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Managing Your Domestic Energy

By SarahWhelan 20 Feb 2020

Moving away from halls to your new home can be a really exciting time. It's increased independence, a change of scene and living with people you have chosen.

It can also seem daunting, especially managing bills, but we are hear to ease some of those worries.

We have some top tips on keeping in control of your energy use and making sure you have a flat that won't break the bank.

  1. Check the EPC. Every property available for rent legally has to have a publicly available Energy Performance Certificate. It is a legal document that rates the efficiency of a property. Any new tenancy starting from the 1st April 2020 requires a minimum rating of band E. If you are thinking of renting a property, or already do, search for them Here using the postcode.
  2. Switch Suppliers. It can seem daunting but it can be done 100% online and in a matter of minutes. First make sure you pay your energy rather than your landlord, then get a hold of a recent bill so that you know your current supplier and price per Kwh. Use Citizen Advice Bureaus free and impartial comparison website to see if you could save by switching. Click Here for more advice on switching as a tenant 
  3. Avoid Estimates. Sending in a meter reading rather than relying on a bill estimate for your energy use can help manage your funds better. This way you will only pay for what you use. If you do go with the estimates then you will be reimbursed for any over spend. Click Here for advice on reading your meter
  4. Turn Off Standby. By switching your appliances off standby you could save £30 per year per person. A free night out for just flicking a switch. 
  5. Avoid Plug-In Electric Heaters. This may be unavoidable if you have a particularly cold flat but plug-in electric heaters are generally more expensive to run than integrated electric or gas central heating. 
  6. Programme Your Heating. Heating an empty house is the closest to burning money you can get. Use your programmer to only have heating on when you need it. Try having it come on 30mins before you get up and going off 30 mins before you go to bed in the evenings if you find it very cold. Click Here for a demo on using a heating programmer.
  7. Use LED's. Choosing LED's instead of Halogen/traditional bulbs could save you £35 per year. A quick way of detecting an LED bulb is to see if it emits any heat-if you feel warmth when you put your hand near then it isn't an LED. 
  8. Manage Your Water. Shorter showers, washing at 30, using a kitchen basin and only filling the kettle to as much as you need are all simple changes that can help reduce your water use and save you money. Scotland is renowned for being a damp country but Scottish Water only has access to 1% of rainfall-consume thoughtfully. 
  9. Insulate. As a tenant you're not responsible for installing double glazing or wall insulation but a few cheap tricks can help keep the heat in. Hang some curtains at the window-you can pick a pair up cheap at a charity show and dye or decorate at home. Use a draught excluder cushion along the bottom of ill-fitting doors, try making your own using this HOW TO. 
  10. Set Reminders. Pop a reminder on your phone for when bills are due, this will avoid that middle of the night panic as you remember it was due last week. 

It can be worth checking the Landlord Registry to make sure your landlord is registered, it is a legal requirement.

It is highly likely you had to pay a deposit for your new flat, this is usual protocol, just make sure it is lodged with a tenancy deposit scheme. The landlord legally has to do this within 30 days of the tenancy commencing. 

Home Energy Scotland is a great, free and impartial service offering advice on all things energy and home.

Home Energy Scotland

But remember, if you are feeling worried about finding a flat or managing bills, there's always someone to talk to...

You can contact student services - level 1 along the red corridor.

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