monthly household bills

As Winter begins to sneak up on us, so do our monthly household bills. Knowing where the Big-Cost-Generators are can enable us to take the steps to keep those monthly household bills under control. At Shepherds Friendly we believe a little savings can go a long way, and when all the small savings are added together, you’ll have household bills that don’t leave you as frozen as winter.

The Big-Cost-Generators of Household Bills

The reality is that the area of your household bill which you will see hike the most during the winter months will be your heating.   A staggering 61% of your household energy bills is spent on heating *1. Nothing else comes close to this money-draining monster, but the other household bill that can be reduced over the winter is non-heating electricity.

Related: 4 ways to help you manage financial stress

Hints and Tips to Cut Monthly Household Bills This Winter

It’s all very well knowing that heating costs are going to hit as hard as the first frost, but knowing what to do about it is trickier. Shepherds Friendly believe that the  following money-saving tips will help you to get those bills down..

Heating Action

Start with your approach to heating itself. Think little and the changes will be big. So begin by being sensible with your thermostat. Keeping your thermostat between 18-20˚C is a great first step. Turning your thermostat down by just 1% can save you a highly worthwhile 10% on your heating bill *2.

Don’t stop there. Use your heating programmer function to make a few changes. Your whole home doesn’t need heating whilst you’re out or sleeping, so take a few minutes to programme the heating to suit your current household routine. Similarly, don’t have the heating on in rooms you’re not using.

You could consider adding smart home technology into your home to help you control your heating. Apps such as Nest, Hive and Tado let you control your heating from an app, and will learn your habits to heat your home intelligently

Get Cosy

Given that your heating bills are your biggest spender over the winter months it makes sense to conserve the heat that you do have. 25% of your home’s heat is lost through the roof alone *3 Therefore, you should ensure you have decent loft insulation.

Furthermore, cavity wall insulation is a must. For a 3 bedroom semi, cavity wall insulation could save you around £160 each year on your fuel bills *4.

Go a step further by insulating tanks and pipes. Once you’ve done that, have a good look at door thresholds and where pipes come in to the home. If you can see a gap, that’s a cold-bringing draught route, so get it plugged.

Make sure your home itself feels cosy with the help of candles, blankets and cushions, and you too will feel cosy, at a much lower cost..

Sensible Sparks & Electricity

Once you’ve got your heating under control it’s time to start looking at other monthly household bills. With just a few simple adjustments to your lifestyle you can be saving in no time.

Start off with your appliances. Get savvy and use them sensibly. Make sure dishwashers and washing machines only run when full (and as cool as possible), kettles are never overfilled, and appliances are turned off when not in use. If you’re replacing appliances make sure you check out their Energy Efficiency Ratings: the closer to ‘A’ the better.

Get the Kids in Line

If you’ve got children in your household then chances are they are energy-sapping in their own way. Teach children the importance of switching off lights when not in the room, turning off electronics such as their games consoles and TV, and – rather than whacking up the thermostat – to pop on a jumper. You’ll not only be saving on your bills but you’ll also be helping to educate them for their own future as homeowners.

And Then There Was Light

As the nights draw in we’ll all be looking to have lights on around the home for many more hours a day. Be sensible – remembering to switch off lights when you’re not in the room – but also consider making a small investment in energy-saving light bulbs. Whilst these bulbs are more expensive than the avrage light bulb,  you’ll see a fantastic return on your investment and then some. Each energy-saving lightbulb can save you £9 off your annual electricity bill, and up to £100 in its lifetime *5.

Driving Down the Bills

Just by introducing some of the Shepherds Friendly changes above to your home and routine you can significantly reduce household bills in the winter. Saving a little in each area around the home makes for greater savings overall. Keep Warm – Keep Saving.