How can you try to keep energy bills down?
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On April 1, the energy price cap rose by 56 percent, with millions of Britons now shelling out hundreds more each month in order to cover their energy bills. According to research by Currys, there are some household appliances that are worse than others when it comes to using energy and ultimately driving up household spending.
The retailer finds the top five “worst energy offenders” hiking up energy and gas bills for the average British household are washing machines, dishwashers, TVs and games consoles, kettles and fridge freezers.
However, Currys also pointed out some easy changes Britons can make that have the potential to drastically reduce energy bills by up to £336 per year.
Wet appliances – dishwashers, washer dryers and washing machines
Crowned as the worst offenders, washing machines, dishwashers and other wet appliances account for 25 percent of the total average household’s electrical use – and 15 percent of total energy bills costs, becoming the worst offender for using water and energy.
But, households can easily save energy and money by making use of the eco-setting, if your appliance has one.
According to Matt Manning, group carbon and environment manager at Currys: “A lot of people don’t realise their appliances have this function so it’s always worth checking the front of your machine. By switching a dishwasher onto an eco-setting, it can save the water use by 20 to 40 percent for each clean.”
Even if your machine doesn’t have an eco-setting, there are still ways that you can save both energy and pennies. Mr Manning explained: “Washing at a lower temperature of 30 degrees rather than having the temperature unnecessarily high is far more friendly on the environment as well as your wallet.”
Electronics – TVs and games consoles
TVs and game consoles, which are usually left on standby, account for a worrying 19 percent of total electrical use in the average household, or 9 percent of the nation’s energy bill.
By switching off electronics which are on standby, Currys’ research found Britons could save up to £40 a year.
Another way to combat rising bills is by checking the energy efficiency rating of new tech.
Mr Manning said: “When upgrading or trading your tech in, be sure to check the energy labels.
“By choosing products in the best available energy class, Britons can achieve substantial savings on electricity bills – up to £145 a year, when compared to bills using older models.”
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According to Currys, kitchen appliances such as kettles can “pack an almighty punch” when it comes to energy bills.
The research found that these appliances account for 19 percent of the average household’s electricity use, which is four percent of the nation’s energy bill.
Switching these items off at the wall, instead of leaving them on standby, could be the key to driving down energy costs.
Cold appliances – fridges and freezers
Mr Manning said: “Mighty fridges and freezers consume 16 percent of the total electricity used, which equates to around nine percent of the average household’s energy bill.”
Checking the energy efficiency rating on your fridge or freezer before purchase could help to drive down these costs.
Even if a new appliance isn’t on the cards, there are some additional checks you can do to make sure your fridge or freezer is working efficiently.
Make sure to keep the door closed at all times, to ensure heat does not enter the cold space and check for breaks in the seal around the door.
This seal acts as a barrier between the cool air inside and the warm air outside.
Any break in the seal will mean your appliance has to work harder to maintain its temperature.
Currys’ research found that lighting also made it into the top five “worst offenders” for energy waste.
Lighting accounts for 16 percent of the total electrical use in the average home.
Most importantly, lights should only be switched on in rooms when they are needed.
However, households can also consider switching the type of light bulbs used.
Mr Manning explained: “Simple swaps, such as replacing standard bulbs with LED alternatives means you will only be using a fraction of the energy of a normal bulb.
“Lights can then be left on as needed in the home, without the worry of a high electricity bill.
“LED lights can help reduce the average person’s carbon dioxide emissions by up to 40kg a year – the equivalent to driving a car 40 miles. Plus, consumers can save up to £9 per bulb per year.”
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