CASH-strapped Scots trying to save money on their energy are wasting their time, experts say.
With the cost of living soaring and gas and electricity bills going through the roof, it is no surprise savvy householders are keen to cut their outgoings.
In fact, recent stats reveal three-quarters of Scots have changed their energy habits to balance the books.
But the research, by campaign group Smart Energy GB, also shows 25 per cent of Scots are confused by conflicting advice. And householders north of the border are more baffled by bills than the rest of the UK.
Meanwhile, nearly 70 per cent are making changes that have little or no impact.
The most common energy-saving myth is that hand-washing all dishes, instead of using a dishwasher, saves energy. In fact, it can use up to nine times as much water and require more energy to heat it.
One in five Scots have tried keeping the heating on permanently at a low setting instead of turning it on and off when needed, which is actually likely to lead to energy loss throughout the day.
A further fifth admit to putting electronic devices in sleep mode overnight rather than turning them off completely, which would save more energy.
Common energy-saving habits among Scots that ARE effective however, include only filling the kettle with the amount of water needed, improving their home’s insulation and turning the TV off at the plug rather than leaving it on standby.
Smart Energy GB, a non-profit Government-backed campaign to help householders understand smart meters, has teamed up with telly presenter Helen Skelton to make sure Scots are getting the most from their hard-earned cash after the price cap on energy was lifted at the start of this month.
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Consumer champion Helen, who co-authored a new Super Smart Energy Savers report with the campaign group, said: “It’s worrying to feel the cost of your energy bill is completely out of your control.
“But unfortunately, the price cap increase means this is now the case for so many people across the UK.”
TOP TIPS FOR SAVING ENERGY
WHILE there are some myths around saving energy, there are also some easy ways to make your hard-earned cash go as far as it can.
Check your insulation and draught proofing
Houses, particularly older ones, will likely lose energy through the day. One of the best ways to reduce energy use is by reducing the demand for it by ensuring insulation is well maintained and drafts that carry heat away are minimal.
Get a smart meter
These come with an in-home display showing exactly how much energy is being used and give customers more control over their energy use. Knowing how much you are using and spending can be a huge help, as can knowing what the bill will be before it arrives.
Turn down and time your heating thermostat
Many think it’s best to leave the heating on at a lower temperature, but as houses will lose energy through the day, it’s more efficient to only have your heating come on when you really need it so make sure to set a timer.
Don’t heat empty rooms
Whether it’s a spare room you don’t use frequently, or a storage room that is rarely entered, stop heating it to save money. This could be by turning the radiators off in that room or turning off the individual thermostat.
Don’t rush to switch suppliers Historically, changing suppliers has meant people get access to better deals. At the moment, it is difficult to compare cheapest deals and in the current market, attempting to switch is not an option that will often save money.
Close your curtains
Don’t underestimate the power of curtains or blinds. Drawing your curtains helps to retain heat within your home, reducing the loss of warm air so doing so at night or if a room is unoccupied could make a noticeable difference.
Since the price cap rise came into force earlier this month, nearly 275,000 Scots have sought debt advice for the first time to help manage their bills.
People have also started to make cutbacks to account for the rising cost of living, including more than a quarter not buying new clothes and one in five switching to cheaper supermarkets.
Helen said householders need solid advice and long-term solutions to help them weather the storm.
She added: “While there are elements of the cost-of-living crisis we can’t control, taking steps like getting a smart meter to monitor energy use and being mindful of how long your devices are on for can go some way to helping Brits feel more equipped and in control of their household budgets.”
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