Saving money on our energy bills has never seemed tougher.
Gas and electricity charges have sky rocketed and too many energy saving tips involve forking out for everything from new boilers and double glazing to wall insulation!!!
For many of us worried we won’t be able to put the heating on this winter, these are non-starters.
But there are creative ways we can keep warm and save energy at home that don’t cost a thing.
And I have for you here over 75 free energy saving tips that will help.
PLUS low cost tips with huge impact.
It’s a big list of tips, so do bookmark or save it for quick reference later.
Or if you’re super short on time head to the quick checklist.
Key Energy Saving Tips
We use most energy at home for:
- Heating (cooling in summer)
- Heating water
- Washing & drying clothes
These can use 75% of home energy so we need to focus on them and my first energy saving tips cover how to:
- Heat yourself
- Heat yourself in bed
- Easily insulate for free
- Heat a few rooms well
- Do less laundry
- AND benefit from washing less!!
But this year energy is so expensive, cutting right down is essential. So I also have tips for saving energy on:
The very first thing we need to do to save on heating is heat ourselves.
We’ve all got used to wandering around in t-shirts & bare feet in winter with the heating on full blast.
But wrapping up well indoors costs nothing and saves us loads.
We lose heat through bare heads, hands & feet so this winter wear:
- Fingerless gloves
- Wrist warmers
- Wooly hats
- PLUS loads of thin layers.
Wearing lots of thin layers keeps us warmer than one thick sweater.
So this winter get the family to layer:
- Cardigans or hoodies on top of a vest, t-shirt, shirt AND sweater
- Tights AND leggings under trousers
- Summer socks under winter or sports socks AND slippers
- Fingerless gloves under wrist warmers to keep hands warm working at home.
Don’t be fooled by adverts for fancy thermals. You don’t need them.
Just layer all the old clothes you have cluttering drawers. You can make wrist warmers from old socks.
And ask Santa for slippers if you don’t have any. We have these UK made sheepskin slippers. Not cheap but super cosy & they last ages.
Heat Yourself In Bed
Staying warm in bed is obviously essential for a good night’s sleep.
And there are lots of easy ways to heat ourselves in bed without having radiators on full blast or forking out for electric blankets and the like.
As before, head, feet & layers are key. So to keep yourself warm :
- Wear thick socks in bed
- Go to bed in slippers (they can easily be kicked off)
- Wear a “night cap” aka wooly hat
- Layer vests & leggings with pyjamas
Layering thin-thick covers also warms us up so put a sheet between 2 duvets or a duvet and a blanket.
These 4 quick FREE tips will also warm you up in bed :
- Have hot bedtime drinks
- Get kids to share a bed
- Make use of sleeping bags
- Put a blanket under base sheet
Hot water bottles cost the price of a boiled kettle but popped in beds 15 minutes before bedtime they help.
If you can snag old curtains they can be hung round the bed – four poster style – to boost insulation.
If you can’t afford to heat bedrooms get changed in your snuggest room and then dash for the covers.
Bedrooms can suffer with condensation – all that breathing!! – so do air them quickly in the morning.
Easy Insulation For Free
Good home insulation saves loads of energy and slashes heating bills.
And these 6 easy home insulation hacks won’t cost you a thing :
- Shut ALL curtains at dusk – this alone cuts heat loss by 15%!!
- Religiously shut all inside doors
- Cover keyholes with fabric scraps
- Tighten loose window latches
- Seal unused chimneys with outgrown woolies
- Make draft stoppers from scrap fabric with these quick ideas
The next hack is more effort but huge and FREE or super cheap.
It is simply more & better curtains as >30% of heat escapes via windows!!
Scour local Freecycle groups for old lined curtains & blinds and :
- Hang on any bare windows
- Replace thin unlined curtains
- Cover front doors
- Cover glass doors
I bought made up lining to hook on existing drapes from John Lewis. They cost £12+ per window.
Or buy fabric for <£6 a metre for DIY lining. To make a night blind simply:
- Cut fabric 1 inch bigger than frame
- Tack a hem all round fabric
- Make a tiny nick in each corner
- Put panel pins in frame corners
- Hang fabric to pins at dusk
For a tiny outlay it slashes heat loss.
If you do want to make curtains & haven’t before check out these tips :
Cheap Insulation Projects
If you do have some cash free now these insulation projects should save more than they cost this year.
Less Than £10
- Draft proof window & door tape
- Fit door brush to doors with gaps
- Draft proof letterbox
- External keyhole covers
Less Than £25
- Chimney balloon or sheep
- Insulate hot water tank
- Insulate water pipes
For more help check out this video on cost effective insulation.
