Running your home like a business will produce a better bottom line on your domestic balance sheet. Angela Irmin shows you how a few prudent measures can shave a big chunk off of your utility bills.

Running a home is not a 9-to-5 job – the hours are terrible and the pay diabolical – but treat it like a business and you can make huge savings each year. Energy costs are a worry right now, so the first thing to do is cap your bills. Don’t think about doing it, or put it off until tomorrow, do it today. Speak to your providers before the next price hike kicks in. Once you’ve done this you can then set about reducing your usage.

Less charge all round

Keep an eye on what your kids are doing. I find myself constantly following them around and switching off their various electrical appliances. It only takes around an hour to fully charge a mobile phone yet kids happily leave them plugged in overnight, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to switch off games consoles, stereos and televisions. A typical PC left running for 24 hours will use £70 of electricity over a year – if you only use it for 2 hours a day you could save almost £60 each year by turning it off.

Turn the heat down for cool savings

Turning the thermostat down on your heating reduces your heating bills by 10%.
You won’t notice the difference in the warmth of your home but you will in your quarterly bill. I never use the washing machine unless it is full, and use a cool wash wherever appropriate. The same applies to my dishwasher. I’m also using any surplus hot water from my kettle in the washing up, and the water from my baby’s bath gets recycled to wash the car or give the garden a drink. Try taking showers instead of baths to reduce your water and gas bills, and keep your time in there to a minimum. A shower uses 6-10 gallons of water per minute. Knock 2 or 3 minutes off of your daily ablutions and you’ll notice the difference in your pocket.

These are just a few really simple measures that any of us can take to reduce our energy usage. Better than feeling the heat when the bills drop through the letterbox.

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