Summer energy eaters
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living > energy
Date: 06 August, 2004
'The quieter summer period is a better time to switch, so
you will be on a cheaper rate for when your usage increases
Keeping a check on energy consumption
may not be a top priority for summer, but people should not be complacent
about their energy consumption, says SwitchandGive.com.
Although during the summer we use less energy
we can still be energy efficient. By being aware of the following
summer energy-eaters, consumers can save more money for fun in the
Tumble driers can add up to £15 a month
onto bills, so take advantage of the sun and hang things out on
An inefficient fridge and freezer can use up
extra energy. Defrost regularly to keep them running efficiently.
Also, let warm food cool down first and position the fridge or freezer
away from cookers or heaters.
A bath uses five times more water than a shower,
so cut down on soaks in the bath and relax in your garden instead.
Leaving electrical goods, such as the television
or computer on standby at night can use as much electricity as having
them on all day.
Each wash in the dishwasher costs 12 times as
much as leaving the lights on for an hour, so use the quick or economy
setting and if possible wait until you have a full load. The good
news is, if used economically, this still works out cheaper than
washing by hand.
Don't waste money turning the heating on when
the sun goes down. Simply draw the curtains as soon as it becomes
dark. This keeps the heat in and the cold out - especially useful
for this summer's chilly evenings!
Cooking for summer dinner parties can be a costly
affair. Putting lids on saucepans enables you to turn the heat down
and save energy. Don't use saucepans to boil water, using the kettle
Many consumers are still overpaying for energy
by up to £200 a year. Switch to a cheaper supplier to make
both immediate and future savings. The quieter summer period is
a better time to switch, so you will be on a cheaper rate for when
your usage increases in winter.
The average UK household is oblivious to the fact they are £100-£200
in credit with their gas and electricity providers during the summer.
In fact, UK consumers are in credit by an average of 20% of their
annual energy bills.
The trend affects an estimated 15 million electricity
customers and 11 million gas users who pay by direct debit for their
utilities. Most people turn off their central heating altogether
in the summer cutting their gas usage by about 80%. They also use
lighting and electrical appliances a lot less.
In fact, if you added up all the credits in the
UK it would total a whopping £1.7 billion.
So how do you get your credit back? You have
1. ask your supplier for a refund or at the least
ask them to reduce your direct debit payments. This can sometimes
prove tricky but it is your money.
2. switch to a cheaper supplier and your old
supplier has to pay back your credit - so you save money, get on
cheaper rates for the winter and also receive a £100-£200
cheque from your old supplier when you switch.
Also, did you know that finding a cheaper
energy supplier could save you up to £200? You could also
switch to green energy and save money! For all your energy options
why don't you have a look at Switchandgive.com
in association with Christian Aid or call 0845 0840 300. (A free
donation of up to £40 would go to Christian Aid if you decide