We’re big proponents of cutting energy costs, so on this prestigious day, we’ve put together a few top tips to help you get your energy bills down for 2017.
This article is quite old, you might prefer our latest Gas & Electricity pieces
Today is “National Cut Your Energy Costs Day”, which may sound like something we’ve just made up, but it really is a thing!
In fact, National Cut Your Energy Costs Day has been around for quite a while, and although we haven’t been able to find out who came up with the idea originally, it was officially recognised back in 2005 when it got its very own entry in Chase’s Calendar of Events. And you can’t get much more official than that.
The day even has goals which are to: “educate people on ways they can stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer while saving money on their energy bills.” Which are lofty goals indeed! And since we’re all about saving people money on their energy bills here at bonkers.ie, we figured we’d better hitch our cart to this noble day too.
So without further ado, I give you our top minimal-effort ways to save money on your energy bills…
Switch energy suppliers
Yup, this is still the number one, easiest way to save the most money on energy bills. And despite recent increases in wholesale prices, there has probably never been a better time to be an engaged energy customer willing to switch for the best prices.
Why? Well, the discounts that are currently available to new customers are the biggest we’ve ever seen – and we’ve been around the block a few times! These big discounts mean that an average household with electricity and gas can now save €394 in a year just by switching suppliers to the cheapest deals. That’s the same as knocking €33 a month off your energy bills… which isn’t bad for a few minutes’ work.
Cashback Cashback Cashback
Yes I did say it three times, and that’s because right now all major energy suppliers are offering cashback to new customers. These offers are really signup incentives (some of them are very incentivising indeed) and have up to €175 available to new customers just for switching.
Although the word cashback may suggest that you’ll be getting a roll of twenties in the post, it’s actually paid out as bill credit on your first or second bills. But this is a good thing, especially at this time of year when we’re all experiencing cash flow problems, and our bills are at their biggest.
Also, if you do it right, you may not have to pay an energy bill for the next few months because the cashback could pay them for you.
Clever cashback hacks
Electric Ireland, SSE Airtricity, Bord Gáis Energy, and Energia are all now offering cashback for electricity, gas and dual fuel tariffs. This means is that you could theoretically switch your electricity to one supplier to avail of a cashback offer, and then switch your gas to another supplier – and also take advantage of a cashback offer, which means that you could potentially realise up to €295 in cashback and still pay less for your gas and electricity than you would on standard rates.*
You can compare gas and electricity deals and discounts here, and if you need help deciding whether to go with cashback or bigger discounts, you can always give us a call on 01 256 0540 and we can help you decide.
Is it worth changing my lightbulbs to LEDs and will I really save money?
Ok, so you think I’m going to roll out that tired old chestnut about changing your lightbulbs and saving money and blah-blah-blah right?
Wrong!** I’ve actually taken a slightly more mathematical approach to this whole thing, done a few sums, and found out whether it really is worth bothering your proverbial and buying those expensive bulbs.
And here’s what I’ve found… If you replace a regular old 60 watt lightbulb with an LED bulb that gives off the same amount of light, you’ll save about a tenner a year for the lifetime of the LED – which is somewhere between 14 and 25 years depending on who you believe.
If you change out the ten lights that you use the most, you’ll save around €100 a year. Yes, the bulbs are way more expensive, but they pay for themselves in about one year, and then it’s all savings after that.
So here’s the workings, and if I’ve made any mistakes please let me know!***
I’m partial to LEDs because they are dimmable and they turn on right away, as opposed to CFLs which give off that industrial buzzy sort of light, take ages to warm up, and can’t be dimmed.
Use your dishwasher!
And finally, I will leave you with my tried, tested and true piece of energy savings advice… use your dishwasher. It's true! Your dishwasher is more efficient than you are. In fact, a full dishwasher uses less than half the energy you do when washing dishes by hand. And it uses gallons less water too - not that that matters much anymore thanks to Paul Murphy.
Anyway, a dishwasher is so much more efficient than a comparable human being doing the same job that you should bung the pots and pans in as well and know that you're not just saving money, your making sure your hands stay as soft as your face, and you're doing your bit for the environment too.
Happy National Cut Your Energy Costs Day!
*Energy offers with cashback typically come with discounts which are lower than a supplier’s best deals. Households with below average usage would benefit the most from offers with cashback. Households with above average consumption would benefit the most from taking the offers with the biggest discounts. Please note that we indicate where cashback is available, but we do not include cashback offers or any signup incentives in year one cost calculations. If you would like help deciding whether selecting a cashback offer or going with higher discounts would be best for you, please give us a call at 01 256 0504.
**I don’t wish to seem rude, it’s just that I can’t seem to resist an opportunity to put the word “Wrong!” in print these days.
***Bulb costs have come from Woodies, the electricity unit rate is Electric Ireland’s standard rate, and I’m reckoning on 3 hours per day of usage per light.