The Footprint Trust’s senior energy officer has warned Islanders of the dangers of getting inaccurate or misleading energy advice from the tabloid press, social media and celebrities.
“Over the past couple of weeks, I have seen at least 10 wrong bits of guidance which will not decrease energy bills, could be dangerous and actually increase bills….”
Said Ray Harrington-Vail of the Trust.
People are turning off mains gas central heating and using electric fires, a wrong thing to do, as gas is still much cheaper than electric. If you have mains gas, use it to keep warm.
The Daily Mirror and Hello magazine both published details about how to save money by using ‘off-peak’ electricity. However, the majority of households do not have these tariffs. Generally, this would only apply to homes that have electric night storage heaters. We do not suggest putting on washing machines or tumble driers whilst people are asleep or out of the home.
The claim that candles are cheaper than lightbulbs is inaccurate. A 15-watt LED lightbulb on for 500 hours would cost around £1. £1 worth of candles would only burn for about 160 hours, put soot into your room and potentially be a fire hazard.
Another wrong tip is allowing the heat from your oven to travel around your home, this will also take with it water moisture and could lead to damp.
Changing your meter is highly dangerous and illegal, only the power company can change meters.
Real tips that actually work include;
Just heat the room you are actually in, turn heating down or off in other parts of the house. Ventilate unused rooms at midday. Leave cupboards and wardrobes etc open to increase airflow and prevent damp. Always ventilate bathrooms and kitchens when being used, and prevent water moisture from those rooms escaping into the rest of house. Also it is a good idea to turn radiator off in kitchen whilst cooking if you do have a window open.
Use jumpers, duvets and electric blankets are all cheap ways of keeping warm, but always follow manufactures instruction when using any form of heater.
Use a microwave oven for cooking or a slow cooker. If you do use a full-size oven, try and cook the whole meal in it, including your vegetables.
An electric shower is very expensive to run so just pop in there for 3 to 4 minutes, the length of a pop song.
Tumble driers are now going to cost around £1 per hour to run, dry naturally if you can.
If you have an electric hot water tank, check that it is not on 24 hours a day as water is very expensive to heat continuously. Generally, it takes about 2 to 3 hours to warm up the tank. Use off-peak supply if you have Economy 7 tariff or similar. Ensure that tank is well insulated.
If you do have electric night storage heaters follow the manufacturers guidance on how to set them correctly.
Contact The Footprint Trust for help with your energy bills by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 822282.