Monitoring energy bills
Monitoring your energy consumption, reducing energy use and increasing energy efficiency can save you money on your bills.
It is important to understand your energy bills and what you are paying for. Make sure you check your energy bills and you could save yourself money, and energy.
Monitor your energy bills to:
- understand how much energy you’re using
- measure success when you make energy efficiency improvements to your home
- prioritise how to reduce energy use
You can monitor:
You will need your energy bills and a monitoring sheet. Our energy monitoring tool can help you get started. You will need Microsoft Excel programme to use the tool.
Eco active energy and emissions monitoring spreadsheet for homes
Quick and easy ways to save energy
There are lots of ways to be more energy efficient, and when you save energy you save money. Below are a few suggestions that could help you to reduce your energy bills.
- always turn off the lights when you leave a room
- LED lighting is 80% more efficient and can last 30 times longer than traditional light bulbs
- close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through your windows
- only boil as much water as you need (but remember to cover the elements if you're using an electric kettle)
- avoid leaving electrical appliances on standby
- wash your clothes at 30°C and save on your electricity bills
- fill up your washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher to use less energy
- line dry clothes or use your washing machine's highest spin cycle to remove as much water as possible
- keep saucepan lids on and turn the heat down when cooking
- fix leaky taps; in one week a leaking tap wastes enough hot water to fill half a bath
- look for home appliances with the highest energy ratings (most ratings go up to A+++)
- when buying a new home appliance, don't buy larger than you need. A smaller appliance will use less energy than a larger one with the same energy rating
Improve your home
We recommend making improvements to insulation before considering changes to your heating system.
Improving your home's insulation will make you feel warmer during winter and cooler in the summer, saving you money on your fuel bills.
A Home Energy Audit is a survey that tells you how to make your home more energy efficient. It gives you a personalised list of home improvements so you know where best to spend your money. Funding up to £250 is currently available towards the cost of a Home Energy Audit.
Some building changes might need planning or building permission.
Contact Planning and Building Services to find out more.
Draughts in your home let cold air in from outside and warm air out. Filling these gaps is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to save energy and pays for itself within a couple of years. Draught proofing can be simple, for example placing a draught excluder behind a door to prevent cold air coming in.
You can draught proof your own home or it can be installed by a professional.
It is still important to ventilate your home to help avoid condensation and damp. Areas with open fires or lots of moisture such as bathrooms and utility rooms are especially important.
You can easily insulate the sides of your doors further by purchasing simple strip insulation from DIY shops. A draught excluder can be placed at the base of any door to block out draughts. Keep the heat within individual rooms by keeping all internal doors closed.
Heavy or thermal lined curtains will help reduce draughts. You can also use as self-adhesive foam strips to fill in any gaps between the window and window frame to block our cold air.
Use rugs to cover bare floorboards and use filler to block any significant gaps.
A quarter of your home's heat is lost through the roof.
Loft insulation is effective for about 40 years and will pay for itself over and over again
The recommended depth of loft insulation is 270mm or 11 inches. If you have less than this, topping up or laying new insulation will help trap more heat in your home.
When you increase loft insulation, the loft space gets cooler during cold weather. Any water tanks and pipes in your loft should also be insulated to protect them from freezing.
Wall insulation can save you hundreds of pounds each year on your heating bills. An uninsulated house will lose about a third of its heat through external walls.
Cavity wall insulation
Cavity wall insulation is where insulation material is pumped into the gap inside your exterior walls from the outside. If your home was built between 1940 and 1980 it is likely to have a cavity that can be filled. This work should be carried out by a
CIGA certified installer.
Internal wall insulation
Insulation material is attached to the inside of exterior walls. This is done using either insulation boards or by building a stud wall that is filled with insulation. You can do this yourself or it can be installed by a professional.
External wall insulation
Insulation material is fixed to the outside of your home. It is then covered with a special render or cladding. It can be finished to look however you like from smooth to brick effect.
Contact Planning and Building Services if you are considering external wall insulation.
Insulating under the floorboards on the ground floor will save you money on your energy bills.
Gaps and draughts around skirting boards and floors are simple to fix yourself with a tube of sealant. Floorboards will rot without enough ventilation so be careful not to block underfloor airbricks in your outside walls.
Older homes are more likely to have suspended timber floors. Timber floors can be insulated by lifting the floorboards and suspending insulation material between the joists.
Newer homes often have a ground floor made of solid concrete. This can be insulated when it needs to be replaced, or can have insulation material laid on top.
Floors above heated spaces in your home, such as a living room, don’t need to be insulated. Yet floors above unheated spaces, such as garages, could be losing a lot of heat and so should be insulated.
Energy efficient solutions for windows include:
- double glazing
- triple glazing
- secondary glazing
- thick curtains
- reducing your energy bills
- reducing heat loss meaning fewer draughts and cold spots
- peace and quiet as insulates your home from outside noise
- reducing condensation on the inside of windows
Double glazed windows have two sheets of glass with a gap in between to create a barrier that keeps heat in. This is sometimes filled with gas. Triple glazed windows have three sheets of glass but aren’t always better than double glazed windows. To choose the most energy efficient window, look for the
British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC) rating.
Replacement windows may be more air tight than your original frames. Look for replacement windows with trickle vents built into the frame so that you can easily control ventilation.
Heating your home and hot water accounts for around 60% of your yearly energy bills. Having an efficient heating system can make a big difference.
- if you have an oil or gas boiler over 12 years old, replace it with a new A-rated condensing boiler
- if you have electric heating over 10 years old replacing it with a more modern unit might save you money
- putting an insulation jacket on your hot water tank could save you money on your energy bills
Insulating hot water pipes, tanks and hot water cylinder can be one of the most cost effective ways to reduce your fuel bill.
If you look into replacing your boiler ask your installer to check if it is the correct size for your property. Remember a smaller boiler will cost you less to buy and to run.
- timers control when your heating turns on and off
- thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) control the temperature of individual radiators
- room thermostats typically set between 18 and 21°C
- hot water cylinder thermostats should be set at 60°C
Having control over when you're heating your home could help save money on your fuel bills. Make sure your heating is coming on when you want it to and for the right length of time.
Turning down your heating by one degree could cut your heating bills significantly.
LED lighting is 80% more efficient and can last 30 times longer than traditional light bulbs. You get instant light with LEDs as there’s no ‘warm up time’ like with older energy saving bulbs.
When buying replacement bulbs you should consider:
- expected life of the bulb (in hours) – the longer the life of the bulb the longer it will save you money
- brightness, the higher the Lumens rating the brighter the bulb
- light fitting type
- beam angle, from a narrow spotlight to a wide beam
- if it’s suitable for dimmers
You can find all this information on the box of the bulbs you currently use. This will help you find a replacement bulb that looks like your current ones, but costs you less to run.
You may need your light fittings rewired to be compatible for LED lighting. If you’re unsure you should contact a qualified electrician for advice.
Energy providers on island can provide advice on energy efficiency. If you are struggling with your energy bills or would like to find out more, contact your energy provider.