Real Homes

The money Clinic

If you’re looking to stay warm in winter while still keeping bills down, the Real Homes team is here with advice on changes to make….


Q What can I do to help make my home more energy efficient?

With the colder months upon us, and fuel prices rising, we are all trying to make savings. Even small but practical actions can help. The Real Homes team give their tips on DIY jobs and good habits to get into to help cut costs

AIf you still get an estimated bill, you could be overpaying by hundreds a year. Conversely, if you are constantly underpayin­g for your energy usage, you’ll be hit by a huge unexpected bill when you move out. So, locate your meters and submit regular readings. It’s important to take an accurate reading right around the time energy prices change so you don’t end up paying more at the higher rate. You can also get a smart self-reading gas and electricit­y meter fitted to monitor your energy usage regularly and more easily. Having the display on a counter will make a change from crouching to see in shoe cupboards or on a wall outside – Camille Dubuis-welch

AFoam tape is a quick fix for air leaks around ill-fitting doors, significan­tly reducing the amount of heat lost through them. This cheap and easy-to-apply insulating material can be purchased from pretty much any DIY store. And because it’s self-adhesive, you don’t have to worry about messing around with glue – Alison Jones

AWith 40 per cent of British families boiling their kettle more than five times a day, you might look at the small appliance as a way to combat high energy bills. It costs .06p to boil a full 2ltr kettle, compared to .015p to boil enough for two cups of tea (500ml), so only fill with the amount you need. An energy-efficient kettle with a keep warm feature means your water will stay hot for up to 30 minutes, so you don’t have to reboil if someone else wants a drink after you. You can boil up your cuppa in a microwave, but it is less efficient as you’re only warming one mug at a time – Christina Chrysostom­ou

ATurn off your electrical­s on standby – unless you switch off the appliance at the plug, it’ll continue to drain energy. The Energy Saving Trust reports that appliances on standby consume nine to 16 per cent of electricit­y consumed in homes, which will make a big dent in your monthly and yearly energy bills – Anna Cottrell

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