Jennifer Plews


New research has revealed that more than half (52%) of Brits rarely think about their energy usage once they’ve turned their heating off for the summer, with four in ten (42%) admitting they pay more attention to their energy bills when winter arrives again.

But rising energy prices are changing all of that, with three quarters (76%) of Brits saying they’re now more interested in finding ways to save energy all year round.

A similar number (77%) admit that when they normally think about their energy usage, it’s mainly in the context of heating their home. But now that we’re coming to end of heating season, according to British Gas, it’s time to start thinking outside of the box.

"The warmer months are a great time to save energy around the home and to keep the bills down in the process. Just because the heating’s turned off, it can be easy to forget that even in summertime, we all still depend on energy-hungry appliances. Every time I visit a customer, they’re surprised when I tell them how much they can save by making a few easy adjustments around the home. And it doesn’t just help them reduce their bills – it’s good news for the environment, too. That’s why we are on a mission to help customers make some small changes to their behaviour around the house this summer, that they can take into winter and beyond.”

Marc Robson, Smart Energy Expert, British Gas

The survey, conducted by OnePoll, found that only a quarter of Brits can honestly say they never leave the lights on in an empty room, or put the washing machine on when it’s not full. And even fewer say they never leave appliances on when not in use (13%) or boil more water than they need in the kettle (16%).

It’s kicking habits like these that can add up and make all the difference. Here are some of Marc’s other top tips for saving energy this summer:

  • Only heat the hot water you need: The way your boiler is set up can make a difference to how much you can save on your heating bills, especially if you have a combi boiler. A boiler's flow rate shows how much hot water it will be able to send to your taps in one minute. Set it between 50°C-60°C and you can ensure you only heat the hot water you need. When it’s not as cold outside and you don’t need the house to warm up as quickly, you could also reduce the flow rate for heating to this temperature.
  • Ditch the dryer: Take advantage of the warmer weather by drying your laundry outside where you can, or use a clothes maiden instead of an energy-hungry tumble dryer. That can save you £60 a year.
  • Wash on a colder cycle: Running your washing machine on a 30-degree cycle instead of using higher temperatures can save around £28 on your annual bill.
  • Defrost your fridge and freezer: Try to defrost your fridge and freezer regularly to keep ice build-up under control and make sure everything is working efficiently. Otherwise, they’ll start using more energy than they actually need.
  • Unplug your devices: Your electronic devices, such as your phone, tablet, TV, dishwasher or washing machine still use energy while on standby whatever the weather. You can save around £60 a year just by remembering to unplug them.
  • Be fan smart: Most homes aren’t built to deal with the summer heat and the use of electric fans tends to increase during the warmer months. If you do need to switch one on in a heat wave, position the fan at floor level so it circulates cool air instead of the warmer air higher up.
  • Switch off the lights: As the days start to stay lighter for longer, keep the curtains open and let daylight brighten your room. When you need to switch on the lights, get into the habit of only lighting rooms that are being used, and you can save £20 on your annual energy bills.
  • Change your showerhead: An eco-showerhead uses less water with no loss of pressure. It can save a family of four about £19 off their gas bills – and an extra £30 for those with a water meter. Also, limiting your shower time to just four minutes can save a typical household £70 a year.

For more tips on energy saving, visit