Energy bills jump as home workers make extra ‘cuppas’ in lockdown – low tariffs revealed

World News

Energy bills have likely been high over the last few months as coronavirus has forced many of us to work from home. This will mean, at least on the most part, that computers, laptops and other equipment are being used at home much more than usual, raising utility bills in the process.

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There is one additional element to this which most people may not have even thought about, but recent analysis reveals it to be a costly issue.

Energy switching site energyhelpline.com recently conducted research from data collected from over 2,000 respondents aged over 16.

The survey was nationally representative of UK adults and it recorded the average number of cups of tea or coffee made since the lockdown began.

These figures were then multiplied by how many UK homes there are according to the ONS.

The final calculations revealed that UK households are making an extra 195 million cups of teas and coffees at home each week, up by almost a quarter since the lock down started some two months ago.

Overall, around 7.6 billion “cuppas” are believed to have been made since lockdown began.

These figures may be amusing to discover but making all those teas and coffees adds up.

Energyhelpline calculated that, based off using a 3kWh model kettle, using the British Gas Standard Variable Rate, this additional kettle use has added £27million to the nation’s energy bills.

This is on top of home electricity use increasing generally by 30 percent, adding an additional £828 million to our collective bills.

Despite these worrying figures, there is some positive news that energy consumers can take advantage of.

In recent months, wholesale energy prices have lowered, meaning customers now have access to new fixed deal energy tariffs under £800 a year for the first time in two years.

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Tom Lyon, a Director of Energy for energyhelpline, commented on the Illuminating findings: “A comforting cuppa is a British tradition so it’s little wonder that we are turning more often to our kettles while we stay at home.

“However, being at home is also adding millions more to our energy bills.

“But with wholesale energy rates being at the cheapest price for years, now is a smart time to switch and save.

“In the time it takes to boil the kettle, you could bag an energy bargain and be on the path to saving hundreds of pounds a year.”

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Energyhelpline regularly track the best energy deals available which are calculated based off official average usage figures from Ofgem.

The tariffs below, which were reviewed on May 19, could provide consumers with substantial savings:

  • Outfox the Market: Fix D 20 8.0 tariff – annual bill value of £756
  • Tonik: Green Supper Power (one year) v1 – annual bill value of £756
  • Utility Point: Just up 20 Wk13 Direct – annual bill value of £760
  • Orbit Energy: Vari-Save Extra – annual bill value of £774
  • Gulf Gas & Power UK: Gulf Home Renewable 12 April 21 v1 – annual bill value of £792

Consumers need to act quickly however as energyhelpline update this list on a weekly basis, meaning these deals could be replaced in the coming days.

Of course, it is also possible to save money on energy bills by simply using less energy.

Thankfully, the Money Advice Service has a number of tips on actions people could take around the house that’ll cut their costs:

  • “Dial it down – Turn down your thermostat by just 1°C, and you could cut 10 percent off your heating bill. Ka-ching, an average saving of about £55 a year! Then set your boiler so your heating and hot water only come on when you need them.
  • “Light up with LEDs – Switch the light bulbs to energy-savings ones next time they need changing. They last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs. OK, so they may be a bit pricier. But they should save you about £55 while the bulb lasts.
  • “Stop energy-sucking on standby – Switch off appliances on standby, and you could save around £30 a year. Almost all electrical and electronic appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming. Just check with satellite and digital TV recorders – some may need to stay switched on, or they won’t record your favourite programmes.”

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