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Jessica Knappett on the shocking energy fails she's seen in her flatsharing time

1. Putting the heating up too high instead of wearing a jumper

Lounging around in your shorts while the heating is cranked up is likely to lead to more than just an over-heated house. Set your thermostat between 18C and 21C, and use the £85 you could save* on your energy bill to treat yourself to a cosy jumper.

2. Leaving lights on in unused rooms

There’s just no need to leave lights on when you don’t need them, so switch them off to keep your energy-conscious housemates happy. You could save an easy £13 a year* for barely any effort.

3. Taking ridiculously long showers

Racking up high energy bills, and making your housemate late for work is a sure fire route to an unhappy houseshare. Try cutting just one minute off your shower every day, and earn extra brownie points by getting aerating shower heads and tap inserts free from your water company. You could save £95 a year*.

4. Housemates’ boyfriends or girlfriends using energy

It’s really sweet that you can’t bear to be apart, but having your boyfriend or girlfriend over all the time can soon sour housemate relationships. Especially if your beloved is using energy charging their phone, taking showers and cooking you fancy meals. Try spreading your time between each other’s flats to keep your housemate’s love.

5. Using portable heaters in bedrooms

If you’ve got central heating it’s much cheaper to warm your whole house or flat to a consistent temperature than using electric fan or bar heaters in your room. And set your timer so your house is already toasty when you get home. Many radiators can be controlled individually – so if you’re the one who’s always a bit cold, turn yours up a notch instead of relying on an extra heater. And keep your room snug with a draft excluder by your door and thick curtains.

*All energy-saving stats are from gov.uk.

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Smart meters

If you are renting and you pay the energy bills (i.e. they are not included in your rent) you can get a smart meter from your energy supplier. They are great for renters as they can help you work out what (and who) is wasting energy and mean, if you move, you can easily sort out your final bill.

Request your smart meter