Brit says it's 'frightening' to look at smart meter due to steep bill

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Under new plans announced by Liz Truss, a freeze will protect tens of millions from bills hitting unmanageable levels. But the policy, the first major move of Ms Truss’ premiership, comes at a cost. Not just will the Government have to find an estimated £150bn to fund the scheme. There are also fears that many energy providers could look to ration fuel if households don’t reduce their usage over the Winter.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been bombarded with advice on how to save money on our bills.

Here energy saving expert Jonathan Rolande, from House Buy Fast, condenses them into a brilliant a-z guide which could help households to save thousands of pounds a year.

Jonathan said: “The reality is the full impact of the cost of living crisis is yet to kick in and the full impact of the squeeze will probably be most acutely felt in the next few weeks.

“But there are steps you can take to save money which, if you introduce now into your daily lives, can also help you save money for the rest of your life.”

Here’s Jonathan’s A-Z guide on saving money:

Avoid tumble dryers. They use a shocking amount of energy, and can cost upwards of £300 a year to run based on usage twice a week. You can easily work out how much it costs to run a tumble dryer yourself based on your specific model if you know the kWh. As a more cost-effective alternative consider drying clothes outside on a washing line or even investing in a heated clothes airer which usually costs around 6p an hour to run.

Bleed your radiators. Not only will it release pressure on your finances, trapped air can make your radiators less efficient, so they’ll be slower to heat up.

Draw the curtains. It sounds simple but failing to do so means you can lose a lot of heat at night in every room.

Dusty condensing coils behind your fridge and freezer, which are used to cool and condense, can trap air and create blockages. This is not what you want. Keep them clean and they’ll stay cool and use less energy.

Exhaust fans around the home cost a fortune. Turn off kitchen or bath exhaust fans as soon as possible after you’ve used them.

Fill it up. Don’t worry I’m not referring to the petrol tank. Fill up the washing machine and dishwasher. Research by Thames Water and Gov.uk recently found that 68 per cent of households are only putting the dishwasher and washing machine on when they are completely full in a bid to save energy. It is a savvy move to wait until a washing machine or dishwasher is full as the appliances will use the same amount of energy to clean fewer items. So it’s smarter to wait to do fewer washes with more items, than waste energy on more half-full washes.

Going away on holiday or a business trip? Make sure to turn off your water heater while you are gone. Otherwise, it will keep heating the water in a “standby mode” costing you money in the process.

Hive is, in my opinion, the best energy-saving app on the market right now. Use the app to keep track of what’s happening at home and set schedules or switch any home electrical device on or off rather than leaving them on standby.

Insulate your loft. I know it’s probably a job you’ve had on the to-do list for a long-time but now is the perfect moment. You can save hundreds of pounds a year by creating better insulation up there.

Things may be tight, but consider treating yourself to a jacket – for your boiler… The best come with a recommended thickness of 75mm and help keep your water hotter for longer and reduce your energy bills. A new one is easy to fit – the materials will only cost you about £25 and it could save upwards of £100-£150 a year.

The kitchen is a great place to cook up money saving methods. Consider using slow cookers and pressure cookers during the spending squeeze. They are more economical and you can batch cook dishes like stews, curries and soups that will last for days.

Loft hatches are the forgotten item when it comes to energy saving plans. Attach insulation to the top of it and create a seal with draught proofing around the perimeter. So many people spend a huge amount insulating their lofts, but neglect the loft hatch completely meaning lots of heat escapes up through the hatch. If you are looking for a really simple way to save energy in the home, then ensuring the loft hatch is adequately insulated and draught proofed is a great way to get started.

My Earth App is one of my favourite go-to apps at the moment. Originally created by researchers and students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology, the app is designed to help you keep track of your personal energy usage, your savings and your total impact. The app contains five main categories: electricity, recycling, travel, food and usage. It includes day-to-day activities to measure how environmentally friendly your actions are. These activities can range from small measures like recycling your glass bottles to larger tasks like switching your appliances with energy-efficient replacements. It also includes a diary for users to check off their activities and lets you visualise how small steps can add up to a bigger impact environmentally.

