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Tips To Reduce Your Energy Bill As A Parent

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Do you struggle to keep energy costs at bay as a parent? If so, you’re not alone; 74% of parents are worried about paying for gas and electricity, according to a recent survey

Do you struggle to keep energy costs at bay as a parent? If so, you’re not alone; 74% of parents are worried about paying for gas and electricity, according to a recent survey.

While many parents are acutely aware of rising costs, reducing your energy consumption when you have children can be difficult.

As a result, have shared some lesser-known tips for how parents can reduce their energy bills while keeping their children happy and healthy.

1. Invest in hot teddies

While it’s common knowledge switching on the heating regularly can cause bills to surge, it can be tempting to give in as temperatures drop. Hot water bottles can be an excellent option for keeping the whole family warm and heating up beds before bedtime.

But one smarter option for parents is hot water bottle teddies or microwaveable hot teddies. Younger children are sure to embrace snuggling up with a cute, cuddly toy that keeps them warm and stops any complaints. Alongside this, hot teddies can be a safer option than traditional hot water bottles.

Cost of filling a hot water bottle:£0.08

Cost of using a microwave for two minutes: £0.01

2. Switch to cheaper cooking appliances

When it comes to the cost of cooking our food, the methods we use can make a big difference. Air fryers and slow cookers are great options to cut the cost of cooking, and it’s great news for families as these appliances are often perfect for family staples. Spaghetti bolognese, Chili Con Carne, curries and other sauce-based dishes are perfect for a slow cooker.

Meanwhile, an air fryer can cut the costs of popular options like peri-peri chicken, fish and chips and even lasagne! There’s an abundance of inventive recipes for both of these appliances, so it’s well worth considering investing in one and cutting down on the use of your oven and hob.

Cost of using each appliance for one hour: Slow cooker: £0.08

Air fryer: £0.34

Oven: £0.68

3. Be smart with food prep

Many parents are often rushed off their feet, so when it comes to cooking, it’s no wonder we often don’t give a second thought to how we’re prepping food. However, some slight changes to how family meals are prepared could save money on bills.

When cooking, consider chopping ingredients smaller as this will reduce the time it takes to cook, reduce the amount of energy needed and thus lower your bill!

Another clever hack to reduce energy usage when cooking is to soak some ingredients beforehand. Certain pulses such as beans, lentils and chickpeas will benefit from this, resulting in faster cooking times and less energy consumed.

Alongside this, freezing food and ingredients can be a great option to save money but when it comes to defrosting, remember always to leave enough time for food to thaw naturally - reducing the need for a microwave and using more energy.

Cost of using an electric hob per hour: £0.58

4. Be mindful of bathtime

While it’s well known that showers are more energy efficient, baths are often preferred by children to showers. But the great news is that there are innovative products designed to cut down on water usage and keep children safe.

Bath buoys and bath dams work to close off your tub and allow for a smaller area of water when bathing your child. These can be great options to cut down on heating and water usage, with some cutting down a whopping 56 litres of water.

If you can convince your child to shower, it’s well worth investing in a shower timer to ensure they don’t hang around for too long. Many come in fun and friendly designs that encourage kids to use them. Alternatively, for older children, ask them to pick a couple of their favourite songs and aim to shower before they end!

Cost of a standard hot bath (100 litres):

Gas: £0.46

Electric: £1.26

5. Set challenges and rewards

Rewards are a great way to encourage good behaviour in your children and allow them to learn. We often use rewards in childcare and education — so why not apply this approach regarding energy usage?

Educating your children on the effects of our energy use and setting them challenges to use less can save you money and be a great learning tool.

Why not consider allowing children rewards for simple tasks such as remembering to turn lights off, switching appliances off at the plug or limiting time in the shower.

Cost of leaving appliances on standby per hour: Sky Q box: 0.31p

PlayStation 5: 0.01p

6. Use timers for lights and other electricals

Parents often lead busy lives, so it can be tricky to remember all the small tasks when running a family household. Timer switches can be a great option to ensure lights and other appliances are switched off on time.

Many will be familiar with the traditional dial timer plugs, but you can also buy options which connect to your wifi for extra ease. Connected apps allow you to turn on and off electricals — whether you’re too tired to get up or you’ve only remembered after leaving home.

You can even set a schedule for when you’d like your electricals on, meaning you don’t have to worry about nagging children to switch products off.

Cost of one light bulb per hour: 0.34p

7. Take time away from screens

In today’s digital world, it’s estimated children spend 17 hours a week in front of a screen. While this is not only bad for their health, it’s driving up energy usage in family homes.

A great way to cut energy consumption is to focus on time spent outdoors as a family. Children who cut down on screen time are proven to have improved attention spans, empathy and behaviour.

Some great options for outdoor family activities in walks, treasure hunts and time capsules. And if you also want to cut the costs of your food bill, why not try foraging or growing your own food?

Cost of running entertainment appliances per hour:

TV: 1.02p

Sky Q Box: 1.5p

Costings sources:

You can use the Go Compare Energy Cost Calculator, which is an interactive energy cost calculator tool to find out how much equipment in your house costs to run.


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