The growing pandemic of the Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, has sparked fears across the world. With thousands dead and nearly 200,000 infected globally, Britons are now being forced to self-quarantine in their properties to prevent the virus from spreading further and mutating. With many stuck at home, energy bills are expected to skyrocket. So how can you save money on energy bills while in self-quarantine?
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Express.co.uk spoke with an expert who provided exclusive insight into what homeowners can do to save money on bills.
Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive at Trust Power, the company behind the new Loop energy-saving assistant, said: “With the official start of spring just a few days away, many homeowners will be expecting to see a drop in their energy bills as temperatures warm up.
“But with thousands of UK workers working from home and many households self-isolating, consumers could be in for an unwelcome surprise and could instead see their energy bills rise.”
“To keep costs low householders can take some simple steps to limit the impact on their bills and on the environment, such as adjusting their thermostats and ensuring devices aren’t left on standby unnecessarily.
“Earlier this year, our research found that UK homeowners and renters could save an average of £140 on their annual energy bills just by switching off unused appliances in their home. In some homes, this figure rose to a £450 saving on annual bills so it really is worth doing if you’re looking for ways to save.”
Below are Loop’s tips for keeping on top of energy usage while working from home:
1. Turn central heating thermostat down by 1 degree
According to the energy site, turning the temperature down by just 1 degree could save homeowners up to £80 and reduce a home’s carbon dioxide emissions by up to 320kg, all without even noticing.
2. Move sofas away from radiators
If homeowners have the heating on for longer while working from home, the energy site advices to make sure you move any sofas away from radiators to ensure heat can circulate properly.
3. Swap to LED bulbs
According to the site, if you’re at home, it’s reasonable to expect your lights will be on more often, even with the clocks about to go forward so there’s even more reason to swap to LEDs.
If you replace all of the bulbs in your home with LEDs, then for an initial outlay of around £100 for an average house, you’ll save about £35 a year on your energy bill.
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4.Reduce your phantom load
Some appliances need to be left on all the time (like a fridge or freezer) or kept on standby (like a smart speaker) but many appliances are left on that don’t need to be.
This background electricity use is known as “Phantom Load”, because of the way in which energy is invisibly drained without users necessarily knowing about it.
Make sure you keep your Phantom Load low by turning items off when they’re not in use, such as laptops and desktops you are using to work from home. Household appliances like multi-room speakers and digital TV boxes can also contribute to rising costs, so switching things off at the plug when they’re not in use is a must.
5. Switch your supplier or tariff
If you’re not sure which energy tariff you’re on, or when it’s due to come to an end, now could be the perfect time to check you’re still on the cheapest deal.
If you haven’t switched supplier or tariff for over a year there’s a chance you could be on a pricey standard variable tariff, so use an energy-saving assistant like Loop or head to a compare deals to find a cheaper option.
6.Keep calm and make a cuppa
Whether you’re still in the office or working from home, a morning cuppa is still likely to be top of your list, but make sure you only fill the kettle with the water that you need. The savings are around £6 a year, but every penny counts!
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