The energy-saving ‘hacks’ that are actually costing you more money

Common energy saving hacks to cut your monthly bills could actually be costing you more money, according to experts.

According to a report by Smart Energy GB, a quarter of people claim they’re still confused by the conflicting energy saving advice available publicly.

In fact, two thirds are trying methods that have little to no impact on their energy use and only a third feel well informed about advice.

The most common energy saving myth is handwashing all dishes instead of using a dishwasher, when in fact doing so can use up to nine times as much water and requires more energy to heat it, The Mirror reports.

One in five have also tried keeping the heating on permanently at a low setting instead of turning it on and off when needed, which is actually likely to lead to energy loss throughout the day.

A further fifth admit to putting electronic devices in sleep mode overnight, rather than turning them off completely which would save more energy, according to experts at Smart Energy GB.

Common energy saving habits that are effective however include:

  • Only filling the kettle with the amount needed
  • Improving a home’s insulation
  • Turning the TV off at the plug when not in use.

The most common energy saving myth is handwashing all dishes instead of using a dishwasher

The research on 5,000 adults also found almost half now have a smart meter to receive accurate, rather than estimated, bills and monitor what energy is being used, in near-real time.

By having a smart meter and adjusting it to your energy use, the average saving can be £ 366.24 over the course of a year.

This saving would account for 18.5% of the average household spend on energy, which according to Ofgem is currently £ 1,971 per year.

Helen Skelton, co-author of the Super Smart Energy Savers Report, said: “It’s worrying to feel that the cost of your energy bill is completely out of your control, but unfortunately the price cap increases means that this is now the case for so many people across the UK.

“People need tangible, long-term solutions. Whilst there are elements of the cost-of-living crisis we can’t control, taking steps like getting a smart meter to monitor energy use and being mindful of how long your devices are on for can go some way to help Brits feel more equipped and in control of their household budgets. “

Six energy-saving tips that can save you money

1. Check your insulation and draft proofing

Properties, particularly older ones, will likely lose heat throughout the day.

Therefore, one of the best ways to reduce energy use is by reducing the demand for it in the first place by ensuring insulation is well maintained and drafts that carry heat away are minimized.

2. Get a smart meter

Smart meters ensure your bills are accurate and come with an in-home display that shows exactly how much energy is being used in near-real time and in pounds and pence, giving customers more control over their energy use.

If you’re trying to limit your energy use to keep bills down, knowing how much you’re using – and what you’re spending – can be a huge help. As can knowing what the bill will be before it arrives. And they’re available at no extra cost from your energy supplier.

3. Turn down and time your heating thermostat

Many think it’s best to leave the heating on at a lower temperature, but as homes will lose heat throughout the day, it’s in fact more efficient to only have your heating come on when you really need it.

The best way to ensure only on when you need it, is to set a timer.

4. Don’t heat empty rooms

Whether it’s a spare room you don’t use frequently, or a storage room that is rarely entered, stop heating it to save money.

This could be by turning the radiators off in that room or turning off the individual thermostat.

5. Check eligibility for grants or schemes to help afford energy bills

If you are struggling to pay your bills, you might be able to get help from certain schemes or grants offered by the government or energy suppliers.

Examples include a council tax rebate to keep safe and put towards energy bills, Warm Home Discount Scheme, Energy Debt Grants, local energy grants and fuel vouchers.

6. Close your curtains

Don’t underestimate the power of curtains or blinds. Drawing your curtains helps to retain heat within your home, reducing the loss of warm air so doing so at night or if a room is unoccupied could make a noticeable difference.

In summer, they can help keep the rooms slightly cooler too by limiting the amount of direct sunlight in the room.

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