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The unusual technique for saving money on energy bills

 

Mind mapping, tasks and analysis for reducing energy and saving money

It’s safe to say that the majority of us would like to save money on our household bills. According to the Office for National Statistics, housing, fuel and power takes up 13.3% of the average UK household’s weekly budget, with electricity, gas and other fuel costs reaching an average of £22.50 per week.

In addition to consulting comparison sites like Utility Saving Expert, there’s another, more unique way to save money and reduce your utility output. Using Mind Doodle, the free mind mapping and project management tool with built-in SWOT analysis, you could become more sustainable, environmentally conscious, and save money. What’s not to love?

 

Why use a mind map and project plan to reduce energy bills

How could a mind mapping and project management tool have an impact, you ask? When you write a list or make a plan, usually you will do it in sequential order, even though our brains don’t naturally work this way.

Doing things the usual way, with lists, order and structure, means there’s no room for thinking outside of the box.

On the other hand, when exploring how to reduce your energy bills, mind mapping will take you through this problem-solving process with freedom to innovate. It’s a creative method that is far less daunting than other planning techniques. You can start in any order and take your ideas in any number of directions.

Picture an image of a mind map. It starts with a central idea, then has many branches of ideas growing outwards from there. Now consider how you think. It’s an almost unconscious process that does not necessarily happen with any structured order. On the contrary, our thoughts cross over and intersect in many directions in a non-linear way, just like a mind map.

Further adding to efficiency is task management. For each node in a mind map, you can add tasks to move them from an idea into an action point. This helps you make progress.

We can all be guilty of saying rather than doing. Mind mapping with built in project management helps avoid this oversight, ensuring you see your tasks through to completion. This will give you the motivation you need to implement any improvements that could result in lower energy bills.

Finally, Mind Doodle’s SWOT analysis tool helps you analyse the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats in your mind map. You can add tasks directly from the SWOT analysis tool, helping you make strategic decisions about how to save money, save energy and make your home more sustainable.

 

Do it yourself: DIY energy saving mind map

In an article for the Huffington Post, US Senator Bernie Sanders said: “Every day we are paying more for energy than we should due to poor insulation, inefficient lights, appliances, and heating and cooling equipment – money we could save by investing in energy efficiency.”

He’s right. Each of us can make simple changes, as well as strategic, long-term investments to improve our energy efficiency at home, resulting in cheaper utility bills.

You can create a DIY plan for saving on your utility bills using Mind Doodle for mind mapping, SWOT analysis and task management. Here’s how:

  1. Make a mind map with all of your energy outputs (or problems) in one colour.
  2. Refer to the helpful guides on our homepage to kick-start your problem-solving.
  3. Add your optional solutions in another colour, circling around the energy output.
  4. Add pros and cons as an additional layer of ideas around each solution.
  5. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box with unique solutions.
  6. Build up your mind map, adding notes and media to make it more comprehensive.
  7. Use SWOT analysis to assess the risks or opportunities for each solution.
  8. Once have decided your preferred solution, highlight this with another colour.
  9. Consider adding a featured image to help you picture your solution.
  10. Add tasks detailing how you will implement this solution.
  11. Move tasks along the task board as you complete them, helping you stay focussed and motivated to continue improving your energy and cost savings.

For inspiration, check out our starter mind map DIY: Saving energy and money

Key solutions generated from mind mapping:

Problem: Expensive gas bill
Solution: Install a smart meter

Problem: Expensive electricity bill
Solution: Change suppliers

Problem: Expensive water bill
Solution: Find ways to use less water

Problem: Heat escaping through windows and creating drafts
Solution: Double or triple glazed windows

Problem: Old and inefficient boiler
Solution: Install combi-boiler

Problem: Heat escaping through loft
Solution: Loft insulation

View the task board for this mind map: DIY Plan: Energy Saving

 

Saving money whilst saving the planet

As you develop your mind map, you’ll notice the most effective way to save on your energy bills is to make your home more energy-efficient. This could involve double or triple glazed windows, loft insulation and a smart meter. An added benefit of saving some cash by reducing your energy bills is the collective effect of reducing our overall carbon footprint.

Scientists agree that our current actions for improving sustainability are not enough for us to meet our climate targets. Individuals need to rely on governments and large corporations around the world to make changes, but we can also do our part from the comfort of our own homes.

By improving energy efficiency through simple household improvements, your home becomes cosier, your bills become cheaper and your impact on the environment becomes greener.

 

Reviewing your renewable options

In Greta Thunberg’s speech at the Brilliant Minds conference in Stockholm, she said: “If we are to stay below the 1,5 degrees of warming limit, which is still possible within the laws of physics, we need to change almost everything. We need to start living within the planetary boundaries. This will be a drastic change for many, but not for most.”

A significant method for reducing energy bills whilst improving sustainability is using renewable energy. Wind and solar power are becoming cheaper and more easily accessible across the world, whilst non-renewable generation capacity has decreased in Europe, North America and Oceania by about 85 GW since 2010.

Switching to renewable energy wherever possible will be the start of a long-term reduction in the cost of energy bills, whilst making your own footprint greener.

To explore your options, add each renewable energy source you can think of into a mind map, then add further details such as estimated initial investment, duration to see a return on investment, impact on sustainability and practical information like the instalment process.

Just like with your first mind map, you could use Mind Doodle’s built-in SWOT analysis to analyse strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for each renewable energy source.

As an example, consider the use of geothermal energy for people living in Iceland:

  1. STRENGTH: Due to the high concentration of volcanoes in that area, geothermal energy is renewable and almost completely free, an obvious strength.
  2. WEAKNESS: A weakness is that this energy source cannot (yet) be transported across seas.
  3. OPPORTUNITY: However, this still creates an opportunity. Once the right technology has been developed, Iceland’s geothermal power could become a global energy source.
  4. THREAT: A threat is if Iceland somehow becomes less tectonically active, 85% of all houses in Iceland that depend on geothermal power would need to move to another source.

Use Mind Doodle’s SWOT analysis tool to complete this exercise within your own context. Once you’ve finished your analysis and made your decision about which renewable energy source you could implement, add some tasks to set your energy-saving plan in motion.

You can use the free SWOT analysis chart to view your analysis in 3D.

 

Start reducing your energy bills today

Saving money on energy bills and improving sustainability might seem like mountains to climb. However, by exploring your utilities visually using mind mapping, analysing solutions using SWOT, and breaking them down into reasonable chunks using task boards, you will be well on your way to making small but important improvements.

Create a free account with Mind Doodle and start mind mapping energy-saving solutions today, so you can benefit from reduced utility bills and save some extra cash, whilst doing your part for the environment.