Self heating and quick insulation can slash energy costs. But this winter we need to go further and there are more easy FREE changes that help.
Heat A Few Rooms Well
Many of us have got used to open plan living AND personal space.
But these both push up bills.
Simple reorganisation lets us :
- Heat fewer rooms
- Heat smaller areas
- Spend more time in warm rooms.
Turning radiators off or down in less used rooms lets our boiler heat a few rooms quicker, so saves money.
As heat rises it’s typically warmer upstairs so relocate upstairs for :
- Working at home
- Watching TV
And wrap up in blankets sitting still.
Get Kids To Share
Getting kids to share a room can cut how many rooms we need to heat.
It might not be a long term solution!!
But it can save money until the novelty wears off in the spring.
It might also let you create a warmer upstairs sitting room cum study.
Curtain Off Large Areas
Open plan areas are harder to heat.
If you can pick up free or cheap drapes, curtain off a smaller area.
Spend Time Together
Spending time together as a family in the evening rather than scattering throughout the house again helps focus heating on fewer areas.
Create A Snug
To make our key rooms as snug as possible we can :
- Hang curtains over doors
- Borrow rugs from other rooms, especially with bare floorboards
- Move – or even declutter!! – furniture blocking radiators.
Stop Heat Escaping
Heat from snug rooms can escape into those with the radiators off. So :
- Keep doors of unused rooms shut
- Put draft stoppers at doors
Watch Out For Condensation
Everything in life is a balancing act.
The downside of good insulation can be condensation, damp and mould.
High use rooms – e.g. bedrooms – need airing. So in the morning :
- Open internal doors for 15 minutes
- Open one window for 15 minutes in any rooms with condensation.
Do Less Laundry
Luckily we can slash laundry energy use. But it means ignoring constant expert advice to wash at 30c.
I struggle to believe anyone giving this advice does any actual laundry.
Hot Washes Are Important
Family life is a breeding ground for bugs, bacteria & fungus including:
Towels, tea towels, bedlinen, underpants & pyjamas need a hot wash to break cycles of infection kids constantly bring into our homes.
We can slash laundry energy use in other ways. First up is do less!
How To Do Less Laundry
Many of us do more than 5 laundry loads a week. I often did 7.
That’s 250-350 loads a year!!
Bunging it in is easy but drying, ironing & putting away – oh my!
One load less a week is 50 less a year and a 20% cut in laundry energy use.
I cut mine to 3 or 4 a week. That’s 150 less loads a year & a 50% saving.
To cut our laundry loads we :
- Wear loose tops more than once
- Hang clothes to wear again
- Do NO drop on floors or chairs!!
- Brush trousers, skirts & sweaters.
And there are more easy ways to cut laundry costs :
- Run on shortest cycle you have
- Cold soak clothes to pre-wash
- Run full loads
- And of course air drying.
Air Drying Clothes
Air drying can save £2 per laundry load. If we’re tumble drying 4 loads a week, that’s £3-400 a year!!
We can save more money – and time – by air drying on hangers so very little needs ironing and it’s super quick to put laundry away.
Benefits Of Washing Less
Many families these days struggle with eczema, psoriasis and itchy scalps plus thinning and frizzy hair.
Showering and bathing less can actually relieve all these AND save us loads on heating bills.
So this winter :
- Shower or bath every other day
- Wash well in the basin
- Retrain hair for weekly washes.
I know no 3 sounds scary but it transformed my frizzy hair and there’s tips here on switching :
To save even more money on your bills for heating water :
- Turn the water temperature down a notch on your boiler
- Get a water saving shower head
- Time showers
- Run full dishwasher loads
- Fill the sink with hot water rather than letting tap run.
How To Save Energy Cooking
Lots of simple hacks can save energy cooking but the big savers are :
- DIY microwave meals
- One pot recipes
- Cooking with an air fryer
- AND maxing out your oven.
Quick Energy Saving Microwave Meals
Microwaves use 50% less energy than ovens so can really slash bills.
And surprisingly we can make everything from macaroni cheese to potato top pies and loads of quick desserts in the microwave.
Check out these recipes for ideas :
Energy Saving One Pot Meals
Cooking one pot meals in a pressure or slow cooker can save energy.
But simply switching to recipes cooked in one pot will save money.
For inspiration check out this big guide to 30 different one pot meals:
Energy Saving Cooking With An Air Fryer
Air fryers can also use 50% less energy than an oven.
And you can cook a surprisingly wide range of recipes really well in them including all your favourite roasts.
