Households are likely to spend about £581 less on their energy bills over the summer months as they reduce their gas and electricity use, according to new analysis from Uswitch.com, the comparison service.
Turning the heating off makes the biggest difference to bills, with the average household spending £530 less on gas from April to September compared to the colder six months.
The average household with gas central heating will spend about £423 on heating in January, February and March. Having the heating on half as much over April to June will save people around £211. The cost of heating then drops to almost zero over the warmest months of the year from July to September.
Turning the heating off over the summer and making other changes to energy habits can help people build up credit for the winter.
For those who can, hanging clothes outside to dry on warm days can also help people cut costs during the spring and summer.
Tumble dryers are one of the most expensive household appliances, but hanging up the washing outside instead could save people £33 over the warmest months of the year.
Swapping one oven-cooked meal for a cold salad on a hot day could save people 33 pence per dinner — adding up to £5.28 if done once a week for four months.
People with dehumidifiers may also be able to turn them off in the summer. Dehumidifiers remove extra moisture from the air and prevent damp and condensation on the windows, and can be particularly beneficial when drying clothes inside.
Dehumidifiers typically use 185W, which will cost 12 pence if used for two hours. Opening the windows to let the air in from outside could save households with dehumidifiers £13.44 over a four-month period.
Although many households can make significant energy savings over the summer, people need to be mindful of how the costs of some garden appliances can add up.
Hot tubs are the most energy-guzzling appliance in the garden. Energy efficient models could cost around £1.20 a day to run, with the least efficient setting people back up to £7.20.
The cost of using electric patio heaters can also add up. A 2.4kW unit would cost 79 pence to use for an hour — adding up to £5.53 if used for an hour a day for a week.
Ben Gallizzi, energy expert at Uswitch.com, comments: “It is much easier to save energy over the spring and summer when the heating goes off and we can spend more time outside.
“Although switching off the heating is the biggest contributor to energy savings, other small changes will quickly add up.
“If the weather is dry, people with a garden or balcony can make the most of the warmer weather to dry clothes rather than using expensive tumble dryers.
“On a hot day, the last thing you want to do is turn the oven on. Making a cold salad is a great way of saving money on energy and a much cooler way to enjoy dinner.
“Anyone making changes to how they use energy around the home can track their usage to see what impact this is having on their bills. People using the Utrack app can use hourly graphs to compare their gas and electricity use by day, week, month and year.”
Uswitch’s summer energy saving tips
1. Turn off the heating if you are going away. While in the winter it can be beneficial to heat your home for a few hours a day, it is not as necessary at this time of year and will be costing you money.
2. Consider hot tubs carefully. If you are thinking about buying a hot tub consider how efficiently they run when picking one. Pricier hot tubs are likely to be better insulated and could be a better investment as they will cost less to run long term. Make sure you get a well-fitted cover that forms an air-tight seal to avoid losing heat and using more energy.
3. Let the grass grow. At only 25p a time on average, mowing the lawn is not a big contributor to energy bills, but households looking to make savings could reduce the number of times they cut the grass — which can also be beneficial for insects, hedgehogs and wild flowers.
4. Use outdoor space to cut your laundry bill. If you have a garden or balcony, you can make use of the warmer weather by hanging clothes outside to dry.
5. Use solar power. Solar-powered lights can make a great alternative to electric garden lighting. They don’t need a power source, so will save you money in the long run
Track your energy usage with Utrack by Uswitch here.