There’s no denying the fact that the British winter can be extremely cold, with last year’s temperature plummeting well below freezing. The Arctic conditions had the country preparing for its coldest winter in eight years and the soaring gas prices were no help either. All of Britain’s “big six” energy companies announced price increases last year because of rising wholesale costs. According to an Ofgem 2018 report published on Reuters, gas and electricity bills now cost nearly 5% of the average UK household budget.

But there is still a lot homeowners can do to save energy and money. For one, the latest technology can help you keep your energy consumption down—making your household more energy efficient and affordable.

Here are some of the technologies you can install.

Switch to LED light bulbs

LED lights last 10 times longer than fluorescent lights, which means you don’t need to keep replacing your bulbs at home. LED lights also consume 25% to 80% less energy, which can significantly reduce your utility bills. It’s a simple and smart way to be more eco-efficient.

Improve your insulation

House Beautiful notes that warm air can escape from your home in all directions, such as the roof, walls, floor, doors, and windows. This means a lot of the energy you’re paying for is going to waste. One way to stop warm air leaving through the windows is to install smart shades. These can save up to 10% to 30% a year on heating and cooling costs. You can get the SOMA Smart Shades, which cost around £117.51. Once installed, you can control the blind’s chains using your smartphone, pre-setting them to open during the day and close at night. The device is even charged by a solar panel. The Lutron Serena (price varies) is also a great option. It’s controllable via Amazon Alexa, HomeKit, and Google Assistant, and is fully customisable so you can easily select the right blinds for your windows.

Get a smart thermostat

Another way to warm your home without compromising the environment, and your monthly budget, is a smart thermostat. This can be easily integrated into your home to work with your heating system. The array of smart heating controls featured on Screwfix show how the temperature can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet that is connected to the Wi-Fi enabled device. It will allow you to remotely control your heating and cooling and pre-set the temperature for when you get home. This will allow you to save money while also not compromising on comfort.

Install smart metres

Your smart metre works by directly communicating with your energy supplier. Energy monitoring apps, which usually only cost £25, can help you monitor your energy usage in real time. This means you can see which appliances are costing you more and what time of day they’re most expensive. You can also set what time certain appliances turn on and how long they are used for.

Choose alternate sources of energy

A four-bedroom detached house in Durham employs alternative sources of energy to make it eco-friendly and cost-efficient. The house features solar power, rainwater harvesting, a mains pressure scald-proof domestic water system, and triple-glazing—all of which help leave a significantly low carbon footprint. Although installing solar panels can be expensive at first, in the long run, it will result in lower utility bills and more energy efficiency in your home.

There are other simple changes you can do, too, and these won’t even require you to install anything new in your home. Use reusable bags when you shop, so you don’t have to use plastic carrier bags whenever you go to the supermarket. Put one in your car so you never forget it. Fix drips and draughts, too, so you’re not needlessly wasting your resources. It will also cost you more in the long term if you let small issues get worse. Here on Hello Eco Living we also suggest that you make sure you don’t forget to turn off your appliances when you’re not using them. Unplug them if they won’t be used for a while. This is a simple but very effective way to save energy and money that most people overlook.

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