Household energy bills will rise £20 per month on average during lockdown, according to energy switching service Switchd.
Many homes that were largely empty during the day are now ‘on’ all day as people work remotely from home, indulge in Netflix binges to stave off boredom, entertain and educate children online and cook every meal themselves. With all this extra energy being used at home, the result is significantly higher bills.
However, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your costs under control during this time.
Here, Morgan Young, who is Head of Growth at automatic energy switching service Switchd gives his top tips on how to save around £700 a year on your household energy bills.
Heating – save over £100 per year
Most people set their thermostat to 20C, which is 2C over the minimum temperature for beneficial health. While we’re all stuck working from home and keeping our heating on for longer, now is the time to try taking it down a notch. Lowering your thermostat to 18C could cut your bills by over £100 per year.
Endotherm radiator fluid
This clever product can be added to your radiators to change the surface tension of the fluid running through your pipes, making it more efficient. This can save you around 15 per cent on your heating costs and only takes around 20 minutes to do.
Any draughts in your home make a huge difference to your heating costs.
There are various temporary fixes you can make while the lockdown is in place, like filling in floorboard cracks, covering window gaps and applying draught excluders to your doors. All of the tools you need for this are still available to buy at hardware stores. In the short-term, blinds and heavy curtains work as draught excluders (and will help to block out any roadworks and other distractions outside!)
One last thing – all draughts are not created equal. If you’ve got a draught near where you sit down to work, it’s going to make you feel cold as well as making your heating less efficient. Block this draught and you may find that you feel warmer without any need to change your heating settings!
Your kitchen – save over £100 per year
Now that you’re eating more meals at home, your oven is going to be working even harder than before. It costs around 50p per hour of cooking, so if you’re cooking for an hour a day that will cost you £3.50 per week.
By batch cooking, you can drastically reduce the time that your oven is on each week. Devote a day or an evening to cooking your whole week’s meals, so you can cook everything all together.
This is a bit of a bonus, but did you know that a full fridge is actually more efficient than an empty one? Fill your fridge with bottled water and not only will you save on electricity bills, you’ll also always have fridge-fresh water at hand!
Lighting – save around £100 per year
Take advantage of the time you’ve got at home and replace any existing bulbs with LEDs. Even if you’ve moved from incandescent lightbulbs to energy-saving bulbs, it’s worth switching to LEDs; they’re more efficient, and they don’t take five minutes to “warm up”!
Switch your energy – save over £400 per year
Since the lockdown began, energy prices have plummeted. At the moment, the cheapest energy deal out there is more than £400 cheaper than default tariffs (tariffs that more than half the population are still on). Switch to a fixed contract now and you’ll lock in these great deals for a year.
But be careful if you’re switching yourself – make sure it’s to an energy supplier with a good reputation for customer service. The Switchd algorithm filters out any suppliers that don’t live up to certain customer service standards, but many comparison sites won’t warn you or give you any information about this.
Best deals out there today, according to Switchd:
|Supplier||Tariff||Type||Annual cost (typical household)|
|Yorkshire Energy||Yorkshire Energy Variable||Variable||£743|
|Outfox the Market||Fix’D 20 9.0||Fixed||£765|
|Yorkshire Energy||Green Ilkley – Fixed Until 31st May 2021||Fixed||£771|
|Orbit Energy||Vari-Save Extra||Variable||£773|
|Avro Energy||Simple and SuperFixed||Fixed||£779|
|Tonik||Green Super Power (1 Year) v2||Fixed||£790|
|Outfox the Market||Fix’d 20 4.0 PLUS||Fixed||£793|
|Outfox the Market||One Green Flex 2.0||Variable||£799|
|Outfox the Market||Fix’D 20 5.0||Fixed||£806|
|Together Energy||Green Together Fixed May21||Fixed||£810|