Whether the subject is the cost of energy in a turbulent economy, renewable energy as the supply of fossil fuels continues to dwindle or protests against â€˜fracking\’ as the government looks to alternative solutions, energy is constantly in the headlines.
While all of the above already do or eventually will affect us all, the one which universally affects us on a personal level is the cost of energy. As the need to save energy increases among both homes and businesses, we are constantly on the lookout for ways to save energy and keep bills to a minimum.
However, a fair few falsehoods have stemmed from the continued high interest in energy, leading people to pursue behaviour that has little or no effect on the amount they are saving, or that is driving their bills up.
Myth #1 â€“ Dishwashers are bad for the environment
While some appliances are bad for both your green credentials and your budget, a dishwasher can actually consume less energy than hand washing dishes. This is only the case when it is used properly though, so make sure it is fully loaded (although not overloaded) and efficiently stacked. Most dishwashers have an â€˜energy efficiency\’ setting you can use or just lower the temperature by a few degrees.
Myth #2 â€“ Turning things on and off expends more energy than just leaving them on
We\’ve all heard this one before: that repeatedly turning appliances on and off allegedly causes a â€˜surge\’ of energy which absorbs more energy and money than leaving them running. Rest assured that frequently switching an appliance on or off does not spark anything of the sort, so even if you are only leaving the room for a few minutes, turn the lights off as you go.
Myth #3 â€“ Replacing an old boiler is hugely expensive
While the initial cost of a new boiler might seem high, a modern condensing boiler is actually far cheaper to run than an older, less efficient non-condensing boiler. The savings made in the long term make the boiler installation cost pale into insignificance, as it will more than pay for itself over the course of the years.
Myth #4 â€“ New homes must be energy efficient
While new boilers are more energy efficient than their predecessors, this is not the case with everything that is bought new. For example, changing single pane windows for energy efficient replacements doesn\’t necessarily have a huge impact on savings â€“ it also depends on the number, size and orientation of the windows in your home and the climate. Similarly, new homes aren\’t necessarily built with energy efficiency in mind; often it depends more on design and construction as opposed to age.
Myth #5 â€“ Plugged-in chargers disconnected from the device don\’t use energy
Have you ever noticed that a charger connected to a plug socket is warm even when it\’s not connected to a device? While some chargers do turn themselves off in this situation, many draw power when they are plugged in regardless of whether they are being used or not. Switching off at the wall is the best way to ensure you are not paying extra for this standby power.
This article has been provided by energy expert Kate Anderson of Boiler Guide.co.uk.