23 Oct 2018
Hoppy is proud to introduce Lynn James, MD and Founder of Mrs Mummypenny
Lynn James runs the personal finance website Mrs Mummypenny. Lynn knows all about money saving, family finance and financial planning and has been writing on the subjects for the past five years. She has three young boys so really knows what it is like to bring up a family on a budget. A subject she is particularly passionate about is energy saving and ensuring that families are paying the right amount for their energy usage.
The household energy bill is a big bill and there are so many ways to save money on the cost of energy as well as several ways to use less energy. Here are Lynn’s top ten tried and tested methods that will ensure you not only save money but also use less energy – thereby doing your bit for the environment in the process.
Switching your energy provider
The big recommendation to start with is to ensure that you are on the best value energy plan available. If you have been with the same energy provider for a few years it is highly likely that you are paying too much for your energy. Hop on over the switching section of Hoppy, it takes just 5 minutes to pop your details in. All you need to enter is your current provider, the plan you are on and how much you pay each month or how much you use. Sit back and let the magic happen and see how much you can save through switching providers.
Get a Smart Meter
The first step to saving energy is to be aware of how much you are using and how much you are spending. A smart meter (these are free from your energy provider) is going to give you this control and information in real time of just how much each appliance uses in energy. This is going to allow you to monitor certain appliances and potentially change your behaviour to save money. Lynn had a smart meter installed a year ago. Her knowing how much it costs to boil a cup of tea or to use the tumble dryer for one hour is incredibly powerful information and has really helped to change her household’s energy spending behaviour.
Use a Smart Thermostat
How many times have you gone out and left the heating on with no one in the house all day? This was a common occurrence for Lynn when she used to travel into work in London. When you have a smart thermostat, you can control it from your mobile phone - you can switch off the heating even when not at home.
Invest in a slow cooker
Lynn took part in a project where she tested all the appliances in her home to see which one used the most energy. The induction hob and the oven were particularly energy hungry, using 30p per hour. Using a slow cooker, by contrast, provides a huge energy saving, costing a mere 1p per hour to use. If you leave something cooking for 12 hours - it’s only going to cost 12p!
Use a heated clothes airer
The same energy diary project also saw Lynn testing the tumble dryer, which is one of the most energy hungry appliances in the house - costing 30p per hour to run. A great tip is to invest in a heated clothes airer and stop using the tumble dryer as much.
Boil enough water for the one cup of tea
When you boil a full kettle of water it uses a lot of energy, so, if you are only making one cup of tea just boil the right amount of water you need for that one cup.
Unplug electrical items when not in use
It is surprising to hear of the cost of items that are left on standby. A TV uses around 10 watts per hour when on standby, if it is on standby for 18 hours (18 * 7 =1260 * 52 = 65520) a day, this equates to 65 KWh each year. Using an average cost of 15p per KWH it costs £9.82 per year.
Adding in all the appliances that are left on standby such as phones chargers, PCs and microwaves, analysis by This Money estimates that leaving appliances on standby costs us an extra £76 per year per household. Switch them off at the wall!
Use a shower timer
We can all get carried away in the shower, but this can be expensive in terms of water usage as well as energy usage that is used to keep the water heated. Invest in a shower timer that lets you know when five minutes is up.
Get lots of fluffy blankets
Lynn loves this tip and uses blankets and warm jumpers to keep warm for as long as possible before the heating goes on in Autumn/Winter. She has a pile of blankets by the sofa and loves to snuggle on the sofa in the darkening winter nights. Lynn works from home and doesn't like to have the heating on all day, so utilises the blankets when she’s working from home to keep warm.
Swap your lightbulbs to energy saving bulbs
Swapping over just one lightbulb to LED is going to save you around £7 per year according to Which. Multiply that by the number of bulbs in your home and the potential savings could be huge.