UK wastes billions through energy inefficiency

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The past few years' trend for halogen spotlights could be fuelling the rise in consumer energy bills, figures from the Energy Saving Trust suggest.

The UK could save as much as £1.4 billion a year if households replaced all the remaining traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs in their homes with energy-saving light bulbs – around £50 per household per year.

%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%"There are clear benefits, with each UK household having the potential to save up to £50 a year on their energy bills through upgrading all their home lighting to either LED or CFL energy saving light bulbs," says certification manager Tom Lock.

"The most important thing is that consumers are given clear and accurate information about the quality of energy saving light bulbs and that the cost and energy saving benefits are fully realised."

Although the initial cost is higher, LED bulbs can cost just one eighth as much to run as halogen spotlights.

Altogether, says the Trust, UK householders could be saving nearly £4.4 billion on their energy bills if they turned down their heating, switched to energy-saving light bulbs and turned off appliances when not in use. Virtually all electrical and electronic appliances can safely be turned off at the plug without upsetting their systems, it says.

According to green electricity supplier Ecotricity, the greediest appliance in most homes is the wireless router, which costs £21.92 a year on average while on standby. A printer costs £18.26 per year on standby, and a satellite box the same. Leaving a mobile phone unneccessarily on charge costs just £2.44 a year - but for an iPad it's £12.18.

"Most of us know that to cut our energy bills we should turn things like televisions and computer monitors off at the wall rather than leaving them in standby mode, which consumes power even when they're not being used," says Gavin Munro, communications manager at smart meter manufacturer Efergy Technologies.

"But smaller gadgets and appliances quietly running in the background could be pushing your energy bills up much faster than you realised."
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