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‘I’m an energy expert – these simple tips can save you money this summer’ | Personal Finance | Finance

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With energy bills having reduced again this month, households are being urged to check if they can make even more savings throughout this summer.

Ofgem reduced the energy price cap by seven percent on July 1st, lowering the annual payments for a typical dual-fuel direct debit household using a standard amount of energy to £1,568 per year – a decrease of £122.

But by opting for good fixed-rate tariffs or implementing certain energy-saving measures, Britons may be able to slash their bills even further, an expert has said.

James Longley, managing director at Utility Bidder commented: “With Ofgem’s energy price cap [falling by seven percent], there will be UK customers out there questioning whether now is the right time to switch to a fixed energy deal. More than 90 percent of UK homes pay the standard tariff and the full price cap.”

He noted that, while fixed rates help give customers peace of mind and provide choice in terms of start and end dates, these can be coupled with exit fees and the lost benefit of falling energy prices when already under contract.

However, Mr Longley continued: “Recent projections indicate that the price cap will go back up four percent to around £1,630 in October, and a similar rate could be in place for the start of 2025.

“Of the major energy companies offering fixed rate deals at this current time, all offer fixed deals to existing customers, with a large majority offering incentives to new customers as well.

“It would be recommended that you look into and compare comparison sites to find the best deals for fixing your energy, and this should be only considered if you are locking in the cheapest rate. For example, Octopus Energy offers a 12-month fix to all new and existing customers at seven percent less than the price cap with no exit fees.”

Meanwhile, Mr Longley noted: “Ecotricity offers a deal up to nine percent less – but with more sticking points such as an exit fee and the need for a smart meter.”

Summer energy-saving tips

Whatever the next cause of action, Mr Longley said: “Electricity and gas users should try, where possible, to limit their usage during peak hours of the day.

“Other lifestyle changes which you will reap the benefits of include minimal tweaks such as switching your appliances off when you’re not using them, rather than leaving them on standby, or more long-term solutions include removing your gas boiler or installing solar panels.”

As temperatures continue to rise this summer, UK residents may be partial to opening all windows. However, Mr Longley warned: “The more windows left open, the more hot air from the outdoors that can enter your home.

“Just like in winter, cross-ventilation is key, and we advise opening different windows around the house in small doses, which will let any breeze flow through. Also, the later at night it is, the more windows you can then open ready for a cooled home to wake up in.”

He added that cold fans are also “a great addition”. He explained: “These can be utilised in rooms you are occupying, but leaving them on in unoccupied rooms should be avoided, as these appliances move air around and don’t actually cool it.”

Finally, Mr Longley said: “It is also important to note that lowering your thermostat drastically doesn’t cool your home faster.

“Air conditioning units won’t typically operate at a consistent pace and lowering your thermostat as low as possible will just mean it is working for longer. Instead, you should gradually lower the temperature in small bursts until you hit the sweet spot you want.”

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