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A Student Guide to Rising Energy Bills

4 mins read

This is a guide for students that have to deal with the rapid rise of energy bills in private accommodation.

Energy bills are going to rise by about 54 per cent according to Ofcom. The general cost of living will reach a peak in April 2022.

The pandemic, the overuse of energy resources in December 2021 and 2020 and the Eastern-European war caused an energy crisis that citizens all around the world will have to deal with.

According to the 2022 research on student poverty from the NUS (National Union of Students) 60 per cent of students in Scotland are worried about their finances.

Brig went through different articles on how to save energy, so you don’t have to. Here are the best tips for students:

  1. Install a smart reader or submit new meter readings frequently.

Accurate meter readings are the basis for paying for your energy usage. The numbers on your gas and electricity meter show your usage. A smart reader will submit the readings to your supplier automatically. Many energy meters in private accommodation are still manual to this day. Ordering a smart reader saves you a lot of hassle and money as well since your highest and lowest usage get submitted electronically. Most energy suppliers offer the installation for free. However, make sure to ask your landlord before installing one. If you are not able to get one installed, go out of your way and submit meter readings at least once a month. Believe me, the work is worth it.

2. Buy yourself a robe and some blankets

My flatmate and I used to put the heating on a lot in our flat. Now, through the rising bills, we have realised that isn’t a luxury we can sustain. It was a mutual decision to buy some blankets together. Having priorities and understanding that you don´t always have to heat until the maximum can be quite helpful.

3. Turn down the temperature of your thermostat

Even decreasing the temperature by one degree can make you save a lot of money. Putting your thermostat on automatic mode also keeps the temperature down during the night when heating is not that necessary.

4. Unplug your devices and avoid standby mode

Most of us keep our electronic devices plugged in and on standby when they are not in use. However, in that case, you keep using energy throughout.  Small habits like turning off the switch after using one of the devices can already be helpful. In general, charging electronic devices for a long time is damaging for batteries. The more you charge your device the more the battery loses its capacity. Then again you will have to charge it more often. Electronics need maintenance just like anything else. Unplugging the devices that are not in use is a good step forward.

In general: you will be fine even if you are cold for a while. Truth is, most of us are just used to the ultimate comfort of a warm home and devices that are constantly ready to use. Not only is that detrimental to our energy bill but also to the environmental footprint that we leave. Changing small habits and being aware of our day-to-day energy usage can keep the bill down.

Feature image credit: Pexels Free Photos

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