Energy bills: Expert advises to 'close curtains' when heating is on
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The prospect of huge home energy bills is a current concern for a number of households across the UK, especially with winter approaching and an increasing need to switch on the central heating appliances. As the new energy price guarantee came into effect on October 1, bringing the annual bill for an average household up to £2,500, Britons have been keenly searching for even more ways to save money.
One way to do this is by using less gas and electricity where possible, and there are a few appliance swaps that can help with this.
Swap to a glass kettle
According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average Briton boils the kettle four times a day at a cost of £203.72 per year. While this costs less than four daily drinks from Starbucks, a more efficient kettle could help people save even more.
Advice typically urges people to only fill the kettle with as much water as they need, as the more water the kettle needs to boil, the more energy it’ll need to use to heat up.
With that said, getting a kettle that shows just how much water has been poured with markings or transparency can help people gauge it.
Experts at SO-SURE said: “With a 66 percent increase in energy efficiency over typical kettles, the Russell Hobbs Illuminating Glass Kettle has a one-cup setting so you only boil the amount of water needed.”
Energy Saving Trust found that by switching to an energy-saving kettle, Britons could save up to £43 a year.
Cut cooking costs with an air fryer
The popularity of air fryers has skyrocketed in recent years, and it’s showing no sign of slowing down. According to Argos, 1.6 air fryers were sold per minute in the first week of September 2022.
While the influx in TikTok-air frying recipes could be a large contributor to the increase, news that they’re much cheaper to run than an oven could also be partly responsible.
Air fryers can cook food much faster, but they do use electricity, which is typically more expensive than gas. However, recent research has shown that cooking using an air fryer costs about half the price of cooking in an oven.
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Experts at Hometree said: “The average air fryer wattage is 1kW, meaning that using an air fryer for around ten minutes would use up to around 0.16kWh of energy. This will cost around 5p on average.”
SO-SURE experts weighed in: “The total energy cost of cooking chips will cost approximately 15p in an air fryer and 35p in a fan-assisted oven. Whilst this is a small difference, over time, it can mean a saving of around £146 a year.”
Save water with more efficient showers
Research into water bill price rises reveals that the cost of running a shower for the average length of eight minutes has risen by 16p a day in 2022 compared to 2021, with consumers now paying 60p per daily wash.
This amounts to annual costs of around £55 more per person than in 2021, which is a new total yearly cost of roughly £220.
Parv Sangera, managing director at The Bathroom Showroom suggests: “A person who changes from showering for eight minutes daily to four minutes daily could however save roughly £110 on their water bill over the course of the year.
“For a family of four, this hack could lead to a saving of £430 over the course of a year.”
Opt for an electric blanket
With an increasing number expected to face “fuel poverty” this winter, campaigns, such as Money Saving Experts’ “Heat the human not the home” are on the rise, in a bid to help people cut down on central heating usage to reduce energy bills.
One way suggested to tackle this is to invest in an electric blanket, as these are said to cost far cheaper to run.
According to Ofgem, one kWh of electricity now costs approximately 52p. Based on an electric blanket with an approximate power of 150W, it could cost as little as 7.8p to run one at full power for an hour.
SO-SURE experts said: “It costs a medium household approximately £609 a year to power central heating, so even if you were to use an electric blanket for four hours a day every day during the winter, you would only spend £297.60 per year, with huge savings to be made.”
Don’t waste heating with a smart thermostat
As the weather gets colder, many Brits will wake up and turn the heating on and leave it on for the day or have it on a timer meaning it comes on when people aren’t in.
A smart thermometer allows people to turn on the heating remotely. Some, such as a Hive Smart Meter, can even monitor when a person leaves the house and automatically turns off the heating to save money.
SO-SURE experts said: “People can save up to a third (31 percent) on heating using a smart thermostat, which means average savings of around £190 a year.”
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