Using Energy Efficiently
With the cost of living increasing, looking at your household bills in line with your budget can be a worry. Whilst there is no quick fix to change the rates of energy, we can do little things throughout our daily activities that might reduce our bills and help us look after ourselves throughout the winter.
Heating the House
We all know that Cardiff can be chilly and wet in the winter, so it’s important that you keep yourself warm as well as being careful with what you’re using. Putting your heating on little and often, when you need it, is likely to be the best way to save energy and money as well as keeping yourself warm. If you can, put your heating on a timer at an agreed time each day to keep the house warm and to turn it on and off when you’re not using it.
It's also a good idea to keep the doors closed for rooms you’re not heating, as radiators, electric panel heaters and convection heaters all work by creating a convection current in a room. This means that as hot air rises, it circles around to the other side of the room, cools, sinks and travels back to the heater to be reheated again. Closing doors makes sure the heat remains in the designated space and stops cold air from entering.
When you’re away from the house, it is also worth keeping your heating on to some degree over the winter, even if you’re not there. This is to prevent frozen pipes which can cost hundreds of pounds to fix and, dependent on the wording of your contract, your landlord might try to argue you’re liable to pay for.
Using your appliances
Your dishwasher and tumble dryer might look like a flashy commodity to have in your student house, but they’re usually not necessary and they cost a lot of money to run. According to the new energy unit prices, running your dishwasher once a day could cost between £2.38-2.94 per week – money that you could be pocketing, instead of quite literally flushing it down the drain.
Instead of using a dishwasher, investing in a washing up bowl, some rubber gloves, dish soap and a sponge will do the same thing. These are likely to last a lot longer than a pack of dishwasher tablets and save you money too.
Using your tumble dryer could cost a staggering £2.34 per cycle (so, if you have four housemates and you all use the tumble dryer once a day, that could generate a bill of almost £10 per day!), where you can air-dry your clothes for a fraction of the price. Using a clothes airer or investing in a heated airer (which costs around 10-12p per hour of use) eliminates that cost. If you’re drying your clothes on an airer in your home, make sure the area is well ventilated to prevent any damp or mould being produced. If you’re concerned about damp or mould in your house, have a look at our webpage here and get in touch with your landlord.
Lots of devices such as TVs, games consoles, laptops and phone chargers also draw small amounts of power when not in use. Make sure that your devices are off at the wall (i.e., the switch on the socket is turned off) when you’re not using them. The Energy Saving Trust says that you could save about £28 per year by turning off your appliances at the plug.
It is also worth investing in some energy saving bulbs. Check with your landlord before you do so, but you could save some serious money per bulb if you swap to a more energy efficient alternative.
Switching incandescent bulbs to LEDs
100 watt incandescent bulb
Save up to £15 per bulb per year
(Based on 1,100-lumen bulb running for 562 hours per year.)
75 watt incandescent bulb
Save up to £10 per bulb per year
(Based on an 825-lumen bulb running for 503.5 hours per year.)
60 watt incandescent bulb
Save up to £7 per bulb per year
(Based on an 660-lumen bulb running for 445 hours per year.)
40 watt incandescent bulb
Save up to £4 per bulb per year
(Based on an 440-lumen bulb running for 394 hours per year.)
Switching halogen bulbs to LEDs
50 watt halogen bulb
Save up to £6 per bulb per year
(Based on 750-lumen bulb running for 521 hours per year.)
35 watt halogen bulb
Save up to £4 per bulb per year
(Based on an 525-lumen bulb running for 521 hours per year.)
Come dine with me, and you, and you!
Sharing out the cost of food and utilities by cooking together or ‘batch cooking’ a dish with your flatmates could not only save you money, but also give you the opportunity to try new dishes and foods, as well as socialising with your housemates. If you’re a fussy eater who can’t get away from the chicken nuggets, this is a great way to branch out and try something new whilst also saving cash. Using an oven can cost over 70p an hour, so splitting this between you and cooking once instead of multiple times over might make a difference to your wallet as well as your appetite.
Using different cooking options such as a slow cooker, which you can prepare throughout the day, or an air fryer might also make a difference to the cost incurred by cooking your dinner. Air fried food is often healthier, too. Make sure you read the packaging and cooking instructions before using different appliances.
If you have a bath in your uni house, you might be tempted by the lure of the bath bomb to have an indulgent bath occasionally. Whilst that might be fine, showering is almost always cheaper than bathing. Every 12 showers you take saves enough for one bath – about 36 gallons! This doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice bath every now and then but trying to switch to a quick few minutes in the shower to scrub away the day is likely to save you money and time (and stop your housemates banging on the door to let them have their turn!).
Financial Support and Advice
These tips might save you money, but we also know that financial concerns can be stressful to manage. If you’re concerned about your finances, get in touch with the University’s Student Funding and Advice team to speak to them about the Financial Assistance Programme. You can contact them at email@example.com or call 029 22 518 888. To speak to someone specifically about the Financial Assistance Programme, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any concerns about the quality, standard or repair of your home, or are having a difficult time, get in touch with us. You can email us at email@example.com or call 02920 781 410.
029 2078 1410