British Gas engineer shares ‘simple’ energy bill tips to save more than £537 a year | Personal Finance | Finance


Britons can knock hundreds of pounds off their by making a few ‘simple’ changes, a engineer has said.

Joanna Flowers, a service and repair engineer at British Gas, told “We’re continuing to help households across the UK find ways to become more energy efficient.

“There are lots of simple things you can do to keep everything working without using more energy than you need.”

Use energy-efficient bulbs

An easy win to save some money on energy bills is to turn the lights off when leaving a room and use energy-efficient bulbs.

Ms Flowers said: “They’re more expensive initially but compared with traditional bulbs, they use far less energy throughout their lifetimes. On average, replacing all the bulbs in your home with energy-efficient alternatives could take about £40 a year off your electricity bills.”

Unplug and switch off devices

According to Ms Flowers, phone, tablet or laptop chargers left plugged in and switched on when not in use “will drain money from your pocket”.

She said: “You’re paying for them to waste energy by getting warm. Leaving your TV on standby means it’s still using energy.

“UK households waste an average of £30 every year by powering appliances they’re not even using. Pressing the off button can make a big difference.”

Be laundry smart

If you have a big family, it probably seems like the washing machine is on all the time. Always put a full load in the machine and try to do the week’s laundry in one go. Using the economy setting on your washing machine can help to save water and energy.

People can also wash clothes at a lower temperature to save energy. Ms Flowers explained: “Most of us wash at 40C out of habit, but modern washing powders work well at temperatures as low as 20C. Why not try making 30C your standard wash?

“The lower the temperature, the more energy you’ll save. Although, it’s probably best to wash bedding, towels and underwear at a higher temperature – at least 40C.

Maximise appliance efficiency

According to Ms Flowers, the can be one of the most “energy-intensive rooms” in the house. However, she noted: “There are some simple things you can do about this.”

Ms Flowers added: “Maximise oven time by batch-cooking a few meals at once. Leaving the oven door open once you’ve finished can help add extra warmth to the room as well.”

To prevent forking out extra on fridges and freezers, households should check the thermostat is set to the right temperature. This can usually be found inside the fridge or freezer.

Ms Flowers said: “A fridge should be between 2C to 6C and a freezer should be less than -18C, typically -19C to -20C, but your user manual will tell you the exact setting it needs.

“Regularly defrosting your current fridge and freezer keeps ice under control and keeps everything working efficiently. You should also keep the coils behind the fridge clean to ensure it doesn’t use more energy than it needs to.”

Ms Flowers also urged people to check the energy ratings when buying new appliances. She explained: “If you’re renewing any appliances in the kitchen, check the energy ratings of the models you are looking at.

“Choosing more energy-efficient options can be a way of making long-term savings. For example, choosing a D-rated fridge freezer over an F-rated one may cost more initially, but could save you around £570 in energy bills over its lifetime.”

Be smart with water

Heating large quantities of water can have a big impact on household bills, but there are ways to save as much as £182 a year with a few tips.

Ms Flowers said: “Taking a four-minute shower instead of a bath saves a typical household up to £70 a year.”

Additionally, the British Gas engineer said: “An eco-showerhead uses less water with no loss of pressure. It can save a family of four about £17 off their gas bills – and an extra £30 for those with a water meter. Also, limiting your shower time to just four minutes can save a typical household £65 a year.”

Use eco mode and keep appliances clean

Many household appliances have eco modes designed to consume less energy. These modes typically involve running at different speeds or lower temperatures.

Ms Flowers said: “Try using these as your standard option and you should see real savings over time.”

Keeping appliances clean can also boost their efficiency. Ms Flowers said: “Clean the lint filter of your tumble dryer as often as possible. This will save energy by making sure it runs properly.”

Insulate the loft

Finally, insulating the loft properly can save households upwards of £300 a year, making it an important area to check.

Ms Flowers said: “Up to a quarter of your home’s heat can be lost through the roof, and a third of the heat lost in uninsulated homes is through the walls.

“Loft insulation can save you up to £315 per year on your energy bills, so it pays for itself fast. If you have easy access to your loft, it’s not too difficult to insulate it yourself. Wall insulation is trickier to do, so it’s best to call the experts.”

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