The holiday season is upon us and this year we are facing a whole new set of challenges.
Rising energy costs, soaring inflation, geopolitical turmoil… the list goes on, and with added financial pressures on top of regular bills, reducing home energy costs this winter has become an important priority for many households.
To help, we’ve put together this guide that outlines how to save money on your energy consumption while still enjoying the festive period!
The global energy market is highly volatile and subject to the influence of a variety of factors.
One such factor is geopolitical tension, which can have a significant impact on fuel prices around the world. As we’ve seen in recent years, political unrest or conflict between countries can cause instability in oil-producing regions and lead to higher fuel costs for consumers.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the price of oil has risen significantly — with tensions between Russia and the West exacerbating this increase. This has led to higher inflation levels in countries that are dependent on imported oil, such as Ireland.
This increase in energy costs not only affects consumers but businesses too — particularly small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) who may be struggling already due to COVID-19-related losses or Brexit uncertainty.
With many businesses relying heavily on imports for their products or services, rising fuel costs could put them under even greater financial strain if they’re unable to pass those additional expenses onto customers via increased pricing models or reduced margins elsewhere within their business operations.
Although the outlook may seem bleak, there are lots of things you can do to cut down on your home energy costs this winter.
Here are 10 simple yet effective energy-saving tips to try:
Switching off the lights when you leave a room is an easy way to save energy and money. Where possible, you should also consider using a timer plug — this is a simple, cost-effective way to control the time your lights come on and off.
This can be a great way to save money as it allows you to control your heating remotely via smartphone apps or other devices.
This way, you can set temperatures at different times throughout the day depending on occupancy levels to conserve energy when it is not needed.
This includes checking for drafts around windows and doors, sealing any gaps or cracks that may be letting air out of the house, and ensuring that all insulation materials are properly installed throughout the house.
Additionally, using window coverings such as blinds or curtains during cold months can keep warm air inside the house while keeping cold air outside.
Gas boilers or heat pumps are much more cost-effective over time due to lower running costs compared with electric models.
What’s more, switching from regular hot water tanks to solar-powered hot water systems will further reduce electricity bills by taking advantage of free renewable sources of energy like sunlight instead of relying solely on grid-supplied electricity for heating needs.
Suppliers generally offer cheaper tariffs to new customers, so it’s always worth shopping around for the best deal.
Try to avoid placing your tree in front of the radiator as this will block the heat from circulating through the room.
Most devices continue to draw power even when turned off (this is known as ‘phantom’ or ‘vampire’ electricity), so unplugging them completely will save you even more money over time.
Switching to LED lighting is another great way to save on energy costs as LEDs are much more efficient than traditional bulbs. They use up to 90% less energy and last up to 25 times longer (over 10 years in some cases!)
According to Bonkers.ie, turning the temperature down by just one degree could save you around €150 a year on your heating costs.
Try to submit a meter reading to your energy provider for every bill — this is particularly important if you’ll be away visiting family over the Christmas period, as you may end up getting charged for the electricity you didn’t use.
Our final tip for reducing your home energy costs is to invest in renewable energy sources such as solar PV panels and batteries.
Here at Alternative Energy Ireland, we offer a range of sustainable energy solutions to help you combat rising energy costs for many winters to come, including Solar PV Panels, Heat Systems, and Ventilation Systems.
These are cost-effective solutions that provide clean, sustainable electricity without contributing to climate change, and there are grants available to help you with the initial cost.
To find out how you can reduce your energy bills now and well into the new year, get in touch with our dedicated team today.
From all of us here at Alternative Energy Ireland, we wish you and your family a warm, safe and Merry Christmas 2022!