The #PowerToSwitch with beanenergyshopper.com

Do you have children who constantly leave lights on around the house?

Or – like myself – do you have two preschool girls obsessed with clicking the lamps on and off in the lounge and bedroom probably just to annoy me as part of some game you don’t understand?  Do you traverse your house finding random footstools and chairs strategically placed in order that a small person can reach up to switch a light on – and leave it on?

#powertoswitch
“Hmmm…how many times can I flick this on and off before Mummy flips?”
If so, then you may be be more concerned than usual about keeping family energy costs down.
Having a family means consuming far more electricity and gas than usual.  For example, just today I found myself thinking “I wish I had two washing machines” as I took yet another trip to the cellar to continue the weekend-ly rotation of continuous laundry.   One load out and into the dryer, another in.  Cooking nutritious, non-processed food also means using your hob and oven a lot.  We have a gas hob and electric oven – and I seem to remember my husband happening upon the gas metre in our cellar one day when I was cooking the Sunday roast and yelling dramatically at me asking me why it seemed to be ticking over at an alarming rate.
I’m working with BritMums for their #PowerToSwitch campaign sponsored by the Department for Energy and Climate Change.  Everyone can be an energy shopper – it’s much easier these days by getting online and visiting sites such as www.BeAnEnergyShopper.com.
 

The campaign is about helping people to save money on their bills by switching their tariff or energy supplier. There are also Government schemes to you reduce your bills or make your home more energy efficient, such as the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation(ECO) – and with another release of funding for the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund coming soon, even more people are set to enjoy a warmer, cheaper, greener home for years to come.

Millions of households are missing out on the best deals, despite the fact that there has never been a better time to switch, with 27 energy suppliers now competing for customers.  The  market has been reformed make it simpler, clearer and quicker to switch supplier and many households could save around £200 or more.

Tips on switching

There are 3 steps to switching supplier:

1. Before you start shopping around, gather key information about your current gas and electricity tariffs from recent bills – your tariff name, end date, method of payment and annual consumption.

2. Start comparing tariffs – price comparison sites are a great way to accurately compare current prices, along with any comparable tariffs – try visitng www.BeAnEnergyShopper.com. 

3. Switch either by switching through a price comparison website or contacting the energy company you would like to switch to.

Tips for reducing energy consumption

Some energy saving tips include:

– Always use the dishwasher on eco settings saving

– Line dry whenever possible rather than tumble dry

– Turn off radiators in unused rooms

– Only fill the kettle with as much water as you need

– Switch off lights and electrical appliances when not in use (and if you find a way of getting your children to do the same, do let me know!..)

After switching, what else can we do?

You can also use an appliance’s energy rating to choose a more energy efficient product and save money. Since bringing in legislation all household appliances now meet a minimum energy efficiency standard, which has helped to keep more money in our pockets.

We’ve recently switched our energy supplier and are just beginning to see the benefits.

Check out this TV advert which highlights the savings you could make, and get switching!

Disclosure:  I’m working with BritMums and DECC alongside the #PowertoSwitch campaign. I have been compensated for my time. All editorial and opinions are my own. Visit www.BeAnEnergyShopper.com for more details, or for more information about switching energy suppliers visit the BritMums #powertoswitch pages.

Ten things that seriously deplete my energy levels

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  • Small-child induced lack of sleep. The other night, I was up every hour with my one year old as she had a virus and couldn’t settle. The next day, I was sooooo tired I nearly fell asleep in the GP surgery, I craved sugar all day and then in the evening seriously considered a Dominos pizza to make me feel better. I resisted, knowing full well that the cheesy delights of the pizza actually means negative vitamin points and would serve to make me even more tired. I had salmon instead. It didn’t taste as nice.
  • Pesky viruses. I mean, seriously. Has no-one discovered a cure for the common cold yet? Nobody?! I am a great believer that the common cold and its sidekicks – the chest and ear infection, the hacking cough and sinusitis, cause untold suffering in the world today. Currently, I am cold-free, despite the rest of my family suffering badly. I am touching wood with every available limb as I write this.
  • Forgetting about myself. This is easily done, and a great energy-zapper. I have two children aged three and under and my days are spent ensuring they are happy, fed, watered, bathed and occupied. Too often, I realise that I’ve forgotten to eat breakfast or lunch. I end up grabbing a piece of cake or a hunk of cheese from the fridge to keep me going. Not good – I know perfectly well how I should be eating in order to keep myself healthy (and it doesn’t include Dominos pizza!).
  • Workplace politics. What is it about workplaces and their little cultures? Whether it be an office that you work in, or an organisation as a whole, every working environment develops its own politics, from arguments over excessive use of communal milk to who arrives two minutes late from lunch on a regular basis. The gossip element can be fun for a gossip loving blogger here, but on the other hand, I work part-time and need to get on with it. The repetitive element of the day-to-day politics can be very draining.
  • Prolonged whinging sounds. Oh that sound. I love my children to bits, and I also realise that crying or screaming is often the only way they know how to express themselves at such as young age. However, the adult brain is wired NOT TO LIKE THAT SOUND. It begins, quite low. Then the child does not get what they want immediately. It grows, and grows and it takes all your energy to stop yourself from snapping, and to find a way to distract or placate your child. I’m tired just thinking about it!
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  • Bullies. Bullies are everywhere. I was briefly bullied at school but nothing compared to some – I got off lightly. There are bullies in the workplace and bullies amongst our friends, whether you realise it or not. They want to bend you to their will, or just make themselves feel better by belitting something you have said or done. I’m not saying I’m surrounded by a bevvy of bullies, but sometimes I realise that my energy has been depleted by thinking over and over about someone else’s actions towards me that day.
  • Excessive lifting of heavy small children. Small children are heavy. We also tend to have a ‘preferred side’ to carry them on, resulting in shoulder or back pain on that side – or in my case, a thumb strain! It doesn’t last forever of course as our children become increasingly independent of our weary attempts to carry them frequently, but I do often realise at the end of the day that I feel like I’ve run a marathon or lifted a fork lift truck.
  • Lack of organisation. Having a family is one long string of events which require organisation, whether it is scheduling the weekly shop, remembering birthday parties and present buying, school applications, doctor’s appointments and picking up prescriptions, making sure the washing is done… the list is endless actually. I do tend to have an organisation plan that works. It’s very basic – a simple ‘to do’ list kept on my iPhone which I know I have with me at all times. However I do sometimes let it slip and realise I’m feeling wildly out of control and exasperated.
  • Taking too much on. This leads on nicely to my tendency to take too much on. I want to see everyone, I want to help out, I want to go to events. Then I end up double booking myself or realising I’m too tired and subsequently let people down, which in turns leads to feelings of guilt – a huge energy-drainer. Each new year I decide I will not take too much on for myself – maybe next year I’ll stick to it!
  • Watching the news. Ah – the ultimate energy-drainer and depressant. I recently wrote about this here and I’m still trying to find a way to read the good news and avoid the bad. Let me know if you’ve found one…
  • To be shortly followed by ten things which seriously raise my energy levels – hurrah!

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