Experts debate the cheapest way to use our household heating

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There are many reasons why UK consumers are looking to save on their energy bills right now. Whether it’s the record-high wholesale prices pushing up our energy costs, Ofgem’s recent price cap going up by £139 or the fact that the current energy crisis shows no signs of letting up.

Whatever it might be, the reality is that the nation’s households will still be wanting to turn the heating on as the colder weather arrives. But at a time where it’s getting more and more expensive to do this, it raises the question of what’s the most cost-effective approach to take:

  • Leaving the heating on low all the time
  • Only using the heating as and when you need it

What the experts believe is the best option

A recent report in the Express, which consulted a number of energy experts on this subject, revealed they shared the unanimous belief that the best and cheapest course of action is to only use your heating when you need it.

However, they also agreed that how well insulated your home is ultimately determines how much energy is needed to heat it up and how effective it is at retaining the warmth.

In addition, the use of timers was also praised and recommended for use on weekends when we typically spend more time at home and for those working from home during the week.

Sarah Broomfield from Uswitch offered these comments on the matter:

“For those living in properties that aren’t as well insulated, the cost of leaving your heating on all the time will be especially expensive. Typically, the most energy-efficient approach to heating your home is to programme your heating system so that it comes on at times when you need it most.

“With many of the more modern room thermostats you also have the ability to set different temperatures at different times - and even set up a separate timer for weekends.”

This view was also shared by the Energy Saving Trust who explained how: “Heating controls help you keep your home comfortably warm, without over-heating and wasting energy. By installing and using your heating controls effectively, you could save money on your heating bills and lower your carbon emissions.”

Other means of cutting your energy costs

At the moment the advice is to avoid running an online energy comparison because switching to a cheaper tariff unfortunately isn’t an option right now. This is because even the best energy deals from the UK’s best energy suppliers won’t beat the current price cap. However, in addition to only using your heating when you need it, there are other ways you can look to reduce your consumption and cut your energy bills.

You can enquire about the Winter Fuel Payment and the Warm Home Discount scheme, which subject to your eligibility can get money off your bills. If you’ve yet to have one installed, a smart meter can also tell you how much energy you’re using in real time, giving you an insight into when you need to reduce your consumption.

Other than this, being vigilant with which devices you leave in stand-by mode can help save you money. But if you’re looking for a few more tips and tricks, we’ve previously listed out a number of steps you can take to help keep your energy bills down.

Richard Hart

Rich is a freelance copywriter and content strategist with over 10 years' experience. His career has seen him work in-house and in various agencies, producing online and offline content marketing campaigns and copywriting for clients in the energy industry.