ENERGY-saving tips are very popular as households start to make plans for the winter.
But subtle changes that don't even take much effort could end up as the ones saving you the most money.
Energy bills were initially set to be frozen at £2,500 for the typical household for two years, but now the guarantee will only last until April.
This would've saved homeowners approximately £1,000.
But now, after April, help will be targeted at hard-up households, although details of this were not revealed today.
It was part of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's announcement of a number of mega mini-Budget u-turns.
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Vampire appliances often add to bills if you're not careful.
For example, British Gas estimates that up to 23% of UK homes' energy use could come from vampire appliances, that adds up to £575.
But an expert has told The Mirror if you use appliances like the washing machine between 4pm and 7pm, it might save you money.
He said: "Depending on your energy tariff, demand for electricity can greatly impact your energy bill.
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"This means that the time you choose to run your washing machine and tumble dryer can greatly affect your spending."
Most people currently pay the same amount for energy throughout the day and night, unless they are on an Economy 7 or 10 tariff
These give you cheaper rates during the night and more expensive ones in the daytime – so the tip will have varied results depending on which tariff you're on.
The same goes for the "demand flexibility service" will run from November to March.
This is where people sign up with their electricity supplier for a scheme which will give them money back on their bills.
To get the money back, customers will be expected to shift their use of power away from times of high demand to help prevent blackouts.
That could mean putting on the dishwasher or washing machine overnight or charging an electric vehicle at off-peak times.
So far there are two major suppliers providing customers with the scheme.
OVO Energy has announced a trial where customers can save up to £100 on their bills by switching their usage to less busy times of the day.
And Octopus Energy has also said customers will be £100 better off by using its "Saving Sessions" flexibility service.
Other energy suppliers have not yet announced how they will run the scheme.
But you'll need to be on a smart meter no matter which supplier you're with to take advantage of it.
How much could I save?
A household of two adults and two children does an average 468 loads of washing a year – equivalent to 1.3 loads a day.
For these households, the cost of running a washing machine costs an annual price of £159.12.
However, we wouldn't recommend switching to using the tumble dryer during the night.
This is because there are a few risks that come with it.
Here's what you should take note of if you're going to run some appliances overnight:
- Close all doors as this can help to prevent fire and smoke from spreading.
- Switch off and unplug electrical items such as TVs.
- Avoid charging devices like mobile phones when you sleep.
- Make sure any candles are out before you go to bed.
- Check your cooker and heaters are turned off.
Other ways to get help with bills
Energy suppliers offer support for those who are struggling to pay their bills.
Those on Universal Credit and older legacy benefits could get over £3,000 in bill support.
There are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you're struggling.
British Gas has recently confirmed that it'll pay its most vulnerable customers grants worth £750 to help with sky-high bills.
Ask your supplier what's on offer and how to apply, or check here:
- British Gas Energy Trust
- Bulb energy fund
- EDF's energy customer support fund
- E.on's energy fund
- Npower's energy fund
- Ovo's debt and energy assistance
- Scottish Power's hardship fund
There's also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you're on a prepayment metre.
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You can also contact the following if you're really struggling – help is just around the corner:
- Money Advice Service – 0800 138 7777
- Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060
- StepChange – 0800 138 1111
- National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
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