Energy Costs

At this time, Sheds and Shedders will undoubtedly be worried about the cost of energy and its impacts both on individuals, and on Shed budgets.  To help manage, the Health and Wellbeing Advisory Group have prepared some notes which might prove helpful.

Cost Saving Tips

For your Shed

  1. Consider modifying the Shed session fees – Waive those fees for Shedders who are struggling to pay, but encourage those that can to pay it forward, or pay what you can. Encourage donations in the form of time making goods for the Shed to sell instead.
  2. If the Shed is a Charity, and members are willing, ask them to Gift Aid their donation – note the use of the word “donation” as Gift Aid cannot be reclaimed on regular subscriptions.
  3. If the Shed pays the utility bills, consider a moratorium on power tools – or suggest a 20p donation for every power tool usage. The likely costs for these items Table Saw, Chop saw, cut-off £1 per hour, Circular Saw 80p per hour (Probably underestimated with current tariffs)
  4. Ask Shedders to bring their own tea and coffee in flasks
  5. Remind Shedders to wear warm clothing, and turn down the heating (if you have any !)
  6. If you have warm social environment (that you don’t pay for, or has capacity), consider advertising in the community the fact for those that may want to take advantage rather than heating their homes.
  7. Make, advertise and sell draught excluders.


Household Tips

Energy Saving Tips

  1. Turn your heating down – each  degree cuts bills by 4% each year
  2. Add draught proofing- this can cut  2% of your bills a year. You can put tinfoil behind the radiator, draught  excluders under the door and  clingfilm at the windows
  3. Make use of your radiator thermostats- only heat the rooms you need to heat
  4. Avoid the tumble dryer-use your washing line
  5. Take your meter readings regularly- make sure you are only paying for the fuel you are using
  6. Cook with the pan lids on – It speeds up cooking and saves energy
  7. If you are cold – put on some more clothes on instead of the heating
  8. Consider some bulk buys of water saving gadgets that Shedders can purchase (Possibly at a profit) Examples include cistern displacement devices, regulated shower heads, four-minute shower timers and tap aerators. For the garden a controllable hose gun or plant water saving gel or mulch the ground well to reduce water loss.

Water Saving Tips

  1. Cut down on your shower times- stick to 4 minutes max showers and you will save hundreds of pounds a year
  2. Save up your washing and only use the machine when you have a ‘full wash’
  3. Turn your taps off- when washing your dishes and cleaning your teeth (A running tap can use more than ten litres of water a minute)
  4. Fix your leaks
  5. Order free water saving gadgets
  6. Steam your veg- its cheaper and healthier

How to Stop Spending

  1. Budget … Budget ….Budget-work out where you are wasting money. Keep receipts and document what you spend. An Excel spreadsheet is very useful for this, and template examples are available on Excel 365.
  2. Cancel unused subscriptions – Review all your Direct Debits
  3. Work out how much something costs in hours of work- how long would you have to work to buy the item?
  4. Use the FreeCycle or social media pages to get second hand items and clothes
  5. Cut down on work costs – take your own lunches and coffees
  6. Cut down on wasting food – Aim for zero waste – Have one day per week just using up what you have in the fridge or freezer.

Food Waste Tips

  1. Use your microwave, or air fryer – if you have one, they are usually cheaper than the oven. Prick baking potatoes and pop them in the microwave instead of the oven . If you live on your own, consider a table-top oven/hob as these use less energy and heat up quickly.
  2. Make use of discount stickers and supermarket loyalty cards that give discounts -do your shopping at the times when reductions are available in supermarkets (Often at the end of the day). Consider swapping branded items for supermarket own brands as significant savings can be made.
  3. Consider downloading a supermarket price comparison app.
  4. Know the difference between use by and best before – best before food is still okay once it has passed its date.
  5. Know where to store your food- bread, eggs and bananas don’t go off as quickly in the fridge.
  6. Cook efficiently- cook multiple meals in the oven at once to save


Other Practical Tips

  1. Pay attention to your standing orders- do you have extra bills or subscriptions you can cancel?
  2. Pop your wifi on a timer- save electricity by switching your wifi off over night
  3. Swap out to a cheaper mobile contract and data plan – there are deals out there which provide unlimited calls and text messages together with a gigabyte limit for a set price each month.
  4. Watch the weather- stop using the tumble dryer and dry your washing outside or with the windows open.  Or try running your machine on cold  washes – most modern fabrics will wash quite adequately on 30 degrees.
  5. Check your tax codes
  6. Save travel money- get a travel card or consider an online bank account which does not charge for currency conversion.
  7. Drive less and walk or cycle more! Better for the planet and your wallet
  8. Unlock shopping deals with loyalty apps
  9. Use Internet Search Engines to search for better energy deals.

Useful Links

Save Water – Save Money- free water saving gadgets

Healthy Starts Vouchers – food vouchers for families with young children

Money Saving Expert – cost of living help and benefits calculator, easy switching service

FreeCycIe – free secondhand items in  the local area