Common energy saving hacks that ‘cost you more in the long run’ – ‘cost-effective’ swaps

Colletta Smith demonstrates how you can save energy at home

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Energy bills have seen a 54 percent increase since the energy price cap rise at the beginning of April so it’s more important than ever to watch how much you’re using. The limit rose from £1,277 to £1,971 for a year – an increase of £693 for the average household, though the exact cost can vary depending on Britons’ use. So plenty of households have gone to any length and breadth to try and cut costs however they can – but they don’t always have the right effect.

Andy Kerr, Founder and CEO of BOXT exclusively spoke to Express.co.uk on the importance of identifying “hacks” that “aren’t all that helpful”.

He said: “At a time where everyone is very conscious of their outgoings, it’s important to make sure that you’re using your utilities and appliances to the best of their ability without incurring unnecessary further costs. 

“There are some energy-saving ‘hacks’ that can actually cost you more money in the long run so it’s important to identify which of these hacks aren’t all that helpful so you aren’t spending more than you need to.”

The energy pro explained that turning the thermostat up for an immediate heat boost is a heating hack to avoid as it proves to be ineffective.

This is a common mistake to think that turning up the thermostat by a few degrees when turning the heating on will warm a home up quicker.

Britons might be tempted to do that if they are only looking for a short burst of heat at home now that it’s not cold all day long.

But actually the house will heat up at exactly the same speed no matter what temperature it is on.

Andy said: “Your heating system will operate at the same speed regardless of your desired temperature, setting your thermostat at a much higher temperature won’t result in an immediate heat boost.

“This means that if you add even a couple of extra degrees more than necessary, you could be facing a higher heating bill for a very minimal reward.”

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Nick Paulson at PlumbNation also spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk on energy saving myths, one of which includes hand washing dishes instead of using the dishwasher.

A common energy saving myth is to hand wash all dishes instead of using the dishwasher.

But actually hand washing can use up to nine times as much water, particularly if you leave the tap running – that requires more energy to heat it too.

Nick said: “Dishwashers are generally viewed as quite costly appliances and in some circumstances it may seem easier (and cheaper) to wash your dishes by hand, but this method is likely to use more water and heat on average – costing you more money in the long run.”

The expert shared how Britons can use their dishwashers while saving money.

Nick said: “There are cost-effective ways to use your dishwasher such as waiting until it is full before turning it on or utilising the energy-efficient setting which is standard on modern dishwashers.”

The energy guru noted that leaving appliances on standby is another common myth that many consumers believe saves money on energy bills.

If they’re not turned off at the switch and unplugged altogether, homeowners will find their still draining energy.

That’s even if you’re not using them – they constantly use energy so they’re ready for immediate usage when being switched on.

Nick said: “TVs, gaming consoles and monitors stay running at a low level when on standby, potentially adding more to your energy bills than you’d think. 

“While it be can be more convenient to leave your appliances on standby instead of manually turning them on at the power source each time, it is important to recognise that these devices can rack up considerable costs even while static – generating further costs for performing at their bare minimum.

“If you are dead set on utilising the standby function of your devices, we suggest investing in more up to date versions where possible. 

“Newer devices are subject to European legislation which limits the wattage used when left on standby.”

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