There are certain things you can do that cost little or nothing, but which can save energy, and therefore money. Fuel use is the main domestic expense for most people in the UK, so it is worth adjusting our habits to save cash. Some really do cost nothing, like opening the curtains to let the sun heat the room while you are out (or closing the curtains to keep your home cool in the summer).
Until comparatively recently, fuel prices were relatively low – but now that they have soared in recent years, it really is worth making adjustments that in the past we may have thought of as being penny-pinching, such as turning off the lights in empty rooms, and heating the minimum amount of water in kettles and saucepans. This explains the resurgence in popularity of those ‘sausage dog’ draught excluders, for the bottom of doors, easily and cheaply made. If you want to be mildly shocked, observe how quickly the meter dial whizzes round when you put the electric kettle on. Remember to put a lid on the saucepan, and that it is the base, not the sides of the pan that needs heating, so use the right size hob.
For instance, when it’s cold, just put more clothes on indoors; it’s what people did for centuries. Wouldn’t you have liked to mooch around the house in a banyan? Otherwise a spare throw, or one of those nifty fleeces-with-arms might be just the ticket. You could make one yourself. Just remember to slip it off when the doorbell rings, unless you want to cultivate a reputation for eccentricity. On the subject of clothes, remember that modern detergents have been designed to work at lower temperatures, and that you should wait until you have a full load before washing.
Electric devices are relatively expensive to run, especially old, inefficient ones, so potentially there are big savings to be made; leaving things on standby should be a thing of the past. Unplug the mobile phone as soon as it is charged up, and the same goes for the electric toothbrush. The energy saving lightbulbs produced now are not the same dismal affairs as when they first came out, and there are LED lightbulbs which have a more attractive light, so start replacing all your old style bulbs, and if you adjust the brightness of your TV, even that can save energy. There are plenty of other energy saving tips from the Energy Saving Trust here, and a carbon footprint calculator here.