From cleaning fridges to batch cooking: How to cut your energy costs

Price of living on the rise. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Using appliances smartly can help reduce energy costs this winter, according to Which? - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

Rising energy bills are set to make the cost of running household appliances surge, consumer group Which? has warned.

The energy price cap is due to increase by 80pc in October after regulator Ofgem said the yearly bill can be raised from £1,971 to £3,549.

Households are likely to face huge spikes in energy costs this winter but according to Which? the way we use appliances can make a difference.

Here are some simple tricks to help keep costs down.

Price of living on the rise. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Energy bills are expected to spike this winter - Credit: Archant

1. How to reduce washing machine costs

The average cost to run a washing machine yearly will rise from just over £63 to more than £117 under the new energy price cap. 

You can lower costs by waiting until you can fill the machine to 80pc capacity rather than repeatedly washing smaller loads.

If clothes are not stained then consider washing at 30C, as this cuts energy use by 38pc on average compared to a 40C wash.

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Go even further and use 62pc less energy by washing clothes at 20C.

2. How to cut tumble dryer costs

Calculations by Which? found that the cost of an average heat pump tumble dryer will increase from £56 to £104 a year, whereas condenser tumble dryers requiring more power will see costs jump from £140 to £260 a year when the price cap comes into effect.

The easiest way to save is to reconsider how you can dry laundry effectively, such as hanging washing outside on a clothesline or airer.

However, be aware that drying clothes inside frequently without proper ventilation can cause damp and mould to develop so be sure to open windows.

3. Use your dishwasher properly to save money

Running a full-size dishwasher will rise from £83 to £153 a year and a slimline model will cost £136, up from £73.

Which? suggests ensuring the dishwasher is not over or underfilled and to run it on an eco-setting.

While washing up by hand may seem like a cheaper option, handwashing uses more water than a dishwasher.

4. Clean your fridge freezer

An average fridge costs about £73 a year to run but this will rise to £136 in October.

Larger American-style fridges cost more, between £84 and £120, which will increase to £155 and £222 a year.

To keep fridge freezers running efficiently, make sure to clean the condenser coils on the back as dust on the coils can prevent the fridge from cooling properly.

If you have damaged door seals, it is important to replace them so cold air cannot escape.

Ensure food is cooled down properly before refrigerating.

A saucepan on a gas hob. A green Tory group have urged ministers to help ease the cost of living cri

Batch cooking can help save energy - Credit: PA

5. How you use your oven efficiently 

A built-in electric oven costs £66 a year to run currently, rising to £122 with the new energy cap, whereas a single gas oven will go from £20 to £43.

Cooking larger amounts of food at a time and eating them as meals spread across the week, rather than running the oven every day, can help save money.

You can also defrost frozen food in the fridge in advance so the oven doesn't have to work as hard to cook it.

Smaller items such as air fryers or combi microwaves might be more cost-efficient than ovens for cooking smaller items.

6. Install central heating controls

Smart heating controls can cut your bills and improve comfort by making better use of the heating energy you pay for.

Which? estimates that a medium-sized household could save at least £100 a year by using smart controls and could cut a home’s carbon emissions by 320kg a year.

When using a smart thermostat, Which? recommends using zonal heating controls with radiator valves to vary the heating and schedule of different rooms.

Many Norfolk older residents are anxious about energy bills this winter following the rise in gas pr

Eligible people can apply for grants to help with bills - Credit: PA

7. Find out if you can get energy grants

The Warm Home Discount is available to pensioners and those who get certain benefits. It is £140, but increasing to £150 in October 2022.

Those born before September 26, 1955, can claim a Winter Fuel Payment of £100 to £300 every winter and energy companies also have their own hardship funds.