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Living with higher energy costs

With energy costs on the rise, as well as working out how to cope with less money, we’re all trying to manage how to live with using less energy. See below for details of help available and practical ideas to cut down your energy usage.

Cost of Living energy

Energy bills support scheme

All UK householders with a domestic electricity meter will receive £400 towards the cost of electricity this winter through the UK government's Energy Bills Support Scheme.

Energy suppliers will deliver this support to households with an electricity meter between October 2022 to March 2023.

If you pay by direct debit you will get the discount automatically as a reduction to your monthly direct debit amount or a refund to your bank account following the monthly direct debit collection. If you have a pre-payment meter you’ll either get the discount as a credit when you top up or as redeemable vouchers, sent by SMS text, email or post. If you have a smart prepayment meter your discount will be credited directly to your smart meter.

Contact your electricity supplier directly if you have any queries.

Managing with less energy

Most of us have a fair idea of which household appliances are the most power hungry. But looking at the cost of bad habits (using the oven to bake a potato, boiling a full kettle for one cup of tea etc) and how those costs mount up over time can be useful in motivating us to make small changes that we haven’t bothered about in the past.

There’s no shortage of advice available. Home energy Scotland is a great place to start if you’re looking for a full guide to saving energy in the home. The table below gives you an idea of the cost of running common appliances. Costs are calculated using current energy prices for Southern Scotland.

Appliance Per minute (pence)
Oven 1.13
Hob 0.96
Microwave 0.57
Slow cooker 0.13
Airfryer 0.57
Kettle 1.02
Dishwasher 0.68
Washing machine 0.4
Tumble dryer 1.07
Electric blanket 0.05
Electric shower 5.7

These figures seem very small – most being less than a penny a minute. It’s only when we start thinking through how the costs add up over time that we can see where savings could be made. For example:

Scenarios for a two-person household:

  Showering Cost per month Cost per year
Option 1 Each householder showers once a day for 10 minutes £34.66 £416.10
Option 2 Each householder showers once a day for 4 minutes £13.87 £166.44
  Making a hot drink Cost per month Cost per year
Option 1 Each householder boils a full kettle 5 times a day £12.20 £146
Option 2 Each householder boils a kettle containing 1 cup of water 7 times a day £4.26 £51.10
  Making a one pot casserole twice a week Cost per month Cost per year
Option 1 Using the oven (cooking for 1.5 hrs) £8.81 £105.77
Option 2 Using the slow cooker (cooking for 7 hrs) £4.73 £56.78

This two-person household could save nearly £400 per year just by following option 2 instead of option 1 in the three scenarios above.

Making comparisons like these ones gives you an idea of where changing your habits could start to make a real difference.

Look out for more examples like these ones on our NLC people twitter and facebook channels.

Page last updated:
05 Dec 2022

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