Online energy saving advice might be doing more harm than good, experts warn

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Philippe Commaret, who heads up customer advice at a UK energy supplier, revealed a number of ‘tips’ that could pose a serious risk to your health, with things like switching a fridge off overnight potentially resulting in food turning bad.
However, 21 per cent of homeowners and renters think doing this will reduce their energy bills.
A further 26 per cent are under the impression turning off your boiler at night will save money – when actually, the opposite could be true.
Depending on how well insulated your home is, switching a boiler off overnight could see your property’s warmth drop drastically and cause more serious issues such as damp walls.
Other commonly searched tricks such as ‘black radiator paint’ – a tactic 12 per cent believe will cut down energy costs – could also be adding to your energy bills as certain types of paint can make the radiator less efficient.
The advice comes after a poll of 2,000 homeowners and renters by energy provider EDF found 34 per cent have ‘Googled’ advice on how to cut down on their energy bills.
And 22 per cent have done the same through a social media platform, but 42 per cent feel there is a lot of conflicting advice and have struggled to determine the fact from the fiction.
Additional analysis of online search terms has revealed searches for ‘how to reduce energy bills’ has increased by 467 per cent in the last six months.
Philippe Commaret, from EDF, said: “Despite these searches being amongst some of the most popular online, when it comes to consumers looking for advice on how to reduce their energy bills, not all make a positive difference and some can actually be dangerous.”
The average household will leave 26 appliances on standby
The study also found 55 per cent said rising energy bills have made them think more about ways to make their home more energy efficient.
Data from the Energy Savings Trust highlighted how taking a shorter, four-minute shower could save an average household up to £70 a year although 14 per cent don’t believe this is the case.
It also emerged the typical household will leave 26 appliances on standby rather than switching them off, which has the potential to save up to £55 per annum.
And only 15 per cent have installed a smart thermostat in a bid to make savings, despite it having the potential to save customers money a year.
The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found 62 per cent of those who have installed energy efficient measures in their home have noticed a reduction in their energy bills.
Philippe Commaret added: “Installing a smart meter in the home can be a great way to be more mindful of energy usage.
“Actions like leaving appliances on standby can have more of an impact than we might think.
“Our free Energy Hub shows customer’s where they’re using most energy, putting them in control.
“Customers can not only cut their use, but their costs, which shows it’s really worthwhile.”

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