- Four months on from April’s energy price cap increase, 28% of Brits say this is the first summer they’ve taken action to reduce their energy use after typically paying less attention to bills during the warmer months
- Those with smart meters are 23% more likely to have adjusted their energy habits
- Energy saving tactics include turning off unused lights (49%), turning devices off at the socket (39%) and disconnecting phone chargers at the mains (37%) – saying they’ve reduced their bills by an average of £22.09 per month
- Smart Energy GB, together with Dominic Littlewood, Helen Skelton and MoneyMagpie has co-authored the second chapter of the Super Smart Energy Savers Report, to help households manage their energy use and take control of household budgets
Video caption: Dominic Littlewood and Smart Energy GB have launched a new online mini-series as part of its Super Smart Energy Savers campaign, tracking three families across Great Britain as they take steps to better manage energy use and take control of their household budgets.
Four months on from April’s energy price cap increase, over a quarter (28%) of Brits say this is the first summer they’ve taken action to reduce their energy use, after typically paying less attention to bills during the warmer months.
New research from Smart Energy GB, reveals that bill payers think about their energy usage up to twice a day, whereas previously as many as 12.3 million Brits said it wasn’t considered at all over the summer*.
The most common changes include turning off unused lights (49%), turning devices off at the socket (39%) and unplugging or disconnecting phone chargers from the mains when they’re not in use (37%).
Those who have adjusted their energy habits for summer say that they’ve reduced their bills by an average of £22.09 per month, which could save almost £270 over the course of a year**.
Using a smart meter’s in-home display to see usage in near-real time, in pounds and pence has shown to be a motivating factor when making small changes to household’s energy habits. And of those surveyed who said they’d seen a reduction in their bills, the number of people with a smart meter was 23% higher than those without one installed. In fact, these small changes to energy habits could cut bills by a further £8.50 a month compared to those without a smart meter installed (£23.50 vs £15).
To help all households manage their energy use and take control of their household budgets, Smart Energy GB has teamed up with consumer advocates, Dominic Littlewood, Helen Skelton and MoneyMagpie, to co-author the Super Smart Energy Savers Report.
Dominic Littlewood and Smart Energy GB have also launched a new online mini-series tracking three families across Great Britain as they take steps to reduce their energy use. ‘What’s Watt’ sees families in Edinburgh, Burnley and Cardiff follow advice from Dom and reduce their household bills by an average of £46.30***.
The panel has been formed with combined expertise following findings that one in five (20%) Brits would like more advice on ways to save energy in the summer, with 28% wanting tips they haven’t heard before.
A lack of visibility on energy use can mean people are unaware of how much they’re using or which appliances run on high quantities of energy – even during the summer. 28% of households use fans more often in the warmer months and nearly one in five households (17%) leave them on all night.
Advice from the Super Smart Energy Savers Panel includes:
Get the most out of your fans – choosing the right fan is key to staying cool and in control of your energy bills. Making sure any fans or cooling equipment you have around the house are as energy efficient as possible will reduce your consumption of electricity. The way you use your fan is important too: for example, some have timers that enable you to save energy when you’re asleep; or placing a bowl of ice in front of your fan will lower the temperature of the air circulating in the room and cool you down quicker.
Get a smart meter - smart meters ensure your bills are accurate and come with an in-home display that shows exactly how much energy is being used in near-real time and in pounds and pence, giving customers more control over their energy use. If you’re trying to reduce your energy use to keep bills down, knowing how much you are using – and what you’re spending – can be a huge help. As can knowing what the bill will be before it arrives. And they’re available at no extra cost from your energy supplier.
Switch to a summer routine – maybe you use your tumble-dryer regularly during the winter but using a tumble dryer three times a week costs approximately £223 a year****, so think about drying washing outside if you’re able to in the summer. It will dry much quicker and cost less than using a tumble-dryer.
Keep an eye on refrigerator seals – the seals around a refrigerator are the barrier between warm air outside and cool air inside. Any break in this seal will mean warm air gets into the refrigerator, so it’ll have to work harder to maintain the set temperature. Check your seals and replace them if you notice any cracks or splits. If you’re looking to buy a new fridge, look for one with a higher energy efficiency rating.
Install a water efficient shower head – around 1/5 of the average household’s heating bills are spent on heating water*****, so an efficient shower head can reduce the water used and therefore energy used to heat it.
Dominic Littlewood, TV presenter and consumer advocate comments: “Visiting homes across Great Britain was an eye opener. It’s clear that people have become more energy conscious this year – even though sometimes it’s one member of the home leading the change.
“Whilst households are taking lots of positive steps to manage their energy use, by working directly with families we found we were able to identify some further small steps they could take, such as getting a smart meter to monitor energy use.
“My new content series, What’s Watt, and the Super Smart Energy Savers Report offer households across Great Britain access to information they may not have seen before, so they have more tricks up their sleeve when it comes to taking control of their household budgets.”
Victoria Bacon, Director at Smart Energy GB, comments: “Summer is traditionally a time that energy use and bills are pushed to the back of our minds, but the increase in energy prices this year has changed that. With the temperatures soaring over the last couple of weeks, people are even more mindful of how much energy they’re using in the home just to keep cool and want to understand how to keep bills as low as possible.
“Understanding your energy use can have a big impact on habits – shown by how much more those with smart meters are reducing their energy bills compared to those without. It’s difficult to change what you can’t see, so using a smart meter’s in-home display to monitor energy use in near-real time helps you stay in control.”
Vicky Parry from MoneyMagpie adds: “Summer is traditionally a time when daily household expenditure rises and this is often down to school summer holidays, keeping families entertained and spending more time together at home. This year we have the rising cost of food, fuel and energy to contend with too, and this research makes it clear that one in five Brits want more advice on how to save energy and money.
“Our summer money saving tips hope to show Brits that being frugal doesn’t mean missing out and there are a number of ways to help reduce overall household costs alongside making positive changes to energy habits to reduce energy bills.”
Mum of two, Charlene Lijertwood, from Cardiff, who was visited by Dom Littlewood as part of his What’s Watt series said: “We’ve been making a lot of changes around the home to try and reduce our energy bills. And with bills increasing as much as they have, my husband and I have also taken on extra work to increase our income.
“We considered ourselves to be on top of it but speaking to Dom has shown us ways to save energy we wouldn’t have considered otherwise. We’d already got our smart meter and it’s been useful to have meter readings automatically sent to our energy supplier, while having an idea of how much energy we’re using each day by monitoring our in-home display.”
Click here to download the report.
Click here to view the What’s Watt mini-series.