NEARLY half of households say their energy bill will be their biggest outgoing in the coming months.

The poll of 5,000 adults found 56% have already changed their energy habits in 2022 as the rising cost of bills starts to bite.

While 36% would or already are changing their energy behaviours just to save money for the festive period.

But those with a smart meter are more likely to adjust their energy habits (42%) to protect their Christmas budget, compared to those without (19%).

It also emerged that prior to the energy price guarantee announcement in September, 52% were still feeling concerned about rising energy prices – increasing their motivation to change their habits.

Even with additional support, the average household energy bill will increase by an expected £693 – becoming 54% more expensive than in 2021, according to Ofgem.

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Victoria Bacon, from Smart Energy GB, which commissioned the study, said: “Over the past few months, Brits have looked to find ways to better manage the energy they use and save money in the process.

“With temperatures set to drop further in the coming weeks and months, people will rely even more on heating to stay warm, so it will be even more important to look at their wider energy use and the energy efficiency of their homes.”

When asked what they could do to reduce wasted energy, the most common thing was to turn their thermostat down by one degree compared to last year (27%).

Others have fitted energy efficient lightbulbs (23%) and had their boiler serviced (15%), the OnePoll study found.

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The findings emerged as part of Smart Energy GB’s Super Smart Energy Savers campaign, which has tracked the nation’s changing energy habits since the first energy price cap increase in April 2022.

Victoria Bacon added: “This series has looked to help people understand how their everyday habits can have a big impact on their energy bills.

“It’s difficult to change what you can’t see but using a smart meter’s in-home display to monitor energy use in near-real time helps you stay in control, and is just one thing that could help people to save energy and money through the winter months.”

Vicky Parry, from MoneyMagpie, said: “Winter is traditionally a time when household expenditure rises and, with families coming together for the holidays, keeping everyone entertained and warm within budget becomes even more important to people.

“Throughout this year we have seen the cost of food, fuel and energy rising, which is why we’ve helped pull together some handy tips to help people manage their finances”.

The Energy Savers panel of experts also had advice for energy customers this winter.

Go with the flow

Combi boilers work best when they heat radiators at 55 degrees C or below, and this could cut your gas use by 6-8 per cent without changing the temperature in your rooms.

Get a smart meter

Using a smart meter’s in-home display to see how much appliances, such as a boilers or electric radiators, add to your energy spend will help you to prepare as temperatures drop.

Keep the heat

Simple draughtproofing measures such as insulation strips around windows and doors, or making sure your letter box shuts securely, could help stop heat being carried away and help improve your heating system’s efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Cook differently

Microwaves and slow cookers can be much more efficient at cooking certain foods than an oven and for those spending more time at home during the winter months, the savings can add up.

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Insulate Your Floors

Insulating your floors by switching to carpet, or even adding a rug, is an efficient way to retain heat in your home and can help to save you between £30-£70 on your bills annually.

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