Dom Littlewood advocates simple ‘tricks’ that could save £270 a year on energy bills

Martin Lewis outlines rise in average UK household energy bills

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The summer months are not usually the time of year when many focus on the cost of their energy consumption. However this year, research from Smart Energy GB, found that nearly a third of Britons were taking action to reduce the cost of their energy bills over the warmer months. The research found that energy bills, on average, were thought of around twice a day since April whereas, previously, around 12.3million people said that it hadn’t crossed their mind once during the summer.

The most common changes Britons made were turning off unused lights, turning off devices at the socket, and unplugging or disconnecting phone chargers from the mains when they’re not in use.

Smart Energy GB found that those who have adjusted their energy habits, on average, saved around £22.09 a month which equates to almost £270 over the course of a year.

With the MET Office predicting potential “further hot spells” in September, Smart Energy GB has issued advice to Britons on how to make the most of the hot weather and save energy at the same time.

The first is to stick to a “summer routine” as long as possible and to avoid using a dryer; instead, dry clothes outside, if possible, or on a drying rack.

Smart Energy GB stated that using a tumble dryer three times a week during the winter costs approximately £223 a year. 

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With hot weather expected to stick around, many may still be using fans to try and get a comfortable night’s sleep. Smart Energy GB states that “choosing the right fan is key to staying cool and in control of your energy bills”.

A Smart Energy GB spokesperson said: “Making sure any fans or cooling equipment you have around the house are as energy efficient as possible will reduce your consumption of electricity.

“The way you use your fan is important too: for example, some have timers that enable you to save energy when you’re asleep; or placing a bowl of ice in front of your fan will lower the temperature of the air circulating in the room and cool you down quicker.”

Another recommendation for Britons is to try and install a smart meter in their homes before the winter months.

Smart meters ensure your bills are accurate and come with an in-home display that shows exactly how much energy is being used in near real time and in pounds and pence, which helps give customers “more control” over their energy use.

Of those surveyed by Smart Energy GB who said they’d seen a reduction in their bills, the number of people with a smart meter was 23 percent higher than those without one installed.

In fact, Smart Energy GB state that these small changes to energy habits could cut bills by a further £8.50 a month compared to those without a smart meter installed.

This is because they will be able to see what and where they are spending and take action to reduce it where they can.

A little known recommendation from Smart Energy GB is for Britons to keep an eye on their refrigerator seals.

The group explained: “The seals around a refrigerator are the barrier between the warm air outside and cool air inside. Any break in this seal will mean warm air gets into the refrigerator, so it’ll have to work harder to maintain the set temperature.

“Check your seals and replace them if you notice any cracks or splits. If you’re looking to buy a new fridge, look for one with a higher energy efficiency rating.”

Finally, Smart Energy GB recommends that people install a water-efficient shower head in their homes as around one-fifth of the average household’s heating bills is spent on heating water.

A water-efficient shower head reduces the amount of water a person uses in the shower by either regulating the flow or aerating the water, this means that less energy is needed to heat it up.

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Victoria Bacon, director at Smart Energy GB, said: “Summer is traditionally a time that energy use and bills are pushed to the back of our minds, but the increase in energy prices this year has changed that.

“Understanding your energy use can have a big impact on habits – shown by how much more those with smart meters are reducing their energy bills compared to those without.

“It’s difficult to change what you can’t see, so using a smart meter’s in-home display to monitor energy use in near real time helps you stay in control.”

In response to the research, TV presenter Dom Littlewood and Smart Energy GB have launched an online mini-series tracking three families across Great Britain as they take steps to reduce their energy use.

“What’s Watt”, which can be found on Youtube, sees families in Edinburgh, Burnley and Cardiff follow advice from Mr Littlewood and reduce their household bills by an average of £46.30 each.

Mr Littlewood said: “Visiting homes across Great Britain was an eye opener. It’s clear that people have become more energy conscious this year – even though sometimes it’s one member of the home leading the change.

“Whilst households are taking lots of positive steps to manage their energy use, by working directly with families we found we were able to identify some further small steps they could take, such as getting a smart meter to monitor energy use.

“My new content series, What’s Watt, and the Super Smart Energy Savers Report offer households across Great Britain access to information they may not have seen before, so they have more tricks up their sleeve when it comes to taking control of their household budgets.”

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