The UK’s energy prices have increased drastically in 2022, with wholesale prices increasing approximately 12 times in this period. This has understandably had a substantial impact on the price which consumers pay for energy in the UK. The new Government have intervened by recently announcing their new Energy Price Guarantee, which limits what residential customers pay for their energy. Despite this, energy prices have increased approximately 2.5 times since 2021.
This is a problem which affects all households and business and we have worked hard to try to minimise the impact of this for houses we provide utilities to.
There are also a number of steps tenants can take to help reduce their energy consumption. As most tenancy agreements include fair usage charges, taking these steps can help minimise the risk of excess usage charges at the end of the tenancy.
What students can do:
- Set a sensible heating programme that meets your needs. Gas boilers account for approximately 40% to 50% of a households total energy consumption over the year, and cost up to £3.40 per hour to run. Many of our houses have smart heating controls which we use to assist with setting an appropriate programme. Engage with your housemates to find out when you actually need the heating and ensure the heating system is not left on unnecessarily, such as during the day or over the holidays when the house is empty. If you are leaving your bedroom for a period of time, ensure your radiator thermostat is turned off so your room is not being heated when you are not there.
- Minimise the use of tumble dryers, particularly in the summer months when it is easy to dry clothes outside. Tumble dryers or washer dryers cost up to £2 per cycle.
- Wash and dry clothes using the eco settings where possible, and with a full load, not just a few items. Washing machines cost around £0.80 per wash and the cost of washing and drying a full load is not drastically more than a nearly empty load. Also, take care to stay within the appliances weight limits for washing and drying otherwise the cycle may be ineffective, requiring a 2nd cycle.
- Take shorter showers. A typical 10 minute shower costs between £0.63 (gas boiler) and £2.00 (electric showers). Taking 4 minute showers instead of 10 minute showers may save up to £1.20 per day (or £36 per person each month).
- Avoid using electric heaters. These cost up to £1 per hour to run and only heat one room. Most tenancy agreements prohibit the use of electric heaters and therefore these should not be used without the landlord’s written permission.
- Put the oven on just before you need it so that it is not running unnecessarily. Electric ovens and hobs cost around £0.72 per hour to run.
- When boiling the kettle, make sure you are only boiling water you need – don’t fill the kettle right up for one cup of coffee! Kettles cost around £0.06 per cycle.
- Remember to turn of lights when leaving rooms.
- Turn off computers, TVs, phone chargers and tooth brush chargers when not in use.
This list is not exhaustive and we welcome other ingenious tips and ways which students have found to save energy.