Lower your bills as the tem­per­a­ture rises

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

As Bri­tain con­tin­ues to swelter through the heatwave, few home­own­ers will have been spend­ing money on heat­ing. But de­spite this, many are fac­ing higher bills due to in­creased en­ergy us­age.

Sales of out­door swim­ming pools and hot tubs have boomed, with Ar­gos re­port­ing one sale every four sec­onds as tem­per­a­tures climbed.

While pools and tubs may of­fer respite from the sear­ing sun, they are un­likely to be the most cost-ef­fec­tive way of cool­ing off due to their high en­ergy con­sump­tion. Re­cent price rises by en­ergy com­pa­nies have added to the cost of try­ing to stay cool.

Mar­tyn John, of price com­par­i­son web­site GoCom­pare, says many peo­ple would be fac­ing “bill shock” in the au­tumn af­ter spend­ing more than ex­pected on en­ergy.

“While you might think that a heatwave would cause en­ergy us­age to hit rock bot­tom, peo­ple might be sur­prised at how much they are us­ing, es­pe­cially if they’re turn­ing to fans, air con­di­tion­ing units or pools to stay cool,” he warns.

“Not to men­tion that the sum­mer months are usu­ally when en­ergy providers try to sneak in price rises, in the hope that peo­ple won’t no­tice.”

Martin Kay, of Buck­ing­hamshire, has al­ready fallen foul of high en­ergy costs this sum­mer. Kay and his wife Re­becca both run their own busi­nesses from home and in an ef­fort to stay cool, have ad­di­tional en­ergy ex­penses dur­ing the warmer months.

They set up an in­door pool in a log cabin in the gar­den, which re­quires en­ergy all day, and they also have a steam room. In to­tal Kay had spent around £8,000 a year on en­ergy bills which, due to his swim­ming pool, did not de­crease dur­ing the warmer sum­mer months.

One way to cut bills is to switch en­ergy providers: he changed to re­new­able en­ergy firm Pure Planet and will now save £2,564 a year on his bills.

Beyond switch­ing providers, there are other sim­ple ways to cut en­ergy costs. If a prop­erty has a wa­ter heater, it is pos­si­ble to lower the tem­per­a­ture from 140F (60C) to less than 122F (50C). This will still gen­er­ate hot wa­ter for the home, but can re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion as wa­ter heat­ing costs typ­i­cally ac­count for 18 per cent of a prop­erty’s bills.

In hot weather, the type of air con­di­tion­ing a home­owner chooses can also have an ef­fect on house­hold bills. Typ­i­cally, ceil­ing fans are the most cost-ef­fec­tive as they cir­cu­late air through an en­tire room. Make sure you turn fans off when leav­ing the room, as they cool peo­ple rather than the space it­self, and don’t ac­tu­ally lower the tem­per­a­ture.

Use ma­jor house­hold ap­pli­ances, such as wash­ing ma­chines and dish­wash­ers, in the morn­ings and late evenings. This means you can avoid gen­er­at­ing more heat within the house. Air-dry your clothes too – the heatwave cre­ates a free tum­ble dryer.

Splash: peo­ple have rushed to buy pad­dling pools dur­ing the heatwave

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