By Amy Denton, GLOBUS Correspondent
As a first-year student, I have recently begun the process of looking for second-year housing. It feels crazy to be looking already because term 1 has only just finished, but everyone who’s given me advice about uni-life has said to start early. However, the one thing I haven’t been told about is how to keep my bills from costing me a lot of money. A pressing issue for someone living on a student budget! Thus, I have compiled a list of easy things you and your flatmates can do to keep your bills low in student housing that will hopefully help you out!
1: Avoid using heating
To stop draughts and to keep your rooms from getting too cold, you can use draught-proofing strips or draught-excluders. And an even easier thing to do – try putting on a jumper before you turn on the heating!
2: Turn off the lights whenever you leave the room
It also helps to avoid using the lights whenever you can. Instead, you can try to maximise your use of natural light (which costs nothing!) wherever possible.
3: Cook together with your flatmates
By all using the oven and hobs at the same time, you are reducing the amount of energy used as the appliances aren’t constantly being turned on and off. If you live with a lot of people and can’t do this, try grouping together by times that you eat.
4: Reduce water consumption
Whilst this may be hard, as I for one will admit to enjoying a long hot shower and using the dishwasher, you can significantly reduce your water consumption by taking shorter showers and hand-washing dishes when possible. Another way to reduce water consumption is to only run your washing machine with a full load. By waiting until you have a full load, you are reducing the number of times you will have to run the washing machine, and therefore reducing energy consumption.
5: Unplug appliances when they’re not in use
Whilst you may think that turning appliances like your TV off when you’re not using them stops it consuming energy, that is in fact not true. One article by The Spruce says that “75 percent of the energy used by home electronics is consumed when they’re turned off.” That’s shocking! To combat this issue, just unplug appliances or turn off the power sockets when they’re not in use.
I hope that these tips come in handy, whether you’re looking at moving into student housing next year, or even if you’re already there!