Nighttime rates are a must during this ongoing credit crunch. A few energy providers charge less for using electricity at certain times of day or night). These off-peak hours tend to be quieter periods when power demand is at its lowest, for example between 8pm and 8am. The name for this type of charging approach is time of use tariffs. The amount you pay depends on the time of day you use electricity. Ask your provider.

Nothing makes life better than a brew. But don’t overfill the kettle. Boiling more water than necessary each time could save you £36 year, based on calculations from the Energy Saving Trust.

Kettles will vary in the amount of energy they use, but you can easily work out how much it costs to boil a kettle by checking the wattage and price you pay for energy per pence/kWH.

Print on both sides of paper. A friend of mine suggested this to me last year and within a few months I’d saved a packet on my printer ink costs. So many of us now work from home and most schoolchildren need to print off work. By switching your printer settings to double-side you can save money double quick.

Flick on the quickwash setting on a dishwasher. The longer washers soak plates at a lower temperature so are cheaper

Radiators are generally set too high in most homes. turn the thermostat down in unused rooms. If you lower the temperature of your radiator down by just one degree you can save £55 a year.

Showers….Look, I’m not going to force you to get in and out in four minutes. If you can, great. One minute less in the shower could save you up to £80 annually.

But there are other things you could do too – like fitting a water-efficient shower head.

The Energy Saving Trust predicts that a water-efficient shower head could save a household up to £195 a year. One minute less in the shower could save you up to £80 annually.

Modern shower heads use current-limiting technology to save up to 40 per cent water usage, while showering under normal water pressure. This will cost you around £20-£40, but will save you in the long run.

Install tap aerators. These ‘inject’ air into the water as it comes out the tap, so while it looks like there is no impact on the flow rate, a fraction of the water is used. These are especially useful if you are on a water meter.

USwitch, Compare the Market and other comparison sites are a must at the moment. Look at them regularly – once a fortnight if you can – as they will help you check to make sure you’re on the correct tariff

The vehicles we own are increasingly being powered by electricity. Aim to charge your car overnight when you could benefit from a cheaper night-time rate for your power.

Wasting power is a no-no in the current climate and leaving appliances on standby is like pouring money down the drain. It’s widely reported that the average household could be wasting as many as 7,374 hours of electricity every year when a device is left on standby.

It’s easy to do. For example, many of us disconnect our phones but leave the charger plugged in. And some devices, such as TVs, don’t have an easily accessible on-off switch.

But leaving devices on standby uses up power – sometimes known as ‘vampire energy’ – and over the course of a year it can really add up.

These are some indicative annual savings, found particularly among older devices:

  • Turning off the light in an unused room – £25
  • Television – £16-24
  • Set-top box – £20-23
  • Games devices – £16
  • Smart speakers – £3.45 per speaker
  • Microwave – £16

And if you’re working from home, don’t forget about office equipment:

  • Printers (particularly those with LED displays) – £3-4 a year
  • Laptops – £5 (but make sure you shut down and switch off rather than simply closing the lid)

X4 – that’s the amount more you pay for electric heating compared to gas. If you don’t have a choice opt for infrared or if funds allow, try and push for a heat pump – these two types of electric heating are by far the most efficient.

Yellow light bulbs and other LED saving options are just a great way of saving cash. You can save £2-3 per year for every traditional halogen bulb you switch to a similarly bright LED bulb. If the average UK household replaced all of their bulbs with LEDs, it would cost about £100 and save about £40 a year on bills.

Replacing a 50W halogen with an LED equivalent could cut your energy costs by £75 over the lifetime of the bulb – not including the price all the replacement halogen bulbs you no longer need to buy; of a typical LED costs between £2.50-12.

Zap-map is a brilliant new app. It lists and regularly updates electric charging points for cars. You can download it for free and find available charge points locally by searching the most comprehensive database of charging points, plan journeys, share updates and pay for charging on participating networks.It allows you to locate the 33,000 publicly available charging points in the UK when you are out and about, taking the stress out of electric vehicle driving.

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