With the onset of winter rapidly approach, there are many people up and down the country that are beginning to think carefully about their energy use.
Many of us have heard countless tips from a number of organisations, all claiming that they will be able to save us money on our energy bills, without having to accept the prospect of living in icy, near Arctic conditions.
However, while there are undoubtedly a number of genuinely useful tips out there, many bad apples are also guilty of peddling myths about the topic. If there is any hope of you keeping your wallet intact over the next few months, it is therefore essential to separate the fact from the fiction.
Luckily a new report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has made things easier, outlining five of the most common myths when it comes to energy use.
Screensavers save energy
Incredibly, many people genuinely believe that leaving a screensaver on their computer monitor will actually save them energy and will therefore help them pocket some extra pennies.
Where the logic of this idea comes from isn't really clear, but according to the report one thing is for certain, which is the fact that screensavers are just another programme, consuming energy just like any other.
The best course of action if your want to save energy in terms of your computer screen is simple; just turn it off.
TVs, laptops and phone chargers don’t use electricity when not in use
A slightly more forgivable misconception. Many believe that because their favourite everyday gadget or appliance is not in use, it isn't actually using any energy.
However, the reality is that any appliance that is sitting around on idle or standby mode will still use electricity. This misconception is so great that it is estimated that the average household will spend as much as £86 a year on standby energy.
There's nothing you can do about how much energy is used by appliances
The simple fact is that by adjusting the settings on your fridge, freezer and washing machine, you can stand to save a substantial amount of cash.
For instance, avoid using the highest setting on your fridge and close the door immediately. The more hot air that gets inside your fridge, the harder it will have to work to bring the temperature down again.
LED bulbs cost more
Because they are still seen as something of a new technology, there are still many people out there that believe them to be more expensive than the traditional bulb.
A single LED will cost just over £9 and could last over five-and-a-half years, whereas a traditional bulb would cost you around £135 if it ran for the same amount of time.
Switching is a hassle
Many people often miss out on the best deal purely because they believe it is a hassle to switch energy suppliers. However, the process of switching is actually reasonably straightforward and often takes a little under an hour to complete.