Martin Lewis outlines rise in average UK household energy bills
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Ofgem announced the energy price cap will rise 30 percent in October, meaning Britons will face even higher bills. While this is expected to be reviewed again in three months, many may be understandably worried about their bills. The personal finance experts at Ocean Finance have shared eight “easy ways” to cut energy costs by hundreds of pounds each year.
1. Install a free smart meter
The experts said: “Getting a smart meter installed could save you £36.93 per year on gas and electricity, according to the Government’s Smart Meter Roll-Out Cost-Benefit Analysis.”
The main benefit of a smart meter is that a person will no longer have to take manual readings of gas and electricity.
On top of that, it’s a good way to keep track of energy usage as Britons can see how much they have used on a digital display.
While £36.93 a year may not seem like a lot of money, it is an easy way to cut costs.
2. Laundry hacks
The personal finance experts said: “Washing machines use a lot of water and energy to wash and spin all your dirty clothes.
“To save money, consider washing your clothes at between 30-40 degrees to reduce the amount of energy your machines need to spend on heating the water.
“Try hanging up your laundry to air-dry it, too – this requires zero energy while using a tumble dryer can significantly hike up your energy costs.
“Plus, doing this can save you a third on your energy bills, and at £160 per year, this amounts to a saving of £53.”
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4. Switch to smart bulbs
The experts explained: “Research shows that incandescent bulbs cost around £12.40 to buy and power annually, compared to just £2.05 for an LED smart bulb.
“Saving £10.35 per bulb, a house with 20 bulbs could save £207 every year by opting for energy-efficient lighting. Even with upfront costs (approximately £161.39 to buy 20 smart bulbs), after two years you could save up to £252.61 by using smart lighting – which works out at £126.30 per year.”
4. Take a navy shower
Taking a navy shower means limiting yourself to just three minutes of hot water per shower. The experts said you can get down to three minutes by doing all your soap and shampoo lathering with the shower switches off, then putting it back on again to rinse.
The experts added: “Reducing your shower time from 10 minutes to three can save you up to £80 a year, so it’s certainly worth a try.”
5. Draught-proof your home
Ocean Finance experts explained: “Over time, your home will naturally start to leak heat through draughts around your doors, windows and floor – or even the chimney if you have an older home.
“By draught-proofing your home you can help bring your energy bill down.”
Britons can draught-proof their homes by buying a cover for keyholes, filling in skirting board cracks and putting a sponge in the letterbox. The experts said this is a “great way” to keep the hot air in and the cold air out.
6. Turn appliances off stand-by
While this may seem simple, stand-by appliances use a small amount of energy. According to the Energy Saving Trust, homeowners can save up to £80 a year shutting their electrical items down completely.
If not using for a long time, it is also recommended to unplug items as this means it can’t contribute to energy bills in any way.
7. Rearrange furniture to improve the heat flow
The experts explained: “In some cases, a simple rearranging of your living spaces could help you optimise the flow of heat in your house. If you have any furniture that covers or blocks a radiator, it’s likely that the heat from that radiator is being absorbed by that object.
“Have a scan around your living room, and if anything is blocking the radiator. You can then rearrange it to improve the heat flow.”
8. Place foil behind radiators
When the heating is on, it is important to make sure it is working to the best of its ability. While bleeding radiators regularly can help this, the personal finance experts recommended investing in a specialist foil.
They said: “Putting specialist foil (£6.60) behind your radiators is another way to improve the heat flow in your home. The foil will reflect the heat and prevent it from going into the walls.
“If your home isn’t very well insulated, then this could help you prevent further heat loss. It’s also an eco-friendlier way of keeping yourself a bit warmer.”
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