Many of us will be spending more time at home over the next few weeks and maybe months – and while your top priority will be keeping yourself and your family safe, you might be worried about the effect this will have on your energy bills. Follow these tips to ease the pressure on your finances.
- Layer up. Although it’s officially spring, choosing a cosy jumper and slippers instead of shorts and a t-shirt can stop you needing to turn up the heating.
- Get your timing right. If you’ve got your heating set around being out of the house for most of the day, think about what suits your new routine. If not commuting to work means you’re getting an extra half hour in bed (lucky you!), set your heating to come on half an hour later.
- Keep the heat in. Do a draught check and make sure your doors and windows aren’t letting in the chill. If you find any problem areas, DIY draught-proofing can help keep your home cosy.
- Switch off standby. You might be in the habit of turning appliances off at the wall before you go to bed, but doing this throughout the day helps to cut energy waste even further. If you’re catching the news at breakfast, switch the TV off at the wall until you’ll be using it again.
What to do if you're working from home
Working from home brings its own challenges, and not just remembering to change out of your pyjamas for that Skype meeting! Here are a few things you can try to keep your energy use down.
- Make the most of natural light. Set up your workstation near a window and you might not need to put the lamp on – plus, natural light is better for your wellbeing.
- Unplug your laptop. Remember your laptop has a battery, so you don’t need to have it running off the mains all day.
- Take a screen break. Your body temperature can drop when you sit still for too long, so get up from your desk regularly to stretch, move around and warm up with a cuppa. This is also good for productivity.
- Coordinate coffee breaks with your new ‘co-workers’. Speaking of cuppas, check if your partner wants a tea or your kids are after a hot chocolate so you’ll only need to boil the kettle once. Remember to only boil the water you need so you’re not wasting energy.
Support for people on prepayment meters
Gas and electricity suppliers have agreed emergency measures to make sure vulnerable people and those with prepayment meters don’t get cut off during the coronavirus outbreak. Get in touch with your energy supplier to find out what support they can give you – but remember, phone lines are busier than usual, so use email and web chat for non-urgent issues if you can.
Remember, we're here to help
If you’re worried about your energy bills or struggling to stay warm at home, call us. We’re funded by the Scottish Government and we’re here to help. Our service is free and impartial and we’re committed to keeping you warm. Contact us free on 0808 808 2282 or request a call back.