SPRING is around the corner, making it the perfect time for households to tweak their energy usage – and save some cash.
Leaving the lights on and relying on your tumble dryer could be adding hundreds to your bills.
And while the Energy Price Guarantee means a typical family will not pay more than £2,500 a year on bills – many will pay more.
This is because the cap only limits the amount that firms can charge customers per unit of gas and electricity.
So if you use more energy than the average household – expect to pay more.
But households worrying about high energy bills can make some simple adjustments to help cut their bills by £738 a year.
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The Sun spoke to Ben Gallizzi, an energy expert at USwitch, to find out how you could save cash on your energy bills as we head into spring.
Turn of your heating timer – save £564 a year
When the warmer weather starts, it may be time to turn off the timer on your heating so you are not warming up your home unnecessarily.
Ben said it's worth checking your settings before spring begins because it could help you to save hundreds.
"Our research shows nearly two million households don't limit how often their heating can come on, and leave the temperature in their home controlled by the thermostat," Ben said.
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"This means their heating can be coming on when it's not needed, such as while on one is in the house or while they are asleep."
Ben said households should adjust their timers so they only come when someone is home to feel the benefit.
USwitch estimate that the average household spends around £47 a month on energy while they sleep – with almost £19 used for gas and £28 for electricity.
This adds up to £564 over the course of the year in wasted cash.
So by making this simple tweak, you could make a big saving.
Ditch the tumble dryer – save £117 a year
Ben said the Spring is the perfect time to find alternatives to using the tumble dryer.
USwitch estimate that using the tumble dryer could cost £117 in energy over the course of a year.
Ben said: "If you have outside space, you can dry your clothes for free by hanging them up on sunny days."
But don't worry if you don't have a garden, because there are still cheaper alternatives such as using a heater airer or a dehumidifier.
“If you’re washing clothes on cold or drizzly days, you could use a heated airer, which is much cheaper than using a tumble dryer, or a normal drying rack, which is free", Ben said.
“Dehumidifiers can help speed up your drying time, while also reducing the amount of moisture and condensation created by drying clothes indoors.
“Your clothes will take longer to dry if they are dripping wet, so you can use your washing machine’s spin cycle to squeeze out the excess water.”
You could save a whopping £93 a year by using a dehumidifier rather than your tumble dryer, according to USwitch.
This is based on using it for two loads a week.
Using a heated airer could save you £84.86 over the course of a year.
If you don't have either of these gadgets already, then of course that's an extra cost to consider – but making the switch could save you money in the long term.
Reconsider the hot tub – save up to £90
Hot tubs demand more power than any other garden equipment because they have to be kept at a high temperature, Ben said.
Even the most efficient hot tubs cost around £1.20 a day to run under the current energy prices.
The worst-insulated hot tubs could cost around £7.20 to run now, compared with £6 last year.
So if you were to use the hot tub once a week for three months over spring and summer, this would cost you £86.40.
But if you do want to treat yourself to a dip, there are things you can do to reduce the cost.
Ben said: "Make sure you get a well-fitted cover, which forms an air-tight seal, otherwise heat will constantly escape and cost you more money.”
Turn the lights out – save up to £12
A quarter of households leave lights on when they are not a home, according to research by USwitch.
This could be adding an extra £12 to energy bills.
So make sure you're taking an extra couple of minutes before you leave the house to turn all the lights are out.
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Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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