Power struggles


Do you struggle to keep energy costs under control? If so, you’re not alone. Research suggests that nearly 3 in 4 parents are worried about paying for gas and electricity ­ and it can be particularly difficult to reduce your energy consumption when you have children.

Help is at hand from Moneyboat.co.uk with some tips for parents who want to reduce their energy bills that you may not have even considered!

Invest in hot teddies

Hot water bottles can be a great option for keeping the whole family warm and for heating up beds before bedtime. A smart option for parents is hot water bottle teddies, or microwaveable hot teddies. They can also 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

Switch to cheaper cooking appliances

Air fryers and slow cookers are great options to cut the cost of using your oven and hob, and they are perfect for family staples, such as spag bol. An air fryer can cut the costs of popular options like peri-peri chicken, fish and chips and lasagne.

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

Air fryer: £0.34

Oven: £0.68

Be smart with food prep

Some minor changes can save money on bills. Consider chopping ingredients smaller as this will reduce the time it takes to cook, cutting the amount of energy needed and lowering your bill. Another smart hack to reduce energy usage is to soak some ingredients beforehand. It can mean faster cooking times for pulses such as beans, lentils and chickpeas. Freezing food can be a great option to save money, but when it comes to defrosting remember to leave enough time for food to thaw naturally - reducing the need for a microwave.

Cost of using an electric hob per hour: £0.58

Be mindful of bathtime

Showers are more energy-efficient, but children often prefer baths.

Bath buoys and bath dams work to close off your tub and allow for a smaller area of water when bathing your child. This can cut down water usage by a whopping 56 litres. 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 to encourage kids to use them.

Cost of a standard hot bath (100 litres):

Gas: £0.46

Electric: £1.26

Set challenges and rewards

Educating children on the effects of energy use and setting them challenges to use less can not only save you money but also be a great learning tool. You could consider allowing children rewards for simple tasks such as remembering to turn lights off or limiting time in the shower.

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

PlayStation 5: 0.01p

Use timers for lights and other electricals

Timer switches can be a sensible option to ensure lights and other appliances are switched off on time. You can buy options that connect to your wifi for extra ease. Connected apps allow you to turn on and off electricals - ­ you can even set a schedule for when you’d like your electricals on.

Cost of one light bulb per hour: 0.34p

Take time away from screens

In today’s digital world, it’s estimated children spend 17 hours a week in front of a screen. It’s not only bad for their health: it’s driving up energy usage in family homes. Research suggests that children who cut down on screen time have improved attention spans, empathy and behaviour.

Cost of running entertainment appliances per hour:

TV: 1.02p

Sky Q Box: 1.5p

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