Energy bills: 5 common myths debunked – from overfilling kettle to appliances on standby | Personal Finance | Finance


Ofgem announced that the energy price cap will rise to £3,549 each year for average households from October 1. This is an 80 percent increase from its current level of £1,971.

As the cost of living crisis continues, many families will be feeling the squeeze as bills continue to rise.

Any extra cash could be vital for families on low incomes to help them keep up with the bills.

To help understand these rising bills better, there are five myths that have been debunked below.

1 The price cap is how much people pay for energy

This is wrong as the price cap amounts to the average bill across the UK. The price cap isn’t actually a total cap on someone’s bill.

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Britons on a default tariff who pay by direct debit, will see their bills increase by £1,578 a year to £3,549.

If they’re on a prepayment customer, their payments will rise by £1,591 a year to £3,608.

The cap sets the maximum amount that energy suppliers can charge for each unit of energy.

The figure reported is for an average home, so proper could end up paying more than this. The more energy used means the more people will pay.


2 Appliances don’t use energy when they’re on standby
When a device is left on standby, it still receives power from the electricity socket – so it is still using energy.

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) said consumers need to consider which devices they leave switched on.

It estimates households would save around £55 per year by switching off all their devices when not in use.

For example, when it comes to a television, leaving it on standby means it is still drawing power so it can respond to signals from the remote control.

To save some cash, people should make sure to turn off their appliances at the wall to avoid adding to their energy bill.

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3 Smart meters don’t actually save money

This is partly true. On their own, smart meters won’t save people cash.

But the idea of a smart meter is that they provide real-time data to give people a more detailed view of their energy consumption.

This in turn allows people to see how much they’re using and where they can cut back.

Smart meters also ensure accurate billing, meaning each person is more likely to be charged for exactly what they’ve used.

4 Overfilling the kettle doesn’t waste money

This is wrong as experts at Uswitch recommend only filling the kettle with the exact amount of water needed.

In fact, the price comparison website suggests not overfilling the kettle could save £11 a year on someone’s electricity bills.

As well as saving money on their energy bill, they’ll also save water being wasted in the process.

Most kettles will have a scale on the side of them that shows people how far to fill them, depending on how many cups of tea or coffee they need.

5 The oven is the cheapest way to cook

A recent study by energy supplier Utilita and supermarket chain Iceland found the microwave is the cheapest way to cook food.

The research was based on the energy consumption of 83 appliances across 24 sources. But there are ways to cut down your costs if people can’t cook by microwave. For example, batch-cooking food could save you cash as they’re only heating up the oven once, while using the right sized pan, with a lid, can also help with the energy consumption.

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