The best energy-saving tricks to save you money – and tricks that are just old wives’ tales

Things that work and don’t work when it comes to saving money have been a hot topic of conversation amid rising energy bills.

So Angellica Bell, co-host of The Martin Lewis Money Show, has revealed her top energy-saving hacks that work — as well as dispelling the myths that don’t.

Other tips she says could save money include only boiling the water you really need to make a cup of tea and unplugging your electrical appliances when not in use.

It comes after a survey of 2,000 adults found that more than a third (39%) already think putting your laundry on a cooler temperature will cut bills.

And while 22% are already saving money by reducing the temperature of their laundry, 35% do so in an effort to protect their clothes and make them last longer.

Following the results, a quiz was created for people to test their knowledge of which economic hacks work and which don’t.

Angellica Bell, who works with Ariel, who commissioned the research to highlight her #WashColdChallenge, said: “I started making some simple changes and mastered a few tricks along the way.

“There’s so much information about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to power saving hacks.

“As we are all set to see energy bills increase, lowering the temperature of your laundry to a cold wash is one simple change you can make to reduce your energy usage at home.

“Not only are you reducing your carbon footprint, you are also reducing the energy consumption of your laundry – washing cold could save you up to 60% on your washing machine energy bill.”

Britons also plan to reduce the impact on their wallets – and on the environment – ​​in particular by reducing their car use (39%).

And as the weather gets warmer, two-thirds (65%) have reduced their use of central heating inside the home.

Nearly half (45%) have started unplugging appliances that aren’t in use, and four in ten are making sure to keep curtains drawn tight to keep the heat in.

On average, Britons do three loads of laundry a week, although more than one in 20 do a load every day.

But 29% admitted to not dividing their laundry into “lights and darks” – and just grouping them together.

And one in five people typically don’t read instructions on how to wash their clothes and just put everything in the same cycle – with men guiltier than women.

However, while 41% already wash their clothes at 30 degrees, 35% are even more likely to opt for a warmer wash at 40 degrees.

A spokesperson for Ariel said: “Everyone is looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption, both to save money and resources.

“Some advice is really good and will help either way, while some is old wives’ tales that will only make a negligible difference.

“Doing your wash at a lower temperature is something that will make a difference, both to your bills and to the longevity of your clothes – lowering the temperature of your wash can go a long way in reducing the environmental impact of your laundry.

“As part of our drive to get the nation to lower its temperature, if the #WashColdChallenge campaign reaches one million pledges from the public, we will donate £100,000 to WWF to help protect the planet.

TOP TIPS THAT WORK:

  1. Lowering the temperature of your laundry and even washing cold could save you up to 60% on your washing machine’s energy bill.
  2. Buy energy efficient appliances – an A+++ washing machine will generally use less energy or check the eco cycles of the machines you own.
  3. Disable sleep modes where you can – many electrical devices can be turned off at the outlet without affecting their programming.
  4. Stop charging your phone – many people charge their phone overnight, but repeatedly charging your phone to 100% can drain battery life over time. Simply charge your phone when it needs it.
  5. Air-drying clothes instead of putting them through a dryer will help you save money and be easier to do in the summer months.
  6. Boil only the amount of water you need in your kettle.
  7. Waterproofing your home is a great way to save money. Yes, you may have to pay upfront, but it could save you more money in the long run.
  8. Using a microwave is cheaper than using an oven – or even investing in a slow cooker.
  9. Turn off your lights as much as possible and replace lights with LED bulbs.
  10. Smart meters let you see when you’re using the most energy and how much it’s costing you. So while installing a smart meter won’t save you money, being able to track your energy use can help you make more informed choices in the long run, which could save energy, and therefore money.

TIPS THAT DON’T WORK:

  1. Regardless of the temperature of your wash. Washing your clothes at high temperatures does not use the same amount of energy as washing at colder temperatures. Reducing the temperature from 40°C to 20°C on a normal cycle can save you up to 60% on your washing energy bill. And switching to a lower temperature can not only save you money, but also help the environment as you use less energy, and therefore reduce the carbon footprint of your laundry.
  2. Turning up the thermostat to a high temperature will not warm your home any faster.
  3. Painting radiators black will not help conserve energy.
  4. Using electricity at night is not always cheaper than using it during the day. It depends on what tariff you are on and, for those with central heating, electricity costs the same no matter what time you use it.
  5. Leaving devices on standby still consumes power. Unplugging or turning off appliances when not in use is an effective way to save energy.
  6. Having the heating on low all day to save money is a myth. Having the heating on only when you need it, in the long run, is the best way to save energy, and therefore money.