How to save money and cut back on gas and electricity as the energy price cap means bills could rise to £3,600 by January
Energy bills are set to be stuck above £3,350 until 2024, according to the latest dire predictions for the country's energy crisis.
Cornwall Insight, one of the country’s most respected energy consultancies, says average bills will top £3,359 per year from October, £3,616 by January and most likely £3,729 by April.
The price cap, which is controlling the escalating costs of bills for 24 million British households, will see prices pushed to record levels.
But if you want to cut back on the amount of gas and electric you use, how can you do that and just how much money will it save you?
1. Unplug chargers
Unplugging chargers is among the 10 best ways, says British Gas, that you can cut energy usage at home. Once your device is fully charged get into the habit of pulling it from its charger. Not only will it save around £60 a year on your electric bills but it can help preserve the life of the battery inside the technology too.
2. Do full laundry loads
With detergents being as good as they are many experts now agree many of our clothes can be washed at 30C to help reduce energy usage.
Alongside altering the temperature, and perhaps the length of a cycle, if you can also cut your average number of cycles down by one a week you'll take £5 off your yearly energy bill - and these costs can add up!
3. Switch off at the wall
You can save around £55 a year by turning appliances off standby mode, says the Energy Saving Trust.
Almost all electrical appliances can be turned off at the plug without disrupting the programming or any saved settings while a standby saver or smart plug, which can help you turn all appliances off standby in one go, could be an investment if you're struggling to get round the house.
4. Turn off the lights
It can be one of the trickiest habits to get the kids into but turning off the lights each time you leave a room can stand to save you around £20 a year on the average energy bill for the average-sized house.
5. Be careful with the kettle
British Gas estimates as a nation, we're wasting £68 million worth of energy a year filling up kettles above the water level that we need. When making tea and coffee, avoid the temptation to fill to the top and just heat the amount of water you require. Potentially, says the firm, it could save you a third of what you have been using.
6. Microwave more
Because it's quicker microwaving will be most likely using less energy so if you wish to heat something up that be done either in the oven or microwave - opt for the the latter if you can. Slow cookers are also one of the most energy efficient appliances you will find in your kitchen so it could be worth considering purchasing one of those too if you don't use one already.
7. Make your oven multi-purpose
Ovens can account for about 8% of the electricity used by appliances at home - but there are ways to use them in more energy efficient ways.
Avoiding the temptation to continually keep opening the door, which then forces the appliance to have to reach its core temperature again, cooking several dishes at once to cut down on energy use and time, cooking food in smaller pieces to it can cook more quickly and keeping the oven clean so it works efficiently and heat is distributed evenly can all help save the pennies when you do need to switch it on.
8. Buy energy efficient appliances
No, we're not suggesting swapping old for new in order to save money. But if something needs replacing don't dismiss the energy ratings on appliances you see advertised.
An A+++ washing machine can use £65 less energy than an A+ one over an 11-year product lifespan, says MoneySuperMarket, while an energy efficient dishwasher costs £7 less to run compared to an older model.
And if you need to switch your fridge freezer, an A+++ model will save around £320 in the course of its lifetime compared to an A+ model.
9. Close the curtains at night
Much has been said about closing curtains during this summer's heatwaves to keep the heat out and the cool air in, but the same rules apply as we head towards autumn and the air inside is warmer than that outside.
Keeping the curtains closed once evening time arrives will help conserve the warm air that's inside your home and and mean you need to use radiators and heating a little less on chilly evenings, or at least before we officially reach the depths of autumn and winter.
10. Invest in a drying rack
We're all pushed for time these days but if you can cut back on using your tumble dryer during the warmer and drier months the Energy Saving Trust says you will save your home more than £60 a year.
An airer or clothes drier for items you don't need immediately could be a savvy investment if you're trying to cut back on electricity consumption.
11. Swap the bath for a shower
We all enjoy a long soak in the tub sometimes, and bathing children is often easier than battling them into a shower, but if your family can swap just one bath each week for a shower it'll save you £12 a year says the Energy Saving Trust.
12. Take speedier showers
Can you shower in four minutes or less? The Energy Saving Trust says if you can, you stand to save more than £70 a year on your energy bills.
13. Fill the dishwasher
The dishwasher will use the same amount of water whether it's full to the brim of half empty and that water has to be heated.
Putting dishes and cups in throughout the day and then running it once in the evening will use less water and less energy, in turn saving you money, and be more efficient than filling up your sink and washing things up by hand.
14. Be water wise
You can save around £25 a year, says MoneySuperMarket, by using a washing up bowl rather than regularly cleaning something under a running tap. So if there's the odd thing that needs washing up waiting by the sink resist the temptation to do it until you've a few more items to hand and then run a full bowl.