With the start of British Summer Time (BST) today, experts are encouraging households to make the most of lighter and warmer days to save on energy costs.
While some natural changes - like using your lights less - can lead to small changes, making a conscious effort to turn down or turn off heating, dry clothes outside, and switch to LED lightbulbs can lead to savings of up to £600.
Research conducted by Loop also found that half of its users kept their heating on until the end of April, while those who switched off in mid-April used 10% less gas.
Energy Doctor, Dr Steve Buckley, Head of Data Science at free energy-saving app, Loop is encouraging households to use the ‘spring’ forward of the clocks to spring clean your energy use. He said: “The clocks going forward is a signal to spring clean your energy usage to make sure you’re only spending what you need to on your energy bills. In fact, you could cut your bills by nearly £600 by adapting your usage from this point onwards.
“Firstly, some natural changes, like using your lights for an hour less a day throughout the British Summer Time when it’s lighter outside, could result in a small saving of up to £24 across the season. But there is also action you could take to see a bigger reduction in your usage, helping you to lower your bills even further.
“The real savings to be made are on gas, which you can use less of as the days get longer and warmer. For most households, the majority of gas is used on heating, generally making up more than 80% of a home’s total bills according to our internal Loop user data. Research we conducted last spring also showed half of Loop users kept their heating on until the end of April. But those who turned their heating off earlier in the month, used 10% less gas overall than those that didn’t. A good example of where a conscious decision to make a change has a sustained impact.”
“As Spring is warmer than Winter, your heating won’t be on as much during the day, however it’s still cool in the mornings. There is an opportunity to save by minimising heating your house in the morning as it will naturally heat up during the day in Spring, as the days become warmer and brighter. The next opportunity is to check your thermostat - if it’s still set too high, there’s a risk that your heating will run unnecessarily during the day, overheating your house, wasting gas and money.”
“If you aren’t ready to turn your heating off completely, turning down your thermostat by as little as one degree can also result in savings, reducing gas usage by 10%. You can boost this by turning down even further – from 21 to 18 degrees for example - could save around 30%, that’s over £300 for an average home.
“Cutting back on the length of time you leave your heating on as the weather warms up could also reduce your bills. To ease yourself into the summer months, turning your heating off for an extra hour a day over the next month could save around £100.
“There are other small changes households can make to cut costs as spring turns into summer. Swapping cups of tea for iced drinks won’t save you much, as it only costs around 2p to boil an average kettle, but more substantial savings can be made by turning off the tumble dryer in favour of drying laundry outdoors – this could save as much as £150. All these small changes add up.
“With energy support schemes coming to an end this month, households will still feel the pinch despite the warmer days setting in with prices rising by 20%. By analysing and understanding the way you use energy through a smart-meter app like Loop, you can cut back and make savings. We’ve seen our users cut their electricity bill by 16% and their gas by 10%, with some saving as much as 30% beating the price increase expected this month. Whatever the time of year, it’s always a good idea to reduce energy usage and cut costs wherever you can.”
Energy Doctor, Dr Steve Buckley from Loop, has shared his expert tips to reduce usage and cut costs:
- Most people adjust their heating according to the weather. But it’s very easy to forget to change it when the weather warms up, especially if your heating is on an automatic timer. Loop users who turned their heating off by mid-April used 10% less gas than those who kept it on.
- Turning off the lights for just an hour a day can result in a small saving of £24 over the Summer, but you could save even more if you’re yet to make the swap to LEDs. Make sure you adjust any lights that are on automatic timers to benefit from the extra natural light, and make the switch to LEDs as soon as possible - it’s the proverbial no-brainer.
- If you aren’t ready to stop using your heating completely, try using it for an hour less a day, or turn down your thermostat temperature by a few degrees. Your house will be warmer in Spring anyway and not over-heating it could save up to £300 a year.
- As days get warmer, swapping your energy-hungry tumble dryer for drying laundry outside can save £150.
- Gaining a better understanding of your energy usage with a free energy-saving app like Loop can help households cut their electricity bill by 16% and their gas by 10%, helping you save money on your bills.