Saturday, June 25, 2022

The energy-saving myths that don’t help you lower your bills and the ones that actually work

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There are many myths about what consumers can do to save energy – we reveal which ones work and which ones are fiction

Consumers used to use comparison sites to find the best deals, but that’s no longer an option.

With rising energy prices already hitting the UK public hard and more price increases forecast, saving on household bills is a top priority for many.

The price cap is currently £1,977 and is set to rise above £2,000 later this year. So households are trying to find new ways to reduce their consumption instead.

But do consumers know the difference between good advice and fake news?

Go for comparison and energy advice, e.g Ihas debunked some of the most common energy myths – which could be costing you money instead of helping you save.

Many consumers believe that it will be cheaper to use energy overnight than during the day.

Gareth Kloet, energy expert at GoCompare, said: “This is not a complete myth, because for some consumers energy really is cheaper overnight. This is because providers sometimes charge you a cheaper rate during off-peak times, which usually fall overnight – when the majority of people are sleeping and therefore using less energy.

“However, not everyone benefits from these lower tariffs. On the one hand, you need a two-tariff meter or a smart meter that is able to record when your energy consumption takes place. And most importantly: Only those who use a significant part of their energy in off-peak times (e.g. putting the laundry and dishwasher in place before going to bed) see a cost advantage.”

Brian Horne, Senior Insight and Analytics Consultant at Energy Saving Trust said: “Making your doors, windows and conservatory more energy efficient will reduce your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

“The attachment of a secondary pane of glass or other transparent material within the existing window reveal is referred to as secondary glazing. Systems range from very cheap and temporary to expensive and highly effective. Thin film – such as cling film – taped to the frame will provide limited improvement at low cost, but is unlikely to last long.”

That’s a complete myth. Instead, consumers are encouraged to turn it off when not needed.

Mr Kloet said: “The most energy efficient solution is to only heat what you need, when you need it. If you have your heating or hot water on all the time, you’re paying to maintain a certain level of heat – which, of course, is always going down. Make sure you’re around to take advantage of the heat you’re paying to generate.”

When it comes to appliances like kettles and lamps, “off” really means “off”. Switching off at the socket is not necessary with these common devices. However, having your devices on standby isn’t the same as turning them off – and it might cost you.

Mr Kloet said: “If you’re guilty of leaving your TV or games console on standby, you should consider taking the extra step and turning them off at the plug. It may not seem like much, but they still use energy.”

If you have conventional gas central heating, this is usually significantly cheaper than electric heating. However, if you only want to heat a room for a short time, or just a corner of a room where you are sitting, it may be cheaper to use directional electric heating, e.g. B. a portable halogen heater.

Mr Horne said: “It’s always better to turn things off when you can – you’ll never save money by leaving something on, even for a short time. You could save around £55 a year just by remembering to take your devices out of standby mode.”

Almost all electrical and electronic devices can be switched off at the plug without changing their settings. You can also buy a stand-by saver that allows you to switch all your devices out of stand-by mode at once.

It’s not correct to say that a fan cools a room – instead, a fan helps the air in a room circulate more evenly.

While a fan on won’t drastically affect the temperature of your room, the moving air can help make you feel cooler.

If you have a fan, use it wisely — when the heat rises, the coolest air in your home is at floor level. So position your fan on the floor and point it up. This will disperse the coolest air in the room.

Mr Kloet added: “There are other, more cost-effective ways of cooling your home in the summer months that are worth trying: Keep doors and windows closed during the day to keep hot air out. Closing your curtains also helps bright sunlight also increases the temperature.”

In general, you should only leave your heating on when you need it, so we wouldn’t recommend leaving it on when you’re away from home. If you are going to be away for a long time in winter, you should adjust the heating so that there is a certain basic protection against the risk of frost.

Most heating controls have a holiday setting or freeze protection mode, which means the heating will only come on when it needs to to keep your pipes from freezing.

Not necessarily. If your energy supplier changes, your smart meter may or may not be compatible. Because early smart meters are often only compatible with the provider who originally installed them. In this case, changing providers may mean that you have to resort to manual meter reading again.

In recent years, new smart meters have been designed to be compatible with all providers. And just in case you need a new smart meter, your provider will guide you through the process.

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