New Year, New Prices
Now the new year is underway and the holidays are well and truly behind us, we are starting to feel the effects of the annual price increases for basic services. As discussed in previous articles, the drought and lack of wind in 2017 as well as the cold spell at the end of the year caused the cost of electricity to rise. December saw our electricity bills increase by an average of 4.6%, with an overall increase of 10% for 2017.
Gas and water also did not escape the price rises. Last month the costs of gas increased 6.2% and at the time of writing, we are waiting to see if the cost of a gas bottle will go up again following the increase of 2.1% in November. The cost increases for water vary city by city but someone living in Murcia pays 6 times more for domestic water usage than someone living in Soria.
We’ve shared some basic tips on how to save water before so here are some tips for how you can save electricity and help reduce your energy bills at home.
- Use more natural lighting at home. Open curtains and blinds and let the sun light your house. Always turn lights out when leaving a room, regardless of how long for.
- Rethink your outdoor lighting system. Leaving outside lights on all night can waste a lot of electricity. Instead consider getting solar powered automatic security lights with motion detectors and replacing decorative lights with solar powered ones to complement your garden and pathways.
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs inside your home. LED bulbs are more energy efficient and they save a lot of electricity and money over time.
- Unplug all your appliances and electronics when not in use as they continue using electricity when plugged in, even when the switches are turned off. They may all use small amounts of energy, but it adds up over time. Alternatively, there are products such as standby savers available that allow you to turn all your appliances off standby in one go.
- Replace your appliances with energy-efficient models. AAA rated appliances are the most efficient and will save you the most money. Drying clothes outdoors costs nothing and uses no energy.
- Heating and hot water typically accounts for over 60% of what you spend a year on energy bills. Switching to renewable energy solutions such as solar hot water heating; solar electricity and biomass (wood-fuelled including pellets) heating systems can help save you money as well as being kinder to the environment.