Energy-saving myths costing Scots £369m

The finding is part of a survey commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust. Picture: PA
The finding is part of a survey commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust. Picture: PA
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Almost half of all Scottish householders think it is cheaper to leave their heating on all day on low than turning it on or off and up or down when required, a report has revealed.

The finding is part of a survey commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust as part of its Big Energy Saving Week campaign, which highlights misconceptions of the UK public.

The organisation has claimed that Scots could collectively save about £369 million on energy bills if they cut down on unnecessary electricity consumption.

The survey also found that more than a third of householders believe electrical appliances which have been left plugged in do not use any power as long as they are switched off, while 28 per cent are under the ­impression that screensavers on ­computers save energy.

Just a quarter of people incorrectly said turning up their thermostat to a high setting heats the home faster, while three-quarters know modern energy-saving light bulbs, which are far more energy efficient than the traditional incandescent versions, are compatible with ­traditional light bulb fittings.

“We commissioned this ­survey to bust some of the top energy-saving myths we ­encounter on a daily basis,” said Mike Thornton, director of ­Energy Saving Trust Scotland.

“While for certain actions a portion of the Scottish public think they are saving energy when they’re not, it’s heartening to see that a lot of people are doing the right thing in the home to save energy.

“We know it is important for the Scottish public to stay warm and cosy in their homes. But for the majority the most cost-effective way to do this is to turn the heating on and off or up and down when required rather than leaving it on all day at a lower temperature. This ensures heat is not wasted and your home will be at a ­comfortable temperature.”

Other myths put forward by those surveyed included a long-held theory that appliances such as tumble dryers are cheaper to run at night than during the day.

“This may be true, but not for most of us,” said the report.

“While some households in the UK are on tariffs that vary depending on the time of day, such as Economy 7, the majority of customers pay the same rate at all times of day and night.”

It added Scots could save up to £80 a year in electricity by avoiding “vampire power” sources, such as mobile phone chargers or TVs on standby.

“Some electrical appliances and chargers draw energy even when the devices are not being used,” the report said. “This ‘vampire power’ wastes energy, and the best way to avoid this is to remember to switch off at the wall and pull out the plug.”