Twenty ways you’re wasting energy around the home – and how to avoid it

MORE than a third of Brits are not being energy efficient in the home – by leaving the TV on while nobody is watching it, keeping the heating on when no one is in and ignoring draughts.

A poll of 2,000 adults found 18% run the washing machine when it’s only half full, and 23% leave the lights on in empty rooms.

Millions of households could swap everyday habits to cut down their energy bills according to experts

Millions of households could swap everyday habits to cut down their energy bills according to expertsCredit: Alamy

Nearly four in 10 take longer showers than needed, and nearly three in 10 use regular bulbs when replacing lights rather than more energy-efficient LEDs.

It also emerged more than a third are aware of when they’re using more energy than they need but do it anyway.

However, with 65%  worried about the energy price cap increase, that looks set to change as 62% plan to re-evaluate their habits to save money in the months ahead.

Marc Robson, a smart energy expert at British Gas, which commissioned the research, said: “There is lots of help available for those struggling with energy costs and advice on how to make everyday savings.

“It’s surprising how much you can achieve by making a few easy adjustments around the home.

“Every time I do a home visit with a customer, I am asked to find at least one small change they can make that will help them become more energy efficient.

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“And it doesn’t just help them save on their bills – it’s good news for the environment, too.”

The research also found that 59% of Brits don’t realise the impact energy waste might have on their bills.

Although two-thirds would soon stop doing wasteful things if they could physically see how much energy they’re losing.

And 75% would change their habits if they were more aware of the money they could save.

More than one in five (21%) are already being regularly nagged by someone in their household for doing things that waste energy, with kids named the worst for this (17%).

Marc Robson, from British Gas, added: “We have a responsibility to help our customers save energy.

“It always helps knowing exactly where your energy goes and that’s where smart meters can help.

“I go in and out of customers’ homes every day, installing smart meters and giving people practical energy saving advice to implement in every room.

“Once they can identify where their energy is going, they can take some simple steps to improve their energy efficiency and bring their bills down.”

Five top tips for saving energy

1. Ensure your radiators are working effectively.

Bleed your radiators if they feel colder at the top to ensure they work effectively for you – there are lots of easy-to-follow guides and videos online. You can also fit foil panels behind them to reflect more heat into the room.

2. Shutting out the cold

Draught excluders are available from most DIY stores, and they’re an easy and affordable way to draught-proof your home and could save you up to £30 per year.

3. Look after your boiler

Regular services for your boiler can ensure it is working as efficiently as it should to warm your home. It will also prolong the life of the boiler, so it doesn’t need replacing anytime soon.

4. Maximise energy efficiency in the kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most energy intensive rooms in the house so do things like cleaning filters on appliances to ensure they run effectively. And when it’s time to replace items ensure you opt for the higher energy efficiency rating.

5. Get the help you are entitled to

Contact your supplier to see what you are eligible for. The British Gas Energy Trust is also there to help anyone, not just British Gas customers. British Gas also has a Winter Fund to provide grants for customers with energy debt.

Top 20 ways Brits waste energy

  • Leaving the TV on standby
  • Leaving appliances on when not in use e.g. TV/phone chargers
  • Manually turning the central heating on rather than setting heating controls
  • Leaving the TV on when no one is watching it
  • Leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth
  • Leaving lights on in empty rooms
  • Taking longer showers than needed
  • Boiling a full kettle to make one cup of tea/coffee
  • Leaving the tap running while washing up in the kitchen
  • Leaving the heating on when no one is home
  • Turning the washing machine on when only half full
  • Using inefficient light bulbs
  • Putting food in the fridge before it’s cooled down
  • Setting the washing machine on a high temperature
  • Leaving the heating on while the windows are open
  • Putting off switching energy suppliers
  • Leaving the heating on during the night
  • Keeping the fridge door open for a long time unnecessarily
  • Ignoring draughts
  • Turning the dishwasher on when only half full

A member of the Squeeze Team and energy expert spoke to The Sun to discuss a £2,000 mistake that energy customers could be making and how to avoid it.

Another expert advises how millions of Brits can try to keep their energy bills down this winter with four top tips.

If you are doing everything you can to lower bills and it still isn’t enough, you may be able to get help from your local council as part of the Household Support Fund.

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