pan of boiling water

Capping the bills

Energy costs keep rising and with the kettle (for one) being a repeat offender, it’s time to lay down the law. Here’s the Quids in! 25-point guide to capping the bills

In the kitchen

1 SAVE power by putting lids on saucepans when cooking and use the right size of cooking ring for your pan

2 ONLY fill the kettle with as much water as you actually need. (It can cost 12p a time to boil a full one, so not long before we’re saving pounds). Same with boiling vegetables on the hob – only use just enough water to keep your veggies covered

3 AVOID putting hot food in a fridge or a freezer. Let it cool first

4 KEEP your fridge at around 3°C to 5°C and save electricity by regularly defrosting your freezer

5 DON’T leave the fridge or freezer door open longer than you need. Move them away from cookers and direct sunlight where possible 

6 WHEN replacing electrical goods look for an ‘A’ energy rating. Buy only the size you need


7 USE a full load in a washing machine. Half loads waste energy. (Even an A-rated machine costs 27p per wash) 

8 CHOOSE an economy programme on your washing machine whenever possible

9 WASH your clothes on a lower heat. Most detergents now work well at 30C or even 20C

10 DRY your laundry outside instead of using the tumble dryer

11 DON’T dry clothes on radiators. It makes your boiler work harder

12 KEEP filters clean in your tumble dryer, if you have no choice but to use one

13 HANG or fold clothes up after drying them so they will need less ironing. If you’re going to iron, they iron more easily when still slightly damp

Put a plug in it

14 ENERGY saving light bulbs last up to 10 times longer and cost less to run. And of course, remember to turn off the lights when not in use

15 UNPLUG your mobile phone or games console from the socket when it has charged

16 SWITCH appliances (including your TV) off standby

17 SIZE does matter. The smaller the TV, (like most electrical items), the cheaper they are to run

18 NEVER leave taps running, or even dripping

19 LIMIT wash times in the shower to save water (to help the environment) and usage of the boiler (to save on cost). Ten minutes in an electric shower can cost 44p or more


20 AVOID heating an empty home. Set the heating to come on 30 minutes before getting up or arriving home. Likewise, have it switch off 30 minutes before going to bed or leaving for work

21 TURN your heating down by 1C, this can cut your energy use by 10 per cent

22 KEEP your radiators clear, don’t put anything in front or on top of them

23 CONSIDER putting radiator panels behind radiators fixed to external walls

24 BLOCK all draughts around the house to stop heat from escaping and use heavy curtains during the winter. Keep them drawn after dark

25 IS your water too hot? Your boiler thermostat should be set at 60C

Smart meters can help us watch what we’re spending. Literally. They display the usage and the cost as we turn things on.

Costs are just a guide

Image: Klaus Nielsen / Pexels

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