Go green and save big with small changes.

What would you do with a spare £500? Put it towards a future holiday? Upgrade a kitchen appliance? Or – given these uncertain times – squirrel it away for a rainy day? Whatever you’d choose, £500 is a sizeable sum, but it could be extra cash in the bank if you make a few straightforward lifestyle changes. And in doing so you’re not only saving money, but you’re helping to reduce your carbon footprint, which is good news for the environment and for the increasingly serious climate crisis. It’s a win-win!

  1. Switch your energy provider

Changing your energy provider is one of the easiest ways to save money and make a difference to your carbon footprint. According to Ofgem, the average annual household energy bill in the UK is £1,162, but you could save hundreds by switching to an alternative. And that includes green providers, too. Once upon a time renewable energy tariffs were just as expensive (if not slightly more so) than those from the traditional ‘big six’, but now they’re often much cheaper. As The Guardian reports, for example, So Energy offers a 100% renewable electricity tariff for an average of £878 – that’s a potential saving of £284! Switching energy supplier has never been easier, either. Here’s everything you need to know. Saving: around £250

  1. Use your thermostat effectively

More than half of the money you spend on fuel bills goes on heating and hot water, so there are big savings to be had here. According to the Energy Saving Trust, taking steps such as setting your heating and hot water to only come on when you need them and only heating the areas of your home that actually need heating could save you up to £75 a year. Turn your thermostat down by just one degree and you can expect to save a further £60. Saving: around £135

  1. Reduce your food waste

Here in the UK we waste 6.5 million tonnes of food every year – 4.5 million tonnes of which is edible! That’s enough to fill 38 million wheelie bins. According to Love Food Hate Waste, the average family of four could save around £60 a month by taking simple steps to reduce the amount of food they throw away. Check out our guide to minimising food waste, and learn about turning leftovers and food scraps into tasty treats here. Saving: more than £60

  1. Replace your shower head

If you’ve got a shower that takes hot water straight from your boiler or hot water tank (instead of an electric shower), you should definitely fit a water efficient shower head. This will reduce your hot water usage consumption without sacrificing the relaxing sensation of a powerful shower. Not only will this significantly reduce the amount of water you use (learn why water conservation is so important here), but it’ll shave a decent chunk off your energy bills – nearly £40, according to the Energy Saving Trust. While you’re at it, spending just one less minute in the shower will save you around £7 on your energy bills every year. That might not sound like much, but if you’re a family of five that’s an extra £35 in your pocket! Saving: more than £47

  1. Switch your lightbulbs

LED lightbulbs come in a variety of shapes, sizes and fittings, and are much kinder to the environment than traditional bulbs because they produce less waste heat and last considerably longer. In fact, used 12 hours a day a typical LED will last more than eleven years – that’s 50 times longer than a typical incandescent bulb! As the Energy Saving Trust notes, replacing your existing bulbs will cost you (about £100 for a whole average-sized house), but you’ll save on your bills year after year. Saving: around £40.

The bottom line

There are lots of ways that taking action on your energy consumption can save you money – these are just five of them, and as you can see, the payoff quickly adds up. The One Home website is a treasure trove of resources for saving money and reducing your carbon footprint in loads of different ways, from insulating your home to cutting car ownership costs. How much could you end up saving?

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