8 smart ways to cut energy bills as prices surge

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·7 min read
Changing old lightbulbs for energy saving LED bulbs is one way to reduce the amount of electricity you use every day. (Getty Images)
Changing old lightbulbs for energy saving LED bulbs is one way to reduce the amount of electricity you use every day. (Getty Images)

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Millions of UK households will see their energy bills rocket even further this year, as the price cap is hiked to £3,549 from October with regulator Ofgem announcing an 80% energy increase that risks pushing more families into fuel poverty this winter.

More than half of UK bill-payers are worried about their ability to afford their energy bills, according to research commissioned by not-for-profit Smart Energy GB, and of the 2,000 people surveyed, 56% believe they could save money each month if they took a closer look at their outgoings.

The energy price hike is just one of the issues UK households are facing due to the cost of living crisis the UK faces in 2022 due to an inflation rate of 6.2%, which is set to see typical household bills go up by £80 a month.

If you're looking for ways to save on electricity, energy-saving devices are a wise investment as they allow you to reduce the amount of power you use without making big changes to your everyday life.

Smart metres can help you keep track of your energy usage. You can ask your energy supplier to install one at no additional cost, so you can monitor any savings made by using energy-saving devices.

From smart sockets and lightbulbs to energy-efficient kitchen appliances, these eight products could help to reduce your electricity usage:

If you’re finding it difficult to pay for your energy bills, contact your energy supplier to see what support is available and check out Citizens Advice and Energy Saving Trust for more information on how to access support.

8 energy-saving devices to know about

1. Eve Energy UK - Smart Plug & Power Meter | £33.89 (Was £39.99) at Amazon

Smart Plug & Power Meter (Eve Energy UK)
Smart Plug & Power Meter (Eve Energy UK)

You could save around £40 a year just by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

If your sockets are difficult to reach or you have a habit of forgetting to turn things off, you may want to think about getting some smart plugs, which slot into your existing power outlets and allow you to remotely control any appliance connected to them via an app on your phone.

With smart plugs you can turn appliances off even after you've left the house to avoid wasting energy (and putting an end to hair straightener paranoia). Or you can set up schedules so your floor lamps and TVs automatically turn off at times when you won't be around or will be asleep.

The Eve Energy UK - Smart Plug & Power Meter has the additional benefit of also tracking the energy consumption of the devices plugged into it and working out the total cost too, (if you provide details from your energy provider). It only works with Apple devices, so you'll need an IPhone or Mac and HomePod, HomePod mini, or Apple TV as your home hub.

2. TP-Link Tapo Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring | £14.99 at Amazon

Tapo Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring (TP-Link)
Tapo Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring (TP-Link)

This energy monitoring smart plug is a good alternative if you have an Android phone, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. With the free Tapo app you can remotely control and switch off your devices and appliances, as well as monitor their real-time and historical power consumption. It also has a timer feature to allow you to set certain times for sockets to power down. This plug can be controlled via multiple devices, making it a good option for larger households.

3. Philips Hue White Starter Kit | £75.99 at Amazon

Philips Hue White Starter Kit (Philips)
Philips Hue White Starter Kit (Philips)

You could save £14 on your annual electricity bill by making sure you always turn the lights off when you leave a room, according to The Energy Saving Trust.

If you (or other members of your household) aren't in the habit of doing this, then smart bulbs could be a sensible investment — as they allow you to control your lighting remotely via your phone.

With a smart hub, like the Philips Hue Bridge included in this set, you can remotely control all the lights with Philips Smart Bulbs in your home. You can also set schedules so your lights will turn off automatically at certain times when you know you won't be at home. Plus, there is the option to dim the lights to create a cosy atmosphere.

This kit is compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Home Kit devices for hands-free voice control, and it includes two smart LED bulbs, which use very little energy, last for years and are instantly bright when switched on.

4. Russell Hobbs 26080 Hourglass Cordless Electric Glass Kettle | £34 at Amazon

You could save £8 on your annual energy bills if you don't overfill your kettle, according to the Energy Saving Trust. This carafe-style glass kettle makes it easier to do so, as it has a low minimum fill level perfect for making just one cup of tea or coffee, and small black labels on the side show the level for one, two, four, or six cupfuls. It can boil one cupful in just 45 seconds, which Russell Hobbs claims can save 66% energy compared to unnecessarily boiling a litre of water.

5. Dimplex DXUC2B 2kW Ceramic Fan Heater | £38.46 (Was £40.60) at Amazon

Dimplex DXUC2B 2kW Ceramic Fan Heater (Dimplex)
Dimplex DXUC2B 2kW Ceramic Fan Heater (Dimplex)

Central heating is more energy-efficient than electric heaters for heating an entire home, however, if you just want an additional blast of warmth in one room, when you get out of bed in the morning or return home from the cold, then using a fan heater can be more economical, as they'll heat a smaller area more quickly than your radiators could. This Dimplex fan heater is controlled via a variable thermostat so you can prevent wasting money on over-heating and it heats up a room very quickly.

6. Bosch KGE49AWCAG 60/40 Fridge Freezer | £699 at Currys

Bosch KGE49AWCAG 60/40 Fridge Freezer (Bosch)
Bosch KGE49AWCAG 60/40 Fridge Freezer (Bosch)

When shopping for kitchen appliances, you can see how energy-efficient they are by checking out their energy rating. It's important to be aware that these ratings changed in 2021 - whereas, previously appliances could be awarded an A+ or even A+++, the new system does away with the pluses and rates appliances on a scale of A to G. Models that were previously rated A+++ will now be rated D on the new scale.

Very few fridge freezers currently meet the criteria for the new A rating (and you're looking at spending over £1k to get one), but there are some more affordable models that achieve a C rating, which is better than the majority of models on the market.

The Bosch KGE49AWCAG has a C rating and has been awarded five out of five stars for energy efficiency by Which?.

7. Miele TSB143WP Freestanding Heat Pump Tumble Dryer | £829 at Amazon

Miele TSB143WP Freestanding Heat Pump Tumble Dryer (Miele)
Miele TSB143WP Freestanding Heat Pump Tumble Dryer (Miele)

Air drying is the most energy efficient way to dry your laundry, but if you just can't give up your tumble dryer then it's wise to consider swapping it for a more energy efficient model next time you need to replace it.

Dryers with heat pump technology can lead to big savings on your energy bills, according to the team at Which?, who said they were "astonished" by this model's energy efficiency. They estimate it costs just £25 a year to run.

It also features "sensor drying", which ends programs early when it detects the clothes are dry, preventing wasted energy.

8. Morphy Richards 461021 6.5L Easy Time Slow Cooker | £67.99 at Amazon

Morphy Richards 461021 6.5L Easy Time Slow Cooker (Morphy Richards)
Morphy Richards 461021 6.5L Easy Time Slow Cooker (Morphy Richards)

Cooking accounts for 13.8% of electricity used in UK homes, according to the Energy Saving Trust. On average, an oven will have a power rating of 2,000 to 2,200 watts used per hour, whereas slow cookers are rated at just 200 to 300 watts, making them one of the most energy-efficient appliances in the kitchen.

This model from Morphy Richards has a very low power rating of just 163 watts, plus it has a timer, which means it will automatically stop cooking at a set time to avoid using unnecessary energy.

The 6.5 litre pot is big enough for up to eight portions and there is also a smaller 3.5 litre model available for £48. Just remember to switch it off using your smart plug when it's not in use.