Lower your bills as the temperature rises
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