We have seen how it is possible to save money on our heating bills, harness the energy of water with hydropower and help the environment by installing eco-boilers. Social media and the news are constantly being flooded with ‘ways to save energy,’ but how truthful are these methods and can we really believe the hype?

Here the Energy Saving Trust help us to dispel some of the claims:

Leaving the heating on a low temperature all day works out to be cheaper

FALSE: Leaving the room thermostat on a low temperature all day will not only result in the room feeling uncomfortably cool, but it will also waste energy heating vacant rooms.

TRUE: However, using a room thermostat and a timer will help you to control the heat, using it only when the household is occupied and the cold weather warrants it.

ThermostatTurning up the thermostat heats the home faster

FALSE: No matter how high you set the temperature, the rate at which the heating system distributes heat remains constant.

TRUE: If you wish to increase the rate of heat dispersion, ensure your home insulation is in tip top shape. Heat is rapidly lost through the loft, walls, windows and floor, so by insulating these areas you are not only stopping the heat from escaping but are also keeping the heat in for longer.

Electrical appliances don’t use electricity when they’re plugged-in but not in-use

FALSE: Many electrical appliances, such as TV’s, laptops and phone chargers continue to consume energy long after they have been switched off.

TRUE: By remembering to switch off at the wall and pull out the plug, a typical household could save between £50 – £80 a year.

(Based on all home appliances, consumer electronics, lights and chargers that have been left on standby mode or have been left on and not in use, using the average electricity cost of 13.52p/kWh. Sourced from DEFRA’s Home Electricity Study.)

It is cheaper to run appliances, such as washing machines, at night rather than during the day

TRUE and FALSE: This is true if the home runs on an energy supply such as Economy 7, but for the majority of customers who pay a flat rate it isn’t.

You cannot do a straightforward swap with energy saving bulbs and LED light bulbs

FALSE: Energy saving and LED light bulbs come in all shapes and sizes and can now be fitted in free-standing lamps, down-lighters and traditional pendants.

Plastic tape and a layer of cling-film around a draughty window works better than double glazing

FALSE: As a temporary measure, tape and cling film works well.

TRUE: But for a permanent, energy saving solution to keeping heat in and draughts out, you cannot beat double glazing.

Cavity wall insulation can cause damp

FALSE: For the most part, cavity wall insulation is likely to lessen the risk of damp.

TRUE: A combination of good insulation, suitable ventilation and balanced heating in a home will eliminate cold spots and condensation gathering on the walls.

Solar panels only generate electricity on sunny days

FALSE: Although solar panels are at their most effective in bright sunlight.

TRUE: Solar panels continue to generate energy from diminished light on cloudy days.

Desktop computer screensavers save energy

FALSE: Screensavers are basically a computer programme which consumes energy like any other.

TRUE: Using the timed sleep settings will save energy, but nothing beats switching off the computer and unplugging it for the best way to save money on those bills.

Switching energy suppliers is difficult

FALSE: It is not difficult to switch energy suppliers.

TRUE: Unless you have been living in a cave for the past couple of years, it’s impossible to get the comparison site jingles out of your head! Whether it’s Brian with his robot humour, Sergei with his “simples” or that bloke with the rather annoying moustache, the word on the street is that it’s easy to switch energy suppliers. It takes around half an hour to fill in your details and then the energy provider will sort the switch for you. Shop around and find the best deal for you.

[Photos by pippalou and kevmann16]