Some of the most common energy myths include washing dishes by hand instead of using a dishwasher and keeping the heat on low instead of turning it on and off
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Figures show that three-quarters of Brits changed their energy use to cut their bills and offset the price cap increase before it came into effect on April 1.
Making effective changes can be difficult, however, as a quarter of respondents say they are still confused by conflicting energy-saving advice that is publicly available.
According to a report by Smart Energy GB, almost one in three say they do not know enough about energy consumption advice and only one third feel well informed.
This has led to two-thirds trying methods that have little or no impact on their energy use, and one in four say they have no control over their household budget as prices soar.
The most common energy-saving myth is to wash all your dishes by hand instead of using a dishwasher, when in reality hand washing can use up to nine times as much water and takes more energy to heat.
One in five have also tried to keep the heating on low all the time, rather than turning it on and off as needed, which is likely to result in energy losses throughout the day.
Another fifth admit to putting electronic devices to sleep overnight rather than turning them off completely, which would save more energy, according to Smart Energy GB experts.
Common energy-saving habits that are effective, however, include only filling the kettle with the amount needed, improving a home’s insulation, and turning off the TV at the wall outlet when not in use.
The research of 5,000 adults also found that almost half now have a smart meter to get accurate rather than estimated bills and monitor energy use in near real time.
If you have a smart meter and adapt it to your energy consumption, you can save an average of £366.24 over the course of a year.
This saving would represent 18.5% of the average household energy bill, which Ofgem says is currently £1,971 a year.
Helen Skelton, co-author of the Super Smart Energy Savers Report, said: “It’s disconcerting to think that the cost of your energy bill is completely out of your control, but unfortunately the increase in the price cap means that’s now the case for many people in all over the UK.
“People need tangible, long-term solutions. While there are elements of the cost of living crisis that we can’t control, taking steps like getting a smart meter to monitor energy use and being mindful of how long your appliances are on can help Brits feel more empowered and the have control over their household budget.
Six energy-saving tips that can save you money
1. Check your insulation and tensile strength
Properties, especially older ones, are likely to lose heat throughout the day.
Therefore, one of the best ways to reduce energy use is to reduce energy requirements in the first place by ensuring insulation is well maintained and minimizing drafts that dissipate heat.
2. Get a smart meter
Smart meters ensure your bills are accurate and have 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.
When 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 big help. Likewise, one can know how much the bill will be before it arrives. And all this at no extra charge from your energy supplier.
3. Turn down your heater thermostat and set the time
Many think it’s best to run the heating at a lower temperature, but as homes lose heat throughout the day, it’s actually more efficient to only turn on your heating when you really need it.
The best way to ensure you’re only on when you need it is to set a timer.
4. Do not heat empty rooms
Whether it’s an idle space you don’t use often or a storage space that’s rarely used, stop heating it to save money.
This could be done by turning off the radiators in that room or turning off the individual thermostat.
5. Check eligibility for grants or programs to finance energy bills
If you’re having trouble paying your bills, you may be able to get help from certain programs or grants offered by the government or utility companies.
Examples include a council tax refund for retention and credit against utility bills, Warm Home Discount Scheme, energy debt grants, local energy grants and fuel vouchers.
6. Close your curtains
Don’t underestimate the effect of curtains or blinds. Closing your curtains helps retain heat in your home, reducing the loss of warm air. This can make a noticeable difference at night or when a room is unoccupied.
In the summer, they can also help keep rooms a little cooler by limiting the amount of direct sunlight in the room.
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