Sheena Grant looks at ways of reducing her energy bill as she continues her year of #ThriftyLiving

Are you burning money? Could you save on your energy bills?

Are you burning money? Could you save on your energy bills? - Credit: PA

It’s that time of year. It’s getting colder and darker, the lights are coming on for longer and the central heating may even have kicked in.

The arrival of autumn means one thing: the cost of heating, lighting and powering our homes is going to rise.

Try as I might, I can’t seem to stop my energy bills from rocketing.

I’ve switched gas and electricity supplier but it hasn’t made much difference. I’ve tried to cut down on central heating by installing a woodburning stove. It’s lovely and toasty in our sitting room on a winter’s night but so many other people have had the same idea that wood is no longer cheap either (although it is less costly to the environment than burning fossil fuel).

I’m engaged in a war of attrition over electric lighting with my son. He’s very good at turning them on but not quite so good at switching them off. I’ve even tried turning electrical appliances off at the wall when they’re not in use but my husband objects to fumbling around behind cupboards and shelves to find a socket switch before he can watch the TV or listen to a CD.


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Apart from cocooning myself in blankets and stumbling about in the dark, what else can I do?

Well, according to Start, an initiative inspired by The Prince of Wales to encourage people across the UK to lead more sustainable lifestyles, quite a lot, actually. From October 13 to 26 it is encouraging us all to be more energy aware through a website offering lots of tips, various initiatives on social media and through high street partners.

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I’ve already learned some things through Start. For instance, you can shave up to £300 a year from energy bills and save 190kg of carbon dioxide emissions by replacing standard bulbs and halogen lights with energy saving LED bulbs, which reach full brightness immediately and use even less energy than older energy saving (CFL) bulbs. Also, you could knock as much as 16% off electricity bills by turning off appliances on standby (one for my husband) and there are handy gadgets called electricity monitors that will tell you what’s using the most power in your home.

Maybe there is an alternative to stumbling about in the dark...

• Send your letters and tips to Sheena via email or tweet using #ThriftyLiving

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