How much could you save by using less energy?UK using less electricity than five years ago
19 December 2014
UK consumers are using 10% less electricity than five years ago, according to research from the Energy Saving Trust.
This bucks the historic trend that when the economy grows more energy is used. A UK Committee on Climate Change report says that energy bills would have increased by £165 between 2004 and 2013 if these saving hadn't been made.
To help you cut your electricity and energy usage and save money on your bills, we have rounded up the top five ways you can cut your energy bills.
Energy-saving light bulbs
1. Discover our Best Buy energy saving light bulbs. If you replace one 60W traditional light bulb with a CFL bulb (the most common style of energy-saving light bulb) you can save around £7 a year. We test light bulbs for durability, efficiency and light quality in order to discover the best.
2. Check out our energy costs calculators to help you pick the most energy-efficient product and discover how much different models cost to run. Choosing an energy-efficient tumble dryer, for instance, can make a difference of up to £100 to your energy bill in one year. We have energy costs calculators for a number of appliances, including dishwashers, kettles and tumble dryers.
Energy monitors and smart meters
3. Smart meters will replace standard gas and electricity meters from the end of next year. These smart meters will send information about your usage directly to your supplier. They will come with an in-home display to view your electricity and gas use in real time - this can highlight where you can save money.
But before we all get a smart meter, you can get an energy monitor. We've reviewed energy monitors, which will tell you about your usage (but won't transmit the information to your supplier). We have five Best Buys - tested for accuracy and ease of use.
Having a smart meter or buying an energy monitor won’t lower your electricity bills on its own, but it will highlight where you can save money. The actual savings are then down to you.
Switch energy supplier
4. Find out if you are on the cheapest gas and electricity tariff using our switching site Which? Switch, and take a look at our round up of the cheapest energy deals for December - some tariffs could cost you £200 more a year than the cheapest deal.
5. You could also try generating your own electricity or heat with solar panels, heat pumps or biomass boilers as these will attract payments from Government through the feed-in tariff and the Renewable Heat Incentive - though it can take time to recoup installation costs and suitability of homes varies. Read our guide to solar panels to find out more about installing solar panels.