Money week energy hints and tips

Saving water

Install a water butt to your drainpipe and use it to water your plants, clean your car and wash your windows. A water butt can collect around 5,000 litres a year.  

16% of your energy bills is for heating water for baths, showers, washing, dishwasher and washing machines, so reducing the amount of time spent in the shower, having a shallower bath or skipping one load a week can save you twice – once on the energy and once on the water. A shower also uses much less water than a bath.

Taking a shorter shower could save a typical household £70 a year on energy bills.

Consider buying an aerated shower head. They’re specially designed to save up to 50% more water by blending water and air.

Skipping a washing load a week for a year could save enough water to make 12,480 brews,.

Make sure your dishwasher and washing machines run with a full load; half loads waste a lot of water and energy.

Fixing a leaking toilet could save enough water for 584,000 brews, saving £445 per year. Leaky taps cost money too, so get them fixed! A dripping tap can waste 15 litres of water a day, or 5,500 litres of water a year.

Buy a flush bag and pop it in your toilet’s cistern. They are a cheap, simple way to save water with every flush.

Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. Simple but effective! You could save 5 litres per minute if you turn off the tap while brushing teeth or shaving.

Running your tap to temperature? Fill up empty bottles while you wait for it to heat up and use round the house to water plants or for the kettle.

If you’re not on a water meter, then having one installed could save you money if you’re water usage is low. Speak to your utilities company for more information.

For more water savings tips, visit Home - Waters Worth Saving

Visit United Utilities for more information and to get Water Fit - United Utilities - Get Water Fit

Gas and electricity

Energy and water bills can be expensive, but there are a few things you can do to keep your costs as low as possible. Click on the link to find out more.

70% of your energy bill is from heating your home and water, so using your equipment efficiently can reduce your bills. Make sure you know how to use the controls on your boiler, operate storage heaters and lower radiator temperatures so they’re operating efficiently. For each degree you cut the thermostat, expect to cut bills by 4%-ish, or about £100 a year on average for a typical home.

Don't heat the whole house. Thermostatic radiator valves mean you can set the temperature in each room. When the temperature rises above what's set on the valve, it will stop water flowing through that radiator, but the boiler will still be on to heat other rooms. This could save you about £150 a year on average for a typical home.

If you have a hot water cylinder, make sure that it’s insulated. According to the Centre for Sustainable Energy, fitting a hot water cylinder jacket could reduce heat loss by up to 75%.

Using energy saving light bulbs or LED lighting can make a huge difference to your energy bills. They may cost a little more to buy, but will save you a lot of money in the long run:

  • 10 traditional bulbs would cost £193 in electricity, whereas 10 low energy florescent light bulbs would cost £42 in electricity. If you swapped those for newer LED lighting it would cost £28 in electricity.
  • Make sure you turn lights off that you don’t need.

Deal with draughts - decent draught-proofing can cut 2% off energy bills, so about £50 a year for a typical home. This applies to chimneys too, where you can get a 1.5%-ish further reduction.

Check out these mythbusters from Martin Lewis -

Visit Bolton at Home's website for details of the help and support they can provide.

There are lots of ways to save money on electricity and gas, as detailed in this information from consumer group Which.

Staying warm in winter

It’s important that we have our heating on during the winter, as not heating our home properly can contribute to damp issues and frozen pipes, which can result in hundreds of pounds of damage. The Energy Saving Trust recommends ventilating rooms and having the heating on to some degree during winter.

Wearing the right clothes and using things such as electric blankets, heat pads and footwarmers can all help reduce our heating bills.

One of the easiest ways to avoid feeling the chill at night is to replace your bedding with a warmer alternative. Flannel and fleece are great options for winter bedding, or you could try an electric blanket which is significantly cheaper to run than keeping your heating on.

To stay warm indoors, layering clothes is a great tip, for example wearing tights under your clothes. You can also try thermals, vests, extra socks (thermal or ski socks) and gloves.

Keeping your feet warm helps keep the rest of you warm, so wear slippers, particularly if you have hard floors.

When sitting down, sit in a sleeping bag and pop a hot water bottle in it. The heat is contained and it will keep you toasty warm for hours.

Try and move around at least once an hour, as this helps you stay warm.

Make sure you’re eating regularly and have at least one hot meal a day. The NHS says that eating regularly helps keep you warm, and says you should have one hot meal a day and should drink hot drinks regularly.

Energy support, advice and guidance

Bolton Money Skills service

High energy costs?  Could you save money by switching your gas and electric supplier or tariff?

Ask Bill

Free and impartial money advice to help you reduce your utility bills, manage your money and deal with debt issues in a practical, straightforward way.

Energy Saving Trust

Tips and advice for quick and easy ways to save energy, lower your bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

BBC video guides

Need help saving money on your energy bills? From heating to eating, BBC consumer affairs correspondent Colletta Smith has picked out some of the best ways to cut costs in your home.

Money Saving Expert – Energy crisis help

Tips to counter the cost of soaring gas and electricity bills

Money Helper

Are you worried about your energy bills rising? Find out what help's available to you if you’re concerned about paying bills or missing a payment.

Money Supermarket

Top 11 ways to save energy at home

Citizens’ Advice

Save money on your gas and electricity


‘Check, Track and Change’ your energy usage to help manage your bills.