‘Small changes’ can save you ‘hundreds’ on your energy bills

Energy bills: Couple discuss the increase in their prices

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Britons were urged to switch off their lights and appliances between 5pm and 6pm on January 23 as the National Grid began its Demand Flexibility Service (DFS). The new scheme, which was introduced last year and is scheduled to run until March is aimed to combat energy usage during peak hours, reducing pressure on the grid during cold nights. The scheme could see Britons save between £2 and £20 off their energy according to National Grid depending on their usage.

National Grid claimed it paid suppliers between £3 and £6 for every kWh of energy saved between those times on Monday.

A DFS Service Requirement was issued for Monday between 5pm and 6pm but the DFS will also be offered for a second time to eligible households between 4.30pm and 6pm on Tuesday. The scheme is only available to homes with smart meters.

According to National Grid’s electricity system operator, more than a million households and businesses in England, Scotland and Wales have signed up to take part. However, the scheme has been criticised by some, saying it risks dragging the country back to the dark ages.

A leading property expert today also claimed Ministers and energy bosses would be better off encouraging households to be more energy efficient throughout the day rather than for an hour.

Tom Cranenburgh, from Get An Offer, said: “Asking millions of people to turn off devices at one of the busiest times of day is doomed to fail. But the good news is there are things you can do to save money and reduce the level of these crippling bills. By making a few small changes you can literally save hundreds of pounds.”

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Tom has shared his tips on how to save £110 per month on your energy bill – or almost £1,500 a year – without switching anything off.

Boil what you need in the kettle

We’re all guilty of over-filling the kettle because we overestimate how much water we need.

When making a hot drink, make sure you boil what you need in the kettle. By avoiding overfilling your kettle you could save £11 a year on your electricity bills.

Change the temperature on your thermostat

Adjusting the temperature on your thermostat by a degree can save you around £50 a year, according to Tom.

Some experts have claimed 19C is the average home temperature in the UK, but some people do like their homes a bit warmer or cooler. As a rule of thumb, every degree you turn your thermostat down you will save about £50 a year.

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Timely energy usage

Daytime energy costs can often be far higher than other times of day. According to Comparethemarket, some energy providers charge less for using electricity at certain times of day or night.

The off-peak hours tend to be quite times of day when power demand is at its lowest like between 10pm and 8am, for example.

Check with your provider to see if they offer cheaper prices for off-peak electricity. More timely energy-use could see you save up to £35-a-year.

Use an eco-function

Using an eco-function could save you cash. For example, turning your dishwasher onto the “eco setting” or “energy saving mode” could save £14 a month or £160 a year.

Four-minute showers

Taking a quick four-minute shower every day rather than an eight-minute one, which is the average, could save you more than £100 over the course of a year.


Gaps around the home like in windows, under doors and in between floorboards could be costing you money.

By draught-proofing windows, doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards could save you around £45 a year on energy bills.

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Have fewer baths

Having one less bath a week and swapping a shower for a bath once a week could save you around £12 a year.

Invest in a smart meter

A smart meter will help you keep on top of your energy usage as seeing your costs in real-time can inspire the whole family to make adjustments.

Some users have reported savings of as much as £45 a month or a whopping £500 a year while using a smart meter.

Keep tumble driers switched off

Instead of using an energy-guzzling drier, air your clothes on a washing line or clothes horse. According to the Energy Savings Trust this will help save you £60 a year.

Use a microwave

Microwaves are a great way to save money at mealtimes. Mixing up and using other appliances will help too. By switching to a slow cooker and a microwave four times a week you can save £58 a year.

Only use the washing machine when it’s full

A washing machine uses around 1kWh of energy per cycle, costing about 28p. By only putting it on when you have a full load, you can save £41 a year.

Plug holes in exterior walls

Have a look around the exterior of the house and block up any non-essential holes. Effective insulation will save you at least £100 a year.

Reduce the temperature of your boiler flow system

A boiler’s default setting is usually too high. Turn it down to between 55 and 60 and your home will feel just as warm, but you could cut your energy bills by eight percent and save up to £70 per year.

Switch shower heads

Switching could save you money, especially if you choose a more energy-efficient model. This could save you £55 on your gas bills each year.

Vacuum your fridge

This may sound unusual but heavy dust on the condenser coils at the back of the fridge can prevent a fridge or freezer from cooling properly. Not keeping your fridge freezer clean could cost a whopping £45 more each year.

Choose efficient light bulbs

Energy-efficient light bulbs and other LED options are a great way to save cash. You can save £2-3 per year for every traditional halogen bulb you switch to a similarly bright LED bulb. If the average UK household replaced all of their bulbs with LEDs, it would save about £40 a year on bills.

Estimated total savings per year: £1,432

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