hybrid technology that it incorporates. It uses a combination of heavy cast iron inner components along with dense refractory firebrick linings and a precision engineered outer steel shell up to 10mm thick.

As it is EcoDesign approved, the Ekol Clarity is highly efficient and suitable for use in smoke control areas. What’s more, it can also be fitted onto a 12mm hearth.

Charnwood Island Three BLU Wood Burning EcoDesign Stove

Charnwood Island Three BLU Wood Burning EcoDesign Stove

Charnwood Island Three BLU Wood Burning EcoDesign Stove

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Another stove with an impressively large heat output is the Island Three from Charnwood. 

Featuring a traditional, rustic-style design, the Charnwood Island Three has a very large heat output of 12kW and is available with a choice of leg and stand options. 

This is also a highly-versatile stove as it’s available in a choice of eight finishes with additional optional extras including a rear heat shield, and convecting side panels. 

Thanks to it being EcoDesign compliant, the Charnwood Island Three is also very energy efficient, very clean burning and suitable for use in smoke control areas. 

Video survey service

We know that buying a stove for your home is a big investment. 

So, to make the process as easy as possible, Direct Stoves offers a free video survey service. 

This involves a consultation with one of our stove experts to answer any questions you may have about a potential stove. The consultation can also cover what stove is best for your home and the installation requirements.

Find out more about our stove video survey service now.

Direct Stoves: the home of efficient home heating

If you’re looking for the best energy-efficient stoves for your home, then explore what we have to offer here at Direct Stoves. 

You’ll find a huge range of log burners from all of the major brands, plus we offer fantastic benefits such as 12-month interest free finance, free mainland UK delivery, and 14-day no hassle returns

Shop EcoDesign stoves at Direct Stoves now

For more stove buying guides, heating advice and more, read the Direct Stoves blog

What Are the Best Low-Carbon Heating Solutions for New-Build Homes? | How to Heat Your Home Without a Gas Boiler: A Guide to Back Boiler Stoves | Can You Use a Wood Burning Stove with a Heat Pump? 

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