Top tips to cut down on energy costs this Christmas
Energy usage often peaks during the festive season, pushing up household energy bills significantly.
With only two weeks to go until Christmas many of us won’t be thinking about our energy bills.
However, it’s important to be aware of our energy usage during this time of year - especially following the raft of price rises that have been announcement in recent months. So far, seven energy suppliers have announced increases to their pricing, with the latest hike from Energia coming into effect on New Year’s Day.
But there are things you can do now to reduce the amount of energy you use over Christmas and lessen the impact of your first energy bill in the New Year. So here are our top ten tips for Christmas that will help bring down your energy usage:
- Use LED fairy lights. Christmas lights aren’t overly expensive to run, but if you haven’t put up your tree yet and need to buy any new sets, opting for LED lights will save you on your energy bills - they only cost a fraction of what standard fairy lights cost to run.
- Set a timer for your Christmas lights and other lights around the home. Using a timed plug is a great way to control how long your lights are switched on for. They can be relatively cheap as well - usually around €5 each - and could help reduce your energy usage at a time when it’s likely you’ll be using more lights.
- Don’t open the oven too often to check on your turkey. Checking on the Christmas turkey or other Christmas cooking regularly is tempting, but opening the oven makes the temperature drop, which means it will need more energy to heat back up. Not only will this cost you more in heating but it will also take longer for your meal to cook.
- Slow cook your Christmas ham and mulled wine. If you have a slow cooker, try and use it as much as you can for Christmas cooking. These are really energy-efficient, and you have the added bonus of your ham, vegetables or mulled wine cooking away while you enjoy time with family and friends.
- Use the microwave to reheat Christmas leftovers. The oven is one of the most expensive appliances in the home to run - using an electric oven can cost around 2 kWhs per hour of cooking - so if you usually use the oven to reheat food, but you also have a microwave, you’re much better off cost-wise using the microwave for reheating meals.
- Don’t leave appliances on standby. With lots of people in the house over Christmas and the New Year it can be easier to just leave your appliances on standby. But did you know that you can save up to 20% of your appliances’ energy use by fully turning them off rather than leaving them on standby? Ask house guest to turn off the TV completely when they are finished and switch off the microwave when all of the cooking is done.
- Turn your thermostat down a bit, if you can. Some studies estimate that lowering the temperature on your thermostat by one degree could save you up to 10% on your energy bill - and if you are having all the family around for Christmas more bodies in the house often means you don’t need the heating on as high.
- Conserve heat around the home by implementing some small changes. Little things like sealing off draughts, closing curtains/shutters at night, and closing doors within the house can help keep in heat which will save on energy. There are loads of tips like this in our energy saving guides to help you get started.
- Submit meter readings regularly. Checking bills regularly is important, and you should also regularly submit meter readings to make sure you’re billed for your actual usage - not an estimate. Doing so is really easy, takes no time at all and could make a real difference to your next bill.
- Switch now to help your finances for the next year. The average dual fuel customer can save up to €289 simply by moving from standard tariffs to the cheapest deals on the market - and if you live in a large, busy household, you could save even more. Comparing deals and making a switch only takes a few minutes, so it’s well worth comparing before the Christmas madness really sets in.
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