Could you cut your energy bills by a third?

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1. Bigger bills!

The average household bill for gas and electricity is £1,320 - double what it cost ten years ago. To cut your bills one of the first things you should do is switch to the cheapest energy provider. After that it comes down to using less.

There are pretty much 2 ways to reduce the amount of energy you use - changing your home or changing your habits. Altering the way you use energy is something you can implement today - the savings might not be as large but they don't cost you anything either. You've just got to remember to do them.

Making alterations to your home may come at a price but it can save you money in the longer term. There are key investments which, if right for your home, are likely to pay for themselves most quickly and save you the most money.

2. Changing your home

All savings are based on a typical three-bedroom semi-detached gas heated house, with an 81% efficient gas boiler and average gas tariff of 4.21p/kWh and electricity tariff of 13.52p/kWh.

If your home needs the following improvements, you could save nearly £600 a year if you get them sorted: draft proofing, swapping all traditional light bulbs for energy saving versions, getting an energy efficient shower head, installing a thermostat, insulating your cavity walls and loft.

3. Changing your habits

These are the kind of things you can change today, without spending any cash.

Understand your heating system and how to set it

This is easier said than done. Ideally you'd get the person who installed everything to explain it to you. If this isn't an option there is guidance on the Energy Saving Trust website.

Turning off appliances

Ok…forgive us for being obvious here but this could save a typical household £50 - £90 a year. The only things that shouldn't be turned off when not being used are satellite and digital TV boxes which have been set for recording programmes…oh and your fridge/freezer of course.

Taking shorter showers

Spending one minute less in the shower each day could save as much as £10 off your energy bills each year, per person in the household.

Being careful with the kettle

Only filling it up with as much water as you need could save around £7 a year.

Use a washing-up bowl

Using a bowl to wash up (rather than leaving the hot tap running) could save around £30 a year.

Wash your clothes at 30C

Washing your clothes at 30 degrees celsius instead of 40 will save around £6 a year on energy bills.

*All calculations are based on an average electricity price of 13.52p/kWh.

4. Energy saving myths

There are a few myths about energy saving that could be costing you cash. Can you work out which of these statements is false?

Power stealers?

Electrical appliances, like TVs, laptops and phone chargers don't use electricity when they're plugged-in but not being used

This statement was

False!

Some electrical appliances and chargers draw energy even when the devices are not being used.

Straight swap?

All traditional light bulbs can be swapped for energy saving versions

This statement was

True!

Energy saving and LED light bulbs come in all shapes and sizes and can now be fitted in down-lighters, free-standing lamps and spot lights.

Desktop saving?

A desktop computer in 'screensaver' mode uses as much energy as if it were being used

This statement was

True!

Screensavers are basically another programme which consumes energy like any other.

Night saving?

It is cheaper to run appliances, like washing machines, at night than during the day

This statement was

False!

While some of us are on tariffs that vary depending on the time of day (e.g. Economy 7) the majority of us pay the same rate at all times of day and night.

5. Power hungry appliances

Infographic showing which appliances use most power

Ever wondered which of your appliances are adding most to your bill? Knowing the biggest offenders will help you realise where the biggest savings can be made.

6. So could you save a third?

Think you could do it?

Yes

I've learnt so much that I'm going to be an energy saving ninja!

You selected

Yes!

Good work! Not only can you become an energy saving ninja but you could also help the environment too.

No

Not a hope! I can't save anywhere near

You selected

No!

Maybe you've already sorted everything out and so there's nothing more you can save. Or...maybe you think this guide is rubbish. If that's the case, sorry :-(

Maybe

I can save, but not as much as a third

You selected

Maybe

Obviously savings are still worth making - even if they don't cut a third off your bills. For more saving ideas go to the Energy Saving Trust website.