To make the most of your air fryer – if you have one – check out this guide to over 100 air fryer recipes :
How To Max Out Your Oven To Save Energy
Ovens do use lots of energy to heat but maxed out can be very efficient.
So once a week have a baking day and cram the oven with :
- Muffins, cookies & cakes
- Food good cold : quiche, pies, roast vegetables, ratatouille
- Food good warmed in microwave : lasagna, moussaka
- Breads for freezing
With a bit of planning you can even cook things like meringues in a switched off oven as it cools down.
On baking days the oven will warm downstairs so you need less heating.
For more advice on efficient oven use check out these tips :
More Quick Energy Saving Tips For The Kitchen
Microwave, one pot and air fryer meals plus maxed out ovens save most energy in the kitchen but these quick hacks also help :
- Always put lids on pans
- Only boil water you need
- Put small pans on small rings
- Use steamer with sections to cook different veg in same pan.
Saving Energy On Lighting
Many of us know LED bulbs save energy and have made the switch.
But there are other totally free ways to cut energy used on lighting. To save £20+ a year we just need to:
- Switch lights off when leaving a room – just like the Queen did
- Only use light we need i.e. not overhead and task lights
- Dust bulbs regularly for efficiency
- Regularly clean light shades
- Spend more time together in the evening so lighting fewer rooms.
If you’re changing your lighting you can make it more efficient with:
- Dimmer switches
- Light & transparent shades
- External lights on sensors & timers
How To Save Energy On Electronics
Electronics aren’t our biggest energy users. It only costs for example about £35 a year to run a TV.
BUT that cost can sky rocket when the whole family are watching separate screens in separate rooms.
So the big secret to saving energy on electronics is enjoying more time together as a family, especially on cold evenings as it saves on:
- AND electronics.
Popular hacks like not charging phones overnight will actually barely save us £1 a year whilst spending more time together in our homes as a family will make a real difference to our bills and our wellbeing.
So there you go over 75 energy saving tips to cut utility bills this winter that are FREE or very cheap indeed.
Use the energy saving check list below to spot any you’re not doing yet and tick them off.
And for more simple ways to beat inflation read these tips:
Energy Saving Check List
Work through this energy saving checklist to spot all the easy ways to cut bills you are missing.
Some of these tips look crazily simple.
But don’t be fooled, something as straightforward as closing curtains at dusk – before it gets dark – can can heating loss by 15%. Together these changes really do add up.
- Lots of thin layers
- Tights & leggings under trousers
- Wrist warmers (from old socks)
- Layered socks
- Fingerless gloves
- Woolly hat
- Scarf or neck warmer
- Thick socks
- Pyjama layers
- Woolly hat
- Alternate thin-thick covers
- Blanket under base sheet
- Sleeping bags
- Share beds
- Hot bedtime drinks
- Hot water bottles
- Always close curtains at dusk
- Shut doors
- Cover keyholes
- Seal chimneys
- Put draft stoppers by doors
- Hunt down free cycled curtains for :
- Bare windows
- External doors
- Draughty internal doors
- Large rooms
- Hook on thermal curtain lining
- Draft proof tape for windows & doors
- Door brush
- Draft proof letterbox
- Draft proof floorboard gaps
- Loft insulation
- Only heat a few rooms
- Turn heating off in unused rooms
- Spend more time upstairs
- Get kids to share rooms
- Curtain off open plan areas
- Spend more time together
- Hang curtains over doors
- Concentrate rugs in snug rooms
- Move furniture blocking radiators
- Keep unused rooms shut
- Wear clothes more than once
- Do each laundry load less often
- Only run full loads
- Do less laundry loads a week
- Choose shortest cycle
- Cold soak laundry for pre-wash
- Air dry laundry
- Air dry clothes on hangers to cut ironing
- Shower every other day
- One big bath for kids weekly
- Only wash hair once a week
- Turn water temperature down
- Water saving shower heads
- Water saving tap fittings
- Time showers
- Run full dishwasher
- Don’t let hot water tap run, fill sink
- Use microwave
- Use air fryer
- One pot recipes
- Max out oven when on
- Put lids on pans
- Put pans on small rings
- Use sectioned steamers
- Switch to LED light bulbs
- Dust light bulbs
- Clean light shades
- Only use the light you need
- Always switch off leaving rooms
- Add dimmer switches
- Swap to lighter shades
- Timed sensors for external lights
- Spend more time together as a family so you are lighting fewer rooms.
I really hope these energy saving tips help cut bills this winter. Do book mark or save for quick reference later.
Original image source: light switches, Radiator, kettle by rawpixel, Cooking Bowl on the modern cooking stove at the home, radiator on blue wall