Electric bills are less in summer since it has been estimated that heating needs in winter account for approximately a half of bills (and nearly 2/3 if heating water is also taken into account). In this article we look at:
- Lowering electric bills in summertime
- Saving money on electric bills in a flat
- Switching suppliers and saving money
How can I lower my electric bills in the summer?
Although fewer homes in the UK have air conditioning (compared to countries like the US), energy needs for cooling systems can be reduced by regularly cleaning the filters of AC units. This can cut energy needs by 5-15%. Instead of using AC or fans, you should make use of natural ventilation. Opening windows allows air to circulate round the home while drawing curtains and/or blinds during the heat of the day can prevent the home becoming overheated.
Summer-time is the ideal time to hang clothes outside and allow them to dry naturally instead of using the tumble dryer. With the average UK family putting on 6-8 loads per week, this can save around £15 a month.
A main advantage of the summer is that more activities can be done outside. Just sitting in the garden in the evenings or barbecuing instead of cooking in the oven can help to reduce summer electricity bills even more.
Electricity bills questions:
If you have noticed that your electric bills are high in the summer, you should investigate whether you house is well insulated. Insulation is generally prone to damage over time, allowing air to flow through your house and cool it down in the winter or heat it during the summer months. If you use fans or air conditioning to help cool down your house during the summer, you may expending too much energy because of poor insulation.
An air conditioning unit generally consumes much more electricity than what a ceiling or floor fan consumes on average. An air conditioning unit for home use can consumer anywhere between 500 to 1.500 watts, while a fan only consumes 15 to 95 watts, depending on the size and settings. The electricity bill savings can be significant, if using fans in your home adequately cools you down during summer.
To help lower your electricity bills, you should consider insulating your home properly, and using a programmable or smart thermostat. Make sure that you are dressed adequately for the climate and that you are not overheating or overcooling your home. Check if your appliances meet energy criteria and replace any appliances that consume excessive amounts of power compared to their modern counterparts. You may also consider washing your clothes in cold water instead of high heat washing machine cycles.
How to save money on electric bills in a flat
The only difference between people living in flats and those in houses is that flat-dwellers can often save on heating costs depending on the location of their apartment. Having flats located above and below them can act as insulators. This not only restricts how much heat is lost (as they don’t possess an attic) but allows them to benefit from rising heat from flats below them. In higher-rise apartments, it is particularly important that windows are securely insulated. If double-glazing isn’t possible, draughtproofing can reduce heat loss and should include the front door too.
Apart from that main difference, electric bills in apartments can be reduced by the same common-sense measures employed by all property owners. These measures include paying careful attention to the consumption of electricity. Turning off lights in empty rooms, avoiding leaving electrical appliances on standby and adding an extra layer of clothing (instead of turning up the heating) can all lead to significantly lower electric bills.
How can switching energy suppliers help me save on electric bills?
The main reason why you can save money on electric bills by switching energy providers is that if you haven’t renewed your contract in a while, your fixed-term deal has probably come to an end. This means that you will be automatically put on a SVR (Standard Variable Rate). With the exception of pre-paid meters, this is the costliest way to pay for your energy needs (even taking into account the recent imposition of a price cap by Ofgem).
It has been estimated that you can reduce your energy bills on a dual fuel tariff by an average of £300 a year if you shop around for a better deal from an alternative energy supplier.