We all know that cutting back on our energy usage is good for the environment, but as a student, it can be tough to know where to make changes. Below, we’ve put together some of the best ways you can save energy - and cut your electricity bill - without sitting in the dark!
Your student accommodation shouldn’t look like Blackpool Illuminations. It’s obvious, but it’s worth a mention nonetheless: switch to low-energy lightbulbs (they’re cheaper to run, last for years and bulbs only cost a couple of pounds) and turn them off when you don’t need them. If you’re feeling fancy, switch to an Alexa or Google Home-powered bulb and schedule them.
Cooking food in a microwave is much more energy-efficient than in an oven. It’s a common misconception that microwaves zap out nutrients in your food - the truth is that, when used correctly, microwaves offer one the best ways to retain your food's vitamins and minerals. If you do have to use an oven, leave the door open when done so heat doesn’t go to waste.
You don't need the boiler in the summer, or when there’s nobody at home. Most boilers have built-in timers that automatically trigger at a certain time or temperature, so make the effort to get to grips with how it works - your landlord should have left you a user manual. Switch it to standby mode or hot water only mode when you don’t need central heating to save energy.
Did you know that it’s three times more expensive to heat water via electricity than it is via gas? When making a cup of tea, only boil the water you need, and if you’re bad at guessing, then pour water into your mug and transfer it to the kettle. Quicker cuppas, no energy waste.
Smart meters are a great way to monitor your energy usage and make little changes that quickly add up. Sure, you’ll need to make sure everyone in your house has the same attitude towards saving energy, but if they want to save money, it should be easy. Some meters even allow you to turn off appliances like TVs when they’re not in use, saving you tonnes of cash.
You’ve likely heard it before - you don’t need to boil your clothes! Most washing powders perform perfectly well at thirty degrees. If you want to further cut your energy bills, then only wash full loads, and share washing cycles with your housemates. Oh, and cut back on how much you wash - jeans, for example, last weeks without a wash, as do jumpers and hoodies.
Turning down your thermostat by just one degree can save £60 over the year, so experiment with temperatures until you find a happy medium. Perhaps one of the most annoying parts of a house share is that everyone has their own preferred temperature - someone’s always too hot or too cold. Turn radiators off or down if you’d rather be cooler than the rest of the house.
We all like a long, hot shower at the end of a busy day, but cutting back on the time you’re scrubbing can help save the planet. Though showers generally use less water than baths, it is easy to spend twenty minutes singing along to your favourite songs. Limit yourself to two songs’ worth of water for a shower and you’ll cut your water and energy bills in no time at all.
Moving into shared accommodation with uni pals? With Billing Better, you can instantly set up your household bills for your home and only pay one sum for your share. We work with renewable gas and energy suppliers, who’ll install a smart meter weeks after you move in, helping to save the planet and your back pocket, too! Find out more and get started today.