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This post is sponsored by Loop
We’ve all felt the impact of rising energy costs. The average household is now paying 30% more for their bills than this time last year, and recent figures show the number of adults struggling to pay their bills has soared to nearly 11 million.1
The government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme provided some protection over the winter, but now it’s come to an end, many are feeling the pinch again – even with the arrival of the warmer spring weather.
If you feel like there’s no alternative to higher bills, don’t just accept paying more. Taking easy, low-cost measures to improve your home’s energy efficiency can give you better control of your bills.
The first key step to making reductions and saving money on your bills is measuring how much energy you’re using at home. Keeping a close eye on your usage as you incur costs will help you avoid the dreaded ‘bill shock’.
If you’re on a fixed direct debit, it can be especially hard to know exactly what your usage is costing you before your bill comes, and by that point it’s too late to make a change.
Think of it like tracking your fitness to measure progress – the same applies to your home energy use. If you don’t measure how much energy you’re using, then you won’t know if your usage is higher than usual, and you won’t be able to spot the changes that will make the biggest impact on your bills.
That’s where an energy-saving app for your smart meter, like Loop, comes in. On average, Loop users have reduced their electricity bills by 16% and their gas bills by 10% all by developing positive energy-saving habits through behaviour change – driven by Loop’s smart insights, household comparisons, and best practice advice. This equates to £300 off their bills and a carbon saving of 310kg CO2e per year for an average dual-fuel household.
For anyone with a smart meter looking for easy ways to save money on their energy bill, it couldn’t get much simpler – Loop is not only free to download but takes just five minutes to get up and running.
Dr Steve Buckley, the Energy Doctor and Head of Data Science at Loop, explains how Loop has helped over a hundred thousand smart meter households:
“We know from speaking to our users that many families feel helpless since the energy crisis hit, but there are still ways to stay in control of your bills.
Start by keeping track of your energy usage so you know where to make changes. Wasted electricity makes up around 30% of the average household bill. Identifying and rethinking how you use these appliances is a simple way to cut down on your energy consumption and save money.
“The Loop app is a great tool to help households cut their energy consumption. It’s really straightforward to download and set up – within minutes you can access your energy data and benefit from all of Loop’s great energy-saving features. We’re really proud that it’s proven to be a valuable and effective energy-saving solution for tens of thousands of households during the cost-of-living crisis.
The free Loop app links to your smart meter and analyses your energy data to show you easy ways to use less energy, save money, and reduce your carbon footprint.
There’s no additional hardware, and your in-home display doesn’t need to work for you to use Loop – in fact, lots of smart meter households use Loop to access their energy data if their in-home display has stopped working, or if they were never given one as part of their smart meter installation.
Loop isn’t just about monitoring your usage, however – through our free app you can:
1. Understand your household’s energy usage
Simply seeing how much energy you’re using and what it’s costing can have an impact on how much you use. It’s known as the “Feedback Effect” and it’s just one of the ways Loop helps households save.
Track your usage over hours, days, weeks, months, and years, even when you’re away from home. Get access to smart insights, like seeing your last 2 weeks of electricity vs your average 2 weeks; see whether you’re a low, medium, or high user compared to other households; and check on your Phantom Load -and what it’s costing you.
Now with Alexa compatibility, you can monitor your energy usage with the Loop smartphone app and Alexa-enabled devices. It’s never been easier to keep on top of your energy usage.
“I have had a smart meter for several years and during this time have twice changed providers. None of them have been able to remotely read both gas and electricity meters, yet Loop can read both and give a complete accurate record of energy usage. The Loop app has been really helpful in monitoring all energy consumption and thereby helping me to reduce it. Installing the app was straightforward and has performed faultlessly since. I recommend it.” – Roger, Loop user
2. See how to tackle your ‘Phantom Load’: save over £360 a year
When you understand how your home uses energy, you’ll be able to identify the always-on devices and energy-hungry appliances that contribute to your Phantom Load. This refers to the electricity used by appliances switched on or left on standby, quietly using energy without you realising.
It also applies to always-on appliances with unclear running costs, like smart speakers, and the things you switch on and forget about, like extra fridges.
Our research revealed the average household could be wasting £368 on their Phantom Load annually. Some of the worst culprits to look out for are beer fridges, which could be adding £119 a year; electric towel rails which could be adding £179 a year; and electric underfloor heating which could be adding as much as £371 to your bills.
“The Phantom Load advice is fantastic and brings home the truth about electronic items left on standby overnight. Just by following Loop’s simple instructions, I started saving 20% of my electrical use overnight. It may not be a lot in £ for each day, but it sure adds up quickly.” – Adam, Loop user
3. Access best practice energy-saving advice: upgrade to LEDs and save £15 per bulb swapped
Did you know that LED light bulbs use 90% less energy than traditional halogen or incandescent bulbs? With lighting making up 11% of a typical electricity bill, you could be missing out on some big savings. Don’t wait until your old bulbs break, make the swap today.
In the Loop app, our handy lighting calculator shows you what you’re spending each year, offering helpful tips and tricks to use less. But it doesn’t stop there. We also have calculators to help you use other energy-hungry appliances more efficiently, like your washing machine and your tumble dryer. Understand how much they’re costing you, and see the ways to cut it.
“Loop has really enabled me to get the most from transferring to a smart meter, the display for which isn’t all that smart itself. Loop gives me as near real-time data as it’s possible to get and gives me a very close estimate of what my next monthly bill is likely to be. There are also plenty of useful tips for saving energy and a comparison with other users where we rate in energy use/efficiency. Very pleased that I came across it.” – Chris, Loop user
Test how solar could work for you: cut your carbon footprint by 1.6 tonnes each year
If you’re tired of paying sky-high electricity bills each month, and you want to cut your carbon footprint fast, solar might just be the solution you’ve been looking for.
Solar panels work by generating energy from the sun, which you can use to power your home. As a result, you’ll rely less on the grid and your electricity bill will plummet. And here’s the best part: any excess energy you generate can be sold back to the grid through the Smart Export Guarantee.
Take the risk out of solar and test how solar could work for your home, with Loop’s unique in-app Solar Simulator. Using your energy data, details about your house, and weather information, Loop shows you the actual difference solar power would make to your monthly energy bills. It also allows you to experiment with different-sized solar systems and batteries, giving you a full view of your future solar self-sufficiency.
“The solar simulator was really helpful – so much so that I now have solar panels with a battery backup! This has reduced my grid electricity usage to about 2KWh per day which is a reduction of about 20%.” Chris, Loop user
Loop is available on Android and iOS and you can sign up by visiting www.loop.homes.
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.