AS it gets warmer there are four small changes you can make around the home to help save hundreds on energy bills, an expert has claimed.
Will Owen is an energy expert for comparison site Uswitch. He has shared his advice to help bill payers as summer approaches.
While Britain is set to be hotter than Ibiza later this month, it's a good opportunity to see where you can make savings – like drying your clothes outside, for example.
It comes as millions of families saw their energy bills double last month after the energy price cap went up last month.
The price cap limits the amount of money suppliers can charge customers for their energy, and now the average bill stands at £1,971 a year.
It means six million households owe their energy supplier money, with households in debt owing an average of £188.
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That's why we've spoken with Mr Owen to see how customers can slash their energy costs.
Here's his four top tips to do NOW as warmer weather hits – and you could save potentially hundreds per year.
Ditch the tumble dryer – £64
Tumble dryers are energy guzzlers, requiring a lot of energy to run.
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It depends on what kind of machine you have and what tariff you are on, but Uswitch estimates its costs roughly £154 a year for big families doing three loads of washing per week.
But switching it off during the five warmest months of the year could save you £64, Mr Owen said.
"Your clothes will take longer to dry on the line if they are dripping wet, so use your washing machine’s spin cycle to squeeze out the excess water."
Of course, you can only do this if you have the space to dry clothes in your home or outside.
It's not the only tumbledryer trick you could try.
Putting a towel in the tumble dryer at the start of each cycle can help soak up moisture more quickly, reduce the drying time therefore saving you money.
Turn off lights – £20
One of the great things about summer is that it stays lighter for longer – and this is a easy way to save cash without even realising.
It means that you can keep the lights switched off for longer and make the most of the natural light.
“Turning off five LED lights and one halogen bulb between 8am and 6pm could save you £20.34 over the five lightest months of the year," Mr Owen said.
It's not the only lightbulb hack you could try.
Switching to LED spotlights from standard bulbs could save you £35 a year as well because they use far less electricity.
Swap hot meals for cold ones – £15.21
When it's hot, try and eat cold foods instead of cooking a meal to save money on running your oven.
Leave the hearty stew for days when it's colder and opt for a salad to shave money off your energy bills, Mr Owen said.
"Swapping one hot meal a day for a salad for the eight hottest weeks of the year could save you £15.21 compared to using an electric oven," he said.
Close the curtains and windows – £6
It might seem odd, but keeping your windows and curtains shut on hot days actually keeps your house cooler.
That's because colder morning air is kept trapped inside your home, while hotter air outside stays out.
It means you can keep your fan switched off.
Although using a 120W fan for three hours a day for the eight warmest weeks of the summer only costs £5.64 to run, any little savings could all add up, Mr Owen said.
What other ways can I lower my bills?
If you're on the right tariff, washing and drying your clothes at a specific time could save you money on your bills.
But there are special tariffs where you pay a cheaper price for energy in the night compared to the day.
These time-of-use tariffs could slash your bills by as much as £120 a year.
While switching off "vampire appliances" properly could save you around £500.
These are appliances like computers and security lights that use up a lot of energy – even if they are left on standby.
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If you want other tricks to slash your bills, here's 40 ways you can save money now.
While simply switching the way you pay for your bills by paying via direct debit could save you £90 a year.
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