In an economic climate where the cost of living keeps rising and wages are not moving in line, it seems positively criminal for energy prices to be escalating at the rate they have been. The Telegraph reports that “consumers have in recent weeks been hit by price rises of up to 11.1 per cent” when the data from energy regulator Ofgem “suggest that wholesale prices rose by only 1.7 per cent over the last year.” While the public is not surprisingly outraged by this news, former Tory minister Angela Knight urges that energy company profits are not as big as they sound, equating to just “four or five pence in the pound.”
While politicians and CEOs battle it out in parliament, householders are left with skyrocketing energy bills. Many Brits are dreading the coming winter after the recent price hike of over 10%. But there are lots of things that you can do to keep warm this winter without turning up the heating.
Trent told money-saving blog The Simple Dollar some tricks that he uses to keep warm during those long days working from home in winter. After listing the basic check over the house for draughty spots and gaps in the insulation, he sings the praises of a good pair of socks. It might sound trivial, but, he explains, “feet are one of the primary thermal indicators for the body as well as being a relatively poorly circulated extremity. Keep the feet warm and the rest of you will be fine.”
A Site about Nothing writer Andy, claims that after trying everything from toe warmers to thick socks, he believes that the merino-silk combination sock from Wigwam have proved to be the most effective way to keep his feet warm. He warns that overly bulky socks can inhibit blood flow – which is crucial in keeping your toes warm.
Another tip that Trent swears by is simply drinking hot beverages. Working from home, he often feels the cold easily from spending long periods of time at his computer and keeping a hot mug of tea or coffee beside him keeps the chills away.
When you feel as if you just can’t get warm, go for a brisk walk or start your work out early. If heating your house is becoming unaffordable, Casey Slide told Money Crashers that keeping active is something you can do for free and the effects will be lasting. Sitting for long periods of time makes you colder so you could try spacing activities out through the day, so that you can alternate between rest and activity. You can do this by catching up on housework or by doing some simple movements like squats, lunges and push-ups. You’ll be surprised how effective this can be.
Get in the kitchen
Oven heat is far more energy efficient in winter because it works with the warming of your house as opposed to the cooling attempts in summer. Not only will using the oven heat up your kitchen, it’s a good incentive to eat homemade food. Casey suggests to “keep the oven cracked after you turn it off so that its heat can be reused inside your house.”
The right balance
Letting your house get too cold is never wise. It can damage pipes in sub-zero temperatures and it can lead to illness especially in the elderly. Energy Choices suggest that by “turning your thermostat down by just one degree centigrade can save you 6% on your heating bills – around £30 a year.” They explain that instead of turning the gas up when you feel the cold, “simply set your boiler to come on a little earlier, that way you won’t be cold while you wait for the house to heat up.” They also suggest that switching to another energy company can save you up to £200 a year – so don’t let your utility company rest on their laurels.
Contrary to what you might think, heating the house at night is not necessary. While it’s important to keep warm at night, this is best done through warm bedding. You can stay warm under the covers, and then in the morning, set your heating to “come on about half an hour before you get up, and wear bedclothes and socks. ” Even if you like a cool temperature in the bedroom, “cold air on the head at night has been proven to increase blood pressure so make sure that, even if you like fresh air in the house, you keep bedroom windows closed – especially at night.”