Here at MoneyMagpie.com, we have been working closely with Smart Energy GB to bring consumers the best energy saving ideas, helping you take control of your energy use and household budgets. This month saw the release of the Super Smart Energy Savers report, which highlighted the UK’s biggest worries, energy saving habits and behavioural changes as the result of increased energy prices.
Our Content Editor Vicky Parry sat down with Smart Energy GB to answer some questions about these findings. She has been working hard behind the scenes to find the best energy saving and money saving tips about for consumers. Plus, she is an award-winning solutions journalist focusing on the response to social issues. She is an experienced campaigner for social change and wants to help people everyday.
You can read the full Super Smart Energy Savers report and all the findings here.
According to the research by Smart Energy GB, many of us are trying to change our energy usage over the summer months and get into good habits before energy prices rise again in October. What are the benefits of doing this?
- Research by Smart Energy GB releaved that over a quarter (28%) of Brits said that this summer is the first they’ve taken proactive steps, such as getting a smart meter, to better manage their energy use
- Those who have adjusted their energy habits for summer say that they’ve reduced their bills by an average of £22.09 per month – which can really add up over the year
- Despite making positive changes to their energy habits, almost half (47%) of Brits are still concerned about the second energy price cap increase set to come into effect in October 2022. A further 45% believe it will be even more important to feel in control of their energy use by the time winter arrives
- That’s why almost a third (29%) of families have tried to implement cost-saving practices this summer, with 36% deliberately instilling more positive habits with the aim of maintaining them during the colder months when they’ll have a greater need for energy
You are part of the Super Smart Energy Savers report. Please can you tell us how this report helps household owners?
- We have launched a new chapter of the Smart Energy Super Savers report and we can tell from the new research that there is a desire for control to offset the increasing cost of living, especially during the summer months
- Four months on from April’s energy price cap increase, 28% of Brits say this is the first summer they’ve taken action to reduce their energy use after typically paying less attention to bills during the warmer months
- Bill payers think about their energy usage up to twice a day, whereas previously as many as 12.3 million Brits said it wasn’t considered at all over the summer.
- One in five (20%) Brits would like more advice on ways to save energy in the summer, with 28% wanting tips they haven’t heard before
- We’re in a unique position to be able to offer advice based on feedback we’ve had from people using a smart meter to help manage their finances and the findings of our report
- Smart Energy GB surveyed 5,000 adults across the UK to understand their concerns and current energy usage since the price cap increase in April 2022
- Smart Energy GB has also launched the new ‘What’s Watt’ online mini-series with Dominic Littlewood, tracking three families across Great Britain as they take steps to reduce their energy use. The advice featured within the series can be used by households across the UK to help to reduce energy bills this summer
What steps can people take to save money this summer? Tell us more about the tips.
- Living frugally doesn’t mean missing out. It’s about making sensible, informed spending choices to minimise unnecessary costs and save money where possible.
- Free days out – The summer months can feel long and expensive, especially for families. Whatever your budget, a free day out can keep all ages entertained, as well as creating precious memories, without the added worry of paying for it all. For families that could include woodlands and forests, paddling pools or skate parks. For adults – why not explore your area by foot or jump on a bike if you have one.
- Pack a picnic – Even a trip to the beach or a park can find you scrabbling around for change to cover food and drinks. Think ahead and pack a picnic. You can still pick your favourite foods from the shops but it will be significantly cheaper than finding shops or cafes nearby attractions.
- Free outdoor spaces – It can be very tempting to head to a pub garden when the weather is nice, but any public outdoor spaces such as parks can be sociable in the summer. Take a friend and enjoy a glass of wine al fresco, without paying pub prices.
- Stay active for less – Many local authorities across Britain have installed gym equipment in parks that can be used free of charge. Exercise is good for physical and mental health, and this way it comes at no cost at all.
- Have a savings goal – If you have anything you want to do or buy, whether it’s short or long term, consider how you finance it. Make sure goals are specific, realistic and that you have a time frame to achieve them.
- Grab yourself freebies – If there are any items you want to buy, then sites such as Gumtree or Freecycle have adverts for free things in your area. It could well be that someone nearby wants to get rid of a garden table that just happens to be perfect for your needs.
- Grow some veg – Even with just a small balcony or windowsill you can grow herbs or small fruit and vegetables. It feels like an achievement, and you can save money from buying from a shop on a regular basis.
- House swapping holidays – If you want to get away but are looking to reduce costs, try a house swapping holiday. It’s a much cheaper option, particularly for families, as you only have to pay for your travel and food while you’re away.
How easy is it to get a smart meter, what are the benefits, and how much does it cost?
- It’s very easy to get a smart meter – gas and electricity suppliers are responsible for providing and fitting them for everyone in Britain at no extra cost
- All people need to do is contact their energy supplier directly to arrange an installation. For more information, you can go online and search ‘get a smart meter’
- There are so many benefits, but some of the key ones include:
- Increased control – Smart meters come with an in-home display that shows exactly how much energy is being used in near-real time in pounds and pence. By knowing how much energy is being used and money spent, this enables customers to have more control and encourages small, positive changes to reduce energy use and keep bills down.
- Greater accuracy – Rather than providing estimated energy bills, smart meters provide accurate costs based on your actual energy usage. Knowing how much an energy bill is before it arrives can be a helpful tool as people look to manage household budgets.
- Available at no extra cost – Gas and electricity suppliers are responsible for providing and fitting smart meters for everyone in Britain at no extra cost. All people need to do is contact their energy supplier directly to arrange an installation.