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How can you cut student energy bills?

Posted by Jason Ramsdale on 13 January 2016 at 10:15 am

I can honestly say I have done and still do all of these as a PhD student!

  1. Heat fewer rooms. (The living room is top priority.)
  2. Wear a hat, gloves and slippers. Keeping your hands, feet and head warm goes a long way to making you feel comfortable.
  3. Put an extra blanket on your bed.
  4. Try to cook in batches to save using the oven multiple times.
  5. If you have spare hot water in your kettle, put it in a hot water bottle and enjoy the warmth.
  6. Keep your fridge full, a full fridge has to do less work to keep your food cold. Adding bottles of pop or water to take up space means less energy is lost each time you open the fridge.
  7. Wash your clothes at 30 degrees unless they are particularly soiled.
  8. Drying clothes – this one is really tricky. Advice often says to hang and air-dry your clothes. But, if you’re not putting on your heating and it’s too cold to leave the window open or hang them outside, this can lead to your house being damp and miserable. Sometimes it’s best to bite the bullet and tumble-dry your clothes. As students we used a condensing tumble dryer in our living room and enjoyed the heat it gave off when we used it!
  9. Choose clothes that don’t need ironing, and don’t iron inside clothes!
  10. Keeping curtains closed when it is dark or cold outside can really help to keep the heat in.
  11. Use energy saving light bulbs, turn off unused appliances, every little helps!
  12. Compare gas and electricity prices, if you can’t use the internet yourself ask friends/family to see if you could save money using comparison sites like USwitch or GoCompare.
  13. Share your property, lodgers/roommates sharing your bills really brings down the cost!

Image: Jason Rogers

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See also: What are Tariff Information Labels, Tariff Comparison Rates and Personal Projections and how do they help get the best deal on energy bills?, Are you paying too much for your energy? and Have you checked out the QR code on your energy bill yet?

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Comments

1 comments - read them below or add one

anne miller

anne millerComment left on: 30 January 2016 at 11:46 am

Good suggestions, but here are a few extras. 

 1. Don't wash your clothes more often than necessary (and thats very seldom going to be every time you use them).  Even the CEO of Levi jeans said recently that he hadn't washed his jeans for a year!

2. Most washing machines and washing liquids work perfectly well washing clothes in cold water, unless they're particularly dirty.  Give it a go.

3. Damp houses are miserable and unhealthy, but tumble driers are huge energy guzzlers.  If you can't dry clothes outside, try getting a desiccant based dehumidifier put in your bathroom, or a cupboard, or where ever you want to dry your clothes instead. This is new way of drying your clothes gently, in the way that they would outdoors in the summer: A desiccant based dehumidifier produces a gentle stream of warm dry air, and condensing the damp from your clothes into a little bucket.  As a tenant, a key advantage over a tumble drier is that it's easy to take it with you when you leave!  A good make seems to be  the Meaco DD8l Junior (£150-180)  I saw it being tested in an Open Eco Home in Cambridge last year, and was really impressed.  The researcher running the tests said it was about 10-20 times more efficient than an ordinary tumble drier, and 3 times more efficient than a £950 top of the range Miele tumble drier!  He had also tested an example of  the more common sort of dehumidifiers which have a pump and compressor (like a fridge) but said that the desiccant based one was much better for drying clothes, because it blew out warm air not cold air.

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