Energy bills: Martin Lewis discusses standing charges
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Prime Minister Liz Truss confirmed that a typical household’s energy bill will rise to £2,500 a year from October 1. Before the announcement, Ofgem stated typical household bills had been due to rise to £3,549 a year.
The energy price cap guarantee is not a limit on how much someone will pay.
Each bill depends on how much energy people actually use meaning bigger families could end up paying much more.
With this in mind, Chris Shaw, CEO at Utility Bidder has debunked some of the myths regarding energy costs.
1 – “Hand washing is much cheaper than filling the dishwasher”
Despite the thought of a dishwasher using a large amount of water, a lot will use less than humans do rinsing.
It mainly depends on how efficiently people utilise these techniques, so make sure to fully load the dishwasher before putting it on and consider using programs such as the eco mode.
This will use less energy due to lower heating temperatures.
2 – “Insulating the house will be too expensive”
If people can think outside the box, insulating their homes enough to keep their heating bills down doesn’t need to be an expensive job.
Draught-proofing the home is one element which can be done cheaply, and materials such as rugs and old clothing can be implemented next to doors and on floorboards.
Shutting curtains and blinds by the time it gets dark is also a simple yet effective way of keeping the heat in.
3 – “My electronic devices aren’t using energy on standby”
According to the Energy Saving Trust, people could save £55 a year by switching off their TV instead of opting for standby, and it’s not just with the power on that these appliances use energy.
Fridges and freezers are always needed so turning these off makes very little difference, but appliances like computers, media servers, and heated towel rails are rarely turned off by most households.
Mr Shaw continued: “Another myth that needs debunking is the belief that leaving your electronic devices on standby is saving energy, and this certainly applies when it comes to consoles, computers and televisions – typically an LCD TV costs more to run than any other household appliance, with its estimated annual running costs at £130.
“If you feel under pressure when it comes to your energy payments, make sure to get in touch with your energy provider with plenty of notice, and make sure you are using your energy wisely in the next couple of months, ahead of a tough winter ahead for many.”
4 – “Turning the thermostat up will help heat the house faster”
Turning up the thermostat will have no bearing on how fast your room heats up.
Britons also don’t need to turn it up to a higher temperature if it is colder outside, it will merely take longer to heat up if it is a colder day.
Make sure the thermostat is not covered or blocked by household items or furniture for best performance, and keep away from other heat sources.
5 – “Fitting a smart meter won’t save money”
Tracking energy use is becoming increasingly important to many.
Mr Shaw said: “Smart meters are used for this purpose and come with an in-home display, allowing users to track energy usage in real-time and its cost, though many are led to believe that these devices will not save you money.
“Suppliers are required to work with you to build the best plan for you to manage payments, whether this is prepayments or setting up a repayment plan and your supplier can only disconnect your smart meter if they have visited your home to assess whether it is an option to disconnect, and discussed options in terms of settling debts.”
New prime minister Liz Truss announced this week that energy prices will be frozen until 2024, capped at £2,500, based on typical use – cancelling out the 80 percent increase that was expected when the October energy price cap kicked in. It means, instead of the October energy price cap rising to £3,549, the average household can now expect to pay around £2,500 a year – only slightly higher than the current price cap of £1,971.
He concluded: “It is pretty evident in the current climate that many households are feeling the force of the worst cost of living crisis in the UK for four decades, and with people tightening their belts when it comes to spending, tracking energy use is becoming increasingly important to many.”
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