The energy-saving 'hacks' actually costing you more money

ENERGY saving hacks are high on the agenda for most households as what they have to pay for power has rocketed at an alarming rate.

But some tips and tricks might be more effort than they're worth – and they could be making your bills tot up quicker than you'd like.

Energy bills have seen a 54% increase since the price cap rise at the beginning of the month, so it's more important than ever to watch how much you're using.

The limit rose from £1,277 to £1,971 for a year – an increase of £693 for the average household, though the exact cost can vary depending on your use.

And these aren't the only price rises the UK has faced – food costs are also rocketing due to inflation, and what you have to pay in tax has gone up for many too.

So plenty of households have gone to any length and breadth to try and cut costs however they can – but they don't always have the right effect.

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Here's five energy myths you should avoid, because you could end up paying MORE for your bills:

Putting appliances 'to sleep'

A common myth that many consumers believe is that "if I've turned appliances off, they don't use energy."

But turning the TV onto standby doesn't mean its not guzzling energy.

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If they're not turned off at the switch and unplugged altogether, you'll find they're still draining energy.

That's even if you're not using them – they constantly use energy so they're ready for immediate usage when you switch them on.

Unplug any laptop, TV, kettle and phone charges when you're not using them to save around £30 a year.

Washing the dishes by hand to save on hot water

A common energy saving myth is to handwash all dishes instead of using the dishwasher.

But actually handwashing can use up to nine times as much water, particularly if you leave the tap running – that requires more energy to heat it too.

There's ways to slash the cost of using your dishwasher when you have to though.

Don't pre-wash as you'll waste more water, and make sure you wait until your dishwasher is full before putting it on.

Every modern dishwasher has a special energy-efficiency setting too if you know where to look.

The setting can save up to 20% of energy by using less power to heat the water which is where all that wasted energy is headed.

According to Bosch, using eco-mode compared to the auto programme will save you around 523 kWh of energy over a year, which is also a saving of £146.44 in the same time.

Close the curtains to keep it warm inside

It's true you'll lose heat through your windows, as the glass panes can be one of the top ways that draughts get into your home too.

Simply putting up curtains can reduce your energy usage by as much as 15% – and could save you up to £30 a year on your bills at the same time.

The heavy fabric will trap nasty draughts in their tracks and make sure no waste energy leaves your home.

But that's in the winter time when it's darker and windier outside – and when you're more likely to have the heating whacked up in the first place.

Now is the perfect time to throw the curtains wide and let as much natural heat source enter your home as possible, though.

The rays from the sun, particularly when it's hotter outside like with the heatwave that's descended this weekend, can act as a FREE energy source to keep your rooms heated – so long as you let it in.

Keeping the heating on a low level all day

Plenty of Brits are puzzled over whether it's cheaper to put the heating on a low level all day, or whack it up when you need it.

Uswitch energy expert Sarah Broomfield says it's not true that putting your heating on a low level all the time will save you money in the long run.

That's because a certain amount of heat is constantly being lost from your home – even if you have good insulation.

Having the heating on a low level is wasting a lot of energy trying to replace lost heat.

It's better to programme your heating system so it comes on at times when you need it the most.

Particularly now that the weather has warmed up – you can save whacking the heating on for the evenings when it might be a bit cooler, and let natural light and warmth flood your house during the day instead.

Turning your thermostat up to heat up quicker

It's another common mistake to think that turning up your thermostat by a few degrees when turning the heating on will warm your home up quicker.

You might be tempted to do that if you are only looking for a short burst of heat at home now that it's not cold all day long.

But your house will heat up at EXACTLY the same speed no matter what temperature it is on.

So that means you're just spending more money for no reason, energy expert Kevin Pratt from Forbes Advisor said.

Turning your thermostat down by one degree can save you £55 a year – so turning it up by several notches could be adding potentially hundreds of pounds more onto your bill.

Can I get help with my energy bills?

If you are wary of any tips and tricks that claim to help you cut costs you can also get help to cover what you do have to pay.

A £200 energy rebate is planned for later in the year to households with lower energy costs in the short term.

The discount will need to be repaid in £40 annual instalments though, starting from April next year for five years.

There's also a council tax rebate on the way to most households if they've not had it already, and it's worth £150.

It won't strictly bring your energy bills down, but the £150 is designed to help households battle the cost of living.

You've got to be in council tax bands A to D to get the cash – which amounts to around 80% of homes.

Many households will be able to claim through the recently upgraded Household Support Fund too, where councils give out free cash and vouchers to hard-up families struggling to pay their bills.

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Your energy provider might be able to help with a hardship grant too.

British Gas has just announced further funding for its version of the help, offering £2million more to those who are struggling.

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