As energy prices increase, there’s a number of things we can do at home to keep costs down. But, what actually works and what doesn’t? We bust a few of the energy saving myths here. For more information on ways to save energy a good starting point is The Energy Saving Trust.
FALSE. By leaving the heating on all day whilst you are out, the rooms in the house simply heat up to and maintain the temperature as determined by the thermostat (see point 1) even when there’s no one in! To ensure the rooms are at a comfortable heat and maximise the energy efficiency of the boiler, invest in a timer (if there isn’t one built into the boiler already) and programme it to switch in and off at key times of the day when you know you’ll be in.
It’s cheaper to use electrical appliance at night
TRUE and FALSE. Years ago when there was less competition in the energy market, Economy 7 tariffs meant that it was cheaper to use washing machines and tumble dryers after peak times as electricity costs dripped then. However, that’s not necessarily the case anymore with tariffs available with fixed charges throughout the day and night. Check whether you’re on an Economy 7 tariff and whether it’s worth you switching to one, or from one.
Electrical appliances only use energy when they’re in use
FALSE. Unless electrical appliances are fully switched off or unplugged at the plug socket they may be using small amounts of energy known as ‘vampire power’. This along with standby on TVs, games consoles and laptops can add an extra Â£50 to Â£80 a year to your household electricity bills so unplug and switch off at the wall unit to keep bills down.
Damp in the home can be caused by cavity wall insulations
FALSE. Cavity wall insulation is designed to keep the heat in and maximisie the insulation level of your home. Combined with adequate ventilation and a balanced use of your central heating system, cavity wall insulation will prevent cold spots and condensation in your home. It can often be fitted for free and assessors will advise on the best type to prevent damp in your home.
Energy saving lightbulbs aren’t available for traditional fittings.
FALSE. Energy saving lightbulbs come in all shapes and fitting sizes from downlights to pendant lights. Simply take your current bulb to the shop when it needs replacing and match it to fittings on the energy saving bulbs in stock.
It’s a hassle to change energy suppliers
FALSE. The internet has brought increased competition to the energy supply world and as a result energy suppliers have expanded the number and variety of tariffs. If you have your last few bills handy, simple comparisons can be made online using specialised comparison sites where you can see the best deals for you. Once you’ve decided on the tariff for you, you’ll be contacted by the energy company who’ll arrange the switchover for you.