MARTIN Lewis has explained whether experts believe it’s cheaper to leave your heating on all day, or to only switch it on when needed.
It’s a conundrum that divides households every winter, but as temperatures drop, you might be wondering how you can save cash on your energy bills.
The cost of heating your house is especially relevant as millions of people continue to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
So what is the most cost-effective way to heat your home?
Ultimately, MSE says you need to consider how much energy is needed to warm your home, and how quickly it loses heat.
Energy myths busted and how to really save money
IT’S hard to know what to believe when it comes to saving money on your energy bills.
We’ve rounded up some top tips from experts at the Energy Saving Trust (EST) to demystify some common energy myths.
Turning the thermostat up high will warm up your home quicker – FALSE
Sadly, turning your thermostat up to its highest point won’t help heat your home any quicker than having it at a lower temperature.
Your thermostat only sets the temperature, so it’ll heat up at the same rate whatever heat you have it at.
Wrapping clingfilm on your windows will help you save cash – FALSE
Blocking any gaps around your windows will stop drafts in theory, but you won’t see much, if any, saving if you do it.
Instead, think about using draft excluders or getting double glazing installed.
Using an electric heater for a few hours is cheaper than using central heating – FALSE
Electric heaters are one of the most expensive ways you can heat your home.
How much extra you’ll pay will depend on how much you use it and how much you pay for your electricity – but it definitely won’t help save you cash.
Renters can’t switch provider without their landlords permission – FALSE
That’s not the case – you are free to swap and choose whichever provider you wish to.
The exception is if your landlord pays your supplier for the energy you use.
The website quotes specialists from the Energy Saving Trust who are under the belief that leaving the heating on low all day to save money “is a myth”.
Instead, they say you should only put the heating on when you actually need it.
This is because if you’re keeping the heating on all day, experts say you’re spending money that whole time.
The MSE guide continues: “A timer is best as your thermostat turns your heating on and off to keep your home at the temperature you set.”
However, MSE notes that some experts disagree with this theory.
Those on the other side of the argument say condensation collects within the walls whenever you switch the heating off, which can in turn conduct heat outside the home.
They claim this could mean you lose heat more quickly in the long-run, and so you’ll end up using more energy.
What do other experts say?
Ben Gallizzi, energy expert at money.co.uk, argued that the best way to keep your home energy-efficient is to keep it well-insulated and draught-proof.
He told The Sun: “The greater the heat loss from your home, the more energy you will need to maintain the inside temperature, which means that the cost of leaving your heating on all the time will be especially expensive.
“Taking steps to improve insulation is a good way to save on your energy bills – this can include insulated cavity walls, a well-insulated loft, double-glazing and draught proofed doors.”
How to save money on your energy bills
Winter is fast approaching, so it could be a good time to think about how you can save money on your energy bills.
Shop around and switch: Use a comparison site such as MoneySuperMarket.com, uSwitch or EnergyHelpline.com to check what deals are available to you.
It helps to have the following information:
- Your postcode
- Name of your existing supplier
- Name of your existing deal and how much you pay
- An up-to-date meter reading
The cheapest deals are usually found online and are fixed, meaning the amount you pay won’t change for a set amount of time.
Once you’ve found a better deal, switching couldn’t be easier.
Your new provider will do the bulk of the work for you, including contacting your current provider to get the move underway.
It should take no longer than three weeks to complete the switch and your supply won’t be interrupted in that time.
Turn the thermostat down by one degree: Turning your thermostat down by just one degree could have a massive impact on your energy bill.
According to uSwitch you can save up to as much as £60 a year – and you’ll hardly notice a difference to the temperature of your house.
Spend a minute less in the shower: Showering for one minute less could save you money on both your energy and water bills.
Just cutting out one minute from your daily shower can save you as much as £10 per year.
Buy energy-efficient gadgets: From energy efficient kettles to radiator reflecting sheets, there are plenty of great tools to help save money on your energy bills.
We’ve calculated that some devices could save you around £273 a year – check out our round-up.
Apply for a Green Homes Grant: The government is currently running its Green Homes Grant scheme to help homes become more eco-friendly.
If your home is losing less heat, you’ll ultimately end up paying less in energy bills.
Homeowners could be entitled to a voucher worth £5,000 to put toward green improvements, going up to £10,000 for families on low income.
The government will cover at least two thirds of the cost that homeowners in England spend on green upgrades, up to these amounts.
This means a householder would pay £1,320 of a £4,000 bill for cavity wall and floor insulation for a semi-detached or end-terrace house, while the government would pay the rest of the bill costing £2,680.
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Martin Lewis has also this week warned savers to lock into fixed rates if they’re worried about negative interest rates.
Plus, the MoneySavingExpert founder has been telling Brits who are on benefits to start claiming for a £500 coronavirus payment if they’ve been told to self isolate.
Last month, he warned furloughed workers to check their payslips in case they had been underpaid.