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Give yourself the gift of lower energy bills this Christmas


With just days left until the nation celebrates the big day, energy company ScottishPower has revealed the best ways to reduce energy use and lower bills while celebrating on Christmas Day.

Christmas Day typically remains the most expensive day of the year for consuming energy at home as more power-reliant gifts are exchanged and plugged in for those first few hours of charging.

Other Christmas rituals such as having the oven and hob on all day, kettles boiling repeatedly, dishwashers doing multiple runs, heating the house for longer and all those decorations and lights inside and out, add to the costs.

Despite the growing number of smart phones, tablets, consoles and gadgets in homes across the UK, the good news is that generally overall UK household consumption is coming down. More and more people are taking steps to reduce how much they use, from switching to energy saving lightbulbs and LED lights to better insulation.

Surveying customer consumption data, ScottishPower estimates the cost of energy on Christmas Day to be about £5, significantly higher than usual.

This includes having the TV, satellite box and soundbar running for around 12 hours (26p); a new mobile phone being fully charged (4p); a new laptop switched on for 10 hours (7p); two sets of Christmas tree lights (13p); a new small TV in a kids room (4p); 8 full kettle boils (13p); an electric oven on for around 6 hours (£1.17), hobs and other cooking appliances running for around 6-8 hours (£1.26) with the remainder attributable to other general household use energy use including lighting and heating.

That’s why it’s offering the best tips to keep costs down.

  • With lots of friends and family over, you may find that the house stays warmer, so turn down your heating thermostat by one or two degrees.
  • Keeping the oven closed while you're cooking all saves energy. Each time you open the door the oven loses heat and requires more energy to get back up to temperature. If your oven has a window, use it to check on the food rather than opening the door.
  • Only use pans on the stove that match the size of the heating element, so you'll keep more heat in the pan and less will go to waste.
  • Use just enough water to cover vegetables; not a pan-full. Keep lids on pans too and the water will boil quicker and use less power. And try using the microwave rather than the oven - that'll save money too.
  • Switch off your TV, computers and consoles when not in use – leaving them on standby still uses energy
  • Switch to LED Christmas lights, they’re around 90% cheaper to run
  • If you're in the habit of leaving your Christmas lights on after you've gone to bed, consider investing in an automatic timer that can turn your lights on and off at a set time each day.
  • Solar powered/PV lights for the garden work a treat too instead of using your mains electricity supply.