“Based on the average annual gas bill for a medium-sized house, leaving this on over a two-week period could add almost £10 to gas bills.”
If you have electric underfloor heating, this is area that’s very easy to forget about, particularly if you have separate room-based systems that aren’t controlled centrally.
Dr Buckley said: “Whilst these are thermostatically controlled and therefore less likely to come on when the weather is warm, if it goes on for an hour per day, for example, overnight, then it could cost you almost £12 over a 14-day break.”
Of course, this advice doesn’t quite stretch to winter holidays, as you’ll need the heating on at least some of the time to stop things like pipes from freezing.
In this instance, Dr Buckley advises using a smart thermostat because depending on the model, it will automatically turn down the heating when you’re away to help save energy while ensuring it’s warm enough to prevent your pipes from freezing.
Don’t leave anything on you don’t need to
Some appliances, like fridges and freezers, must stay on, but others – especially those left on standby – really could do with being switched off.
Dr Buckley said: “You may already be aware that appliances continue to drain energy, even when left on standby.
“However, the bigger energy stealers are the things that are left on all the time, either intentionally or accidentally.”
According to Dr Buckley, the things that fall into these categories that are worth turning off before you go away include set-top boxes and computers, plus easy-to-forget things like underfloor heating, heated towel rails and extra drinks fridges.
Collectively these, make up what Loop call ‘Phantom Load’. A Phantom Load of 150w currently costs £368 per year, so two weeks of not turning everything off could cost you around £14.
Dr Buckley advised: “So before you leave home and set off on holiday, walk from room to room turning off everything you won’t be using at the plug – television, microwave, any devices left on charge, heated towel rails, smart speakers, the lot.”
Leave a full freezer
This trick might sound odd, but keeping your fridge and freezer full helps it to run as efficiently as possible.
Dr Buckley said: “Even if that means adding bags of ice to your freezer or a jug of water in your fridge.”
Other ways to improve the efficiency is to rid the rear of your fridge of dust and your freezer of any ice buildups.
Turn off lights
Don’t forget to turn the lights off before heading out the door, as leaving four 60w lightbulbs on over two weeks amounts to around £22 of wasted energy.