Are you thinking about different ways to save money on household energy bills and living costs?
So many hacks promise so much and deliver so little!
We’ve been tracking down some which may end up costing you more in the long run, starting with candles.
We've gathered together a few ideas which you might want to consider. Not only could these save you a few pennies, they will help reduce the chances of a fire which in itself can be expensive, disruptive and distressing.
- Bargains! While buying cheap products online or from ‘pop-up’ shops might be tempting, those products could be counterfeit, or falsely labelled, or could pose a fire or other safety risk.
- Beat the energy vampires! Did you know that a phone charger uses power even when it’s not actually charging a phone? There may be a bit of debate over exactly how much you could save by unplugging devices which you aren't using, but we're still fans of the suggestion from a safety point of view.
- Switch off at night! You may be surprised to hear that energy often isn't any cheaper at night, so you might not actually save anything by running the washing machine overnight. What we do know for sure is that if you're asleep you are much less likely to spot a small problem (smoke coming from a socket) before it becomes a fire. Before you go to bed, or go out, check the living room, the kitchen, home office, your bedroom and so on and switch off!
- Set the timer. When you need to use your central heating more regularly, check if your system has a timer function. The timer can be used to switch your heating on and off so that you use it less. For example, turning your heating on just for the coldest parts of the day, such as a few hours in the evening and in the morning when you’re waking up means you won’t forget to turn it off and it will help to save you money.
- Heat individual rooms. If you’re able to switch individual radiators off in your home, save money by turning off those in spaces that aren’t often used, only keeping radiators switched on in the rooms you use most.
- Close doors. It's amazing how much heat can disappear out the door, and by keeping doors shut, you also reduce the chance of fires spreading from room to room.
- Think before you drink. While alcohol make you feel warm because blood vessels in the skin expand, this also draws heat away from your vital organs according to the British Heart Foundation. When it comes to fire, drinking can put your off your game whether you're cooking, lighting open fires or candles, putting a wheat bag in the microwave.... you get the drift.
- Pay to save. Getting your heating system serviced may cost a bit up front but it can also highlight problems which may be reducing its efficiency, costing you money and raising the risk of fire.
- Use the right fuel. This is another one to be filed under the "pay to save" bracket. Using the right fuel for your log burners, open fires and so on means you get the best out of your investment. Cheaper alternatives can be a waste of money as well as a danger.
- Check out the support available. We've got some useful links on this page but did you know we can also help with free advice, specialist safety equipment and even smoke alarms? Find out more.
- Register your appliances. Keeping machines in peak condition and ensuring they are on the radar for necessary safety notifications are simple ways to make sure they last as long as possible, save money and keep everyone safe. Take advantage of this free service at www.registermyappliance.org.uk.
Real life stories....
You may think you've found a way to save money safely, but we've seen just what can happen if you're not extra careful! Here are some of our real life stories about when it all went wrong.
If you know of any commercial premises, restaurant, hotel or other business that is putting peoples’ lives at risk by tampering with or bypassing meters, please report this.
The Stay Energy Safe line is a completely anonymous service powered by the national charity Crimestoppers to allow you to help prevent harm from unscrupulous energy thieves. https://www.stayenergysafe.co.uk/
The official take on running appliances at night!
We asked the National Fire Chiefs Council for its take on the debate over running appliances like washing machines at night.... here's what it said....
The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) welcomes help for people to cut their energy bills but it’s crucial that people, where possible, avoid running appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers when the household is asleep. If a fire should start the risk to life is greater as people have less time to react and escape.
We understand the peak demand times are between 9 -11 am and 4 - 7 pm. We encourage consumers to ensure they take advantage of any off peak savings by using appliances while the household is awake to stay fire safe.
We also ask all householders to ensure they have working smoke alarms on each level of the home and ideally in rooms where a fire may start. Also make sure everyone in the home knows what to do in the event of a fire.
Cost of living crisis
Latest Update : 06 March 2023