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Top 5 household bill tips for winter

Joe Oxlade gives us 5 top tips on how to survive the turmoil of house heating and bills!



1.Don’t let your Housemates Take the Mick

If you suspect they’re using the tumble dryer, turning the heating way up or other such trickery while you’re all out, you must have a zero-tolerance policy. Otherwise they’ll keep on doing it and face no consequences – it’s not fair for you all to pay for them to have their radiator on full blast while they’re out or not to be bothered to hang up their clothes on a rack for a day. This was initially the cause of conflict in our house but after a few weeks things calmed down and our gas bills have almost halved.

2. Always be Canny over the Holidays

During the holidays, and especially Christmas, it’s a good idea to keep your heating on in your house to stop the risk of freezing pipes and to avoid having to heat up an icy house when you return, however it only needs to be on for an hour or so a day. If you don’t know how to adjust the boiler timings, it’s worth learning, because otherwise you’ll come back in January to a huge bill for wasted gas to add extra misery on top of your exams.

3. Nothing wrong with a Jumper

There’s no need to have your radiator on in your room above the 2 mark even in the winter months – all you need is a blanket for your bed and to wear a jumper or a dressing gown while you’re in there. Having your radiator on 5 or 6 all the time is a huge waste, especially as you’re most likely in there for less than half the time anyway – to keep a 1000W radiator on full whack for just 10 hours is about £1.25. The downside is that mustering the willpower to get out of your nice warm bed for 8:30s is nigh-on impossible.

You won’t want to leave.

4. Water, water everywhere

In my house we tried the ‘if it’s yellow, let it mellow’ rule for a term. Never again. It’s kinda rank and doesn’t actually save much water. The main use of water is showering and washing up, so my main tips to save on water bills would are just common sense not keeping the water on for the whole time as you wash up or brush your teeth. Using a washing-up bowl can save up to £30 a year and if you shower for just a minute less each day it’ll save £8. Obviously, another good way is to shower elsewhere, such as the gym – all the water you use there is their problem.

5. Lights and Standby

If you’re not using an electronic item, just switch it off and don’t leave it on standby – whether it be lights, your TV or your laptop. Simply switching lights off when you’re not in the room can save £13 on annual energy bills and by switching electronic items off properly can save an extra £30. You’ll also avoid having to change lightbulbs as often and electronic devices like it when you switch them off because it gives them a chance to reboot and install updates (otherwise it’ll moan at you and you’ll have to restart your laptop halfway through an essay).

The downside is that mustering the willpower to get out of your nice warm bed for 8:30s is nigh-on impossible.

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