We all want to do our bit for the environment and in turn keep our energy bills as low as possible, but over the years the advice to do just this has become a little confusing. It can be somewhat of a minefield knowing the best ways to keep energy consumption down. From old wives tales suggesting painting radiators black, to plastering the windows with cling-film it is understandable that even the most switched on of us find it tricky to separate fact from fiction. These popular misconceptions can actually end up increasing your usage.
Here at Outfox the Market, we thought it would be helpful to uncover some of those great energy consumption myths that over the years have become second nature to a lot of us. By changing old habits you may be pleasantly surprised with the size of your next utility bill.
‘Turn the thermostat up! It warms the house much quicker!’
Let’s start with an old classic. We have all done this at some point. Faced with returning to a house resembling the inclement climate of the Arctic Circle, we head straight to the thermostat and give it a generous turn. Unfortunately the house will heat up at the same rate and many of us then forget to return it to its original position. Research conducted by the Energy Saving Trust reveals that for every degree higher the thermostat is set, it can add up to £90 a year to your bill!- A costly habit for both your pocket and the planet.
‘Keep the lights on, it costs more to switch them on-and-off!’
It’s simple really, if a light bulb is on it is using electricity and when it is off it isn’t! Yet many of us continue to do this and even more so these-days with computers. It is commonplace to keep a computer running for hours with the screen-saver flickering innocently away in the corner of the room. The fact is however, that the surge of power to turn on the light or an appliance is significantly less than the energy used to keep it on. So flick the switch and save.
In truth spending that little bit extra initially is one of the best ways to reduce energy consumption. An age-old myth peddled around for decades is that standard bulbs also heat-up rooms. Safe-to-say the minuscule amount of warmth generated from a single lightbulb cannot be compared to the huge benefits of LED’s. On average you would need to replace your standard bulbs eight times for just one life-cycle of an LED. That equates to nearly £30 in savings for just one bulb. Now go and count your light fittings and you’re likely to warm up just thinking about the extra money you will soon start seeing.
‘Unplug the phone charger; it’s costing an arm and a leg!’
We can’t live without our smartphones these-days and panic can set in when your see the battery getting low. While there is no harm in unplugging your charger once the phone is back up and running, it is not something to worry about from a consumption or financial perspective. A recent study suggests that when idle a phone charger costs less than 50p a year. Why not spend the extra- time making sure more costly appliances like televisions and games consoles are unplugged to avoid wasting energy on the standby function?- Doing this can save the average family up-to £90 in a single year.
Show Me the Way
If you’re told something enough times you are likely to believe it and we have all been guilty of adopting at least one of these energy consumption myths at some point. Breaking old habits is never easy, but with the savings you are likely to enjoy from reduced energy bills and the comforting knowledge that you’re doing your bit for the planet; it won’t be long before you see the light.