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Last updated: 24 November 2020
There are a number of old wives’ tales about the ways in which we use energy that have been passed on from our parents, grandparents and beyond, which often are completely false! Our guide will debunk the biggest myths, so that you can start fixing your habits and save money.
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Energy Myths vs Reality
There are many myths surrounding the way that we use energy. Here we take a look at some general ones:
- Energy Myth no.1: Turning the thermostat up higher heats the house up faster.
- The Reality: You may think that turning the thermostat up above the temperature you want your home to be affects the speed it takes to reach that temperature. A thermostat only acts as a limiter, the temperature you set is when it stops heating your home.
- Energy Myth no.2: Solar panels only work when it is sunny.
- Reality: Although they will be more effective and generate more energy on a sunnier day, they still function (often well) when it’s cloudy, even in the UK!
- Energy Myth no.3: Cavity wall insulation causes dampness in your home.
- Reality: In the majority of cases, insulating your walls will actually help prevent dampness, as having a properly heated and insulated home will reduce cold spots and condensation.
Energy Saving Myths vs Reality
You may have also heard a number of these tall tales which you think save you money, but in fact cost you more. We’ll dive into the myths around saving energy, and demystify how you can actually save energy and money:
- Energy Saving Myth no.1: Electrical appliances don’t use energy when they aren’t being used.
- Reality: You may think that when your phone charger is plugged in but is not charging your phone, then it won’t be using any energy. This is wrong! In the UK, this ‘vampire energy’, where energy is sucked by appliances that are not being used, is estimated to cost £30 per year. The best way to avoid this is to turn off your appliances at the wall socket and unplug them.
- Energy Saving Myth no.2: Leaving your heating on low all day saves more energy than turning the heating on and off, when you want it.
- Reality: Leaving your heating on low will not only mean that your house is colder, but will most likely cost more to gently warm your house than if you turn it up to the right temperature and turn it off when you don’t need it. There’s no point in heating your house while you are at work, setting a timer means you can manage your heating efficiently.
- Energy Saving Myth no.3: Dishwashers use more energy than hand washing.
- Reality: This is a pretty common myth, but a fully filled dishwasher that is in good working order actually saves energy (both electrical and for you) compared to hand washing all those dishes.
- Energy Saving Myth no.4: LED lights are not worth the cost or hassle
- Reality: LED lights, although they may cost a bit more upfront than traditional lights, use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer. It’s also often believed that you need to change your light bulb fittings to accommodate LEDs, however they come in all shapes and sizes are simple to swap for your old light bulbs.
Energy Switching Myths vs Reality
Most people are far less likely to switch their energy supplier than their broadband provider. There are a number of myths that surround switching energy providers so people often think it’s more hassle than it’s worth. However, switching provider can help you save money and is now an easy process. We bust some of the biggest myths around switching energy providers:
- Energy Switching Myth no.1: Switching energy provider is too complicated and involves too much paperwork.
- Reality: The process of changing your energy provider is as simple as using our online energy comparison tool, simply fill in your postcode, a few details about your energy usage and choose the energy deal for you. Changing supplier can all be done online and you even get a two week ‘cooling off’ period during which you can switch back to your old provider cost free if you wish.
- Energy Switching Myth no.2: Switching energy requires planning time for a workman to visit and change the cables.
- Reality: All energy companies use the same infrastructure to provide your energy so there is no need for an engineer to change anything at your property. Your energy supply will not be interrupted and the process ensures you will not be charged twice when switching provider.
- Energy Switching Myth no.3: Renters can’t switch energy provider.
- Reality: Renters have as much right to switch their energy provider as any homeowners do (if they are responsible for paying the energy bills).
- Energy Switching Myth no.4: The energy price cap means that I am protected from changing prices.
- Reality: The energy price cap is reviewed every six months, and if it’s raised, the prices of your energy will most likely go up too. It can often be cheaper to get a fixed deal, so make sure you compare energy prices before working out what’s best for you.