HOUSEHOLDS may be struggling to find cheaper energy deals at the moment but you can still cut your costs by reducing your usage.
Experts warn that leaving everyday items such as computers and security lights turned on – known as the “vampire” or “phantom” load – could be adding £ 500 a year to your energy bills unnecessarily.
Every penny counts at the moment with the cost of living rising.
Energy bills have already hit record highs due to rising wholesale gas prices and the war in Ukraine.
Gas and electricity costs will rise further from next month when the energy price cap increases to £ 1,971.
The higher costs and collapse of many smaller suppliers means households are struggling to find tariffs that are cheaper than the price cap.
That means shopping around for energy deals is currently a less effective option.
But smart meter data analyst Loop claims there is a solution closer to home.
Its app monitors smart meter usage to see which appliances are using most energy in the home.
Loop found that vampire devices that suck energy by being left on standby or switched on while not being used accounts for one third of household energy bills.
Here are some of the common appliances or gadgets that could be taking a bite out of your energy bills and how much it costs to keep them switched on.
You may have an extra fridge to store food or drink for a special occasion.
Some families may even have their own dedicated beer fridge.
You could be wasting money if this fridge is left empty most of the time.
Using an average unit cost of 28.3p from next month, Loop claims that an unused extra fridge could cost £ 99 per year to keep turned on.
That could rise to £ 118 in October 2022, when Loop predicts the typical unit rate will hit 33.6p.
Desktop computers – £ 79
Your electricity bill may already be higher if you have been working from home more since the pandemic.
But keeping your computer switched on or on standby at the end of the day could be wasting money.
Loop estimates that failing to turn your computer off could cost you an extra £ 79 a year from next month and £ 94 from October.
Faulty set-top box recorder – £ 149
A set-top-box recorder is a great way to ensure you don’t miss your favorite programs and can catch up if you have been away.
But if the device is faulty or unused then you could just be recording a lot of energy use.
Loop estimates that the cost of leaving a set-top box recorder on will hit £ 149 annually next month and £ 176 from October.
Outdoor security lights- £ 50
Security lights are an effective way to deter burglars and keep an eye on who is at your door when it is dark.
They turn on automatically once someone is nearby.
But oversensitive lighting that turns on too easily and often could add £ 50 per year to your energy bill from next month and £ 59 from October, according to Loop.
Outdoor lighting – £ 125
Similar to security lights, many homeowners may keep lights on outside their home.
The lights can be useful if you are arriving home in the dark and may also make the exterior of your property look nicer.
But Loop warns that keeping two 60w outside lights on for 10 hours per night could add £ 125 annually to your energy bills from April and £ 148 from October.
Traditional electric heating – £ 739
An electric heater can help reduce your bills by only heating a room you are using or adding extra warmth to your home.
But the costs can be high if you leave it on in a room that is not being used and if there are no smart controls to time when it goes off.
Loop estimates that leaving an electric heater on to heat an empty home 40% of the time could cost £ 739 annually from next month and £ 877 once bills rise again in October.
Electric underfloor heating- £ 309
Underfloor heating can add extra comfort when walking around your home in the winter months.
But it is pricey to run.
Using smart meter deter, Loop claims that keeping underfloor heating on for an extra hour per day could add £ 309 to energy bills from next month and £ 367 after October.
Electric towel rail – £ 149
An electric towel rail can warm up your towels or help dry your clothes.
But there is a price to pay for this comfort, especially if it isn’t being used.
Loop puts it at £ 149 annually, rising to £ 176 in October.
Turning off devices is one way of saving energy.
We have also revealed seven other appliances that could be adding hundreds to your energy bill.
We explain the latest energy bill help you can get including £ 200 loan and £ 150 council tax rebate.
Plus, here’s everything you need to do to get ready for the energy price hike next week – including taking a meter reading and checking for grants.
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