Energy saving myths that won’t save you money

Everyone knows a trick or two that’s sure to save on the gas and electric, but how many of your top tips really work and how many are just myths? We’ve looked into five of the most common myths that could actually be adding to your energy bills.

Washing machines don’t really clean clothes at 30°C – FALSE

This may have been true 10 years ago, but today’s washing tablets and powders are designed to work at very low temperatures to help us save energy. In fact, if you have a new washing machine you could turn the temperature down as low as 15°C and still get clean clothes.

Turning lights off and on uses more electricity than leaving them on – FALSE

One of the most common myths we hear is that it takes lots of energy to get a lightbulb glowing so you’re better off leaving them on. There’s very little truth to this.

While fluorescent tubes and energy-saving bulbs do use a little extra energy to get going (LED lights and standard bulbs use no more electricity), you’ll almost always save energy by turning them off when you’re not in the room – even if it’s only for a couple of minutes.

LED lights are bad for your eyes – FALSE

The myth that LEDs could blind you seems to come from people confusing them with laser pointers. The LEDs in modern, energy-efficient bulbs are no more harmful than standard lights, and according to the Centre for Sustainable Energy they use up to 80% less energy than standard bulbs.

Dishwashers use more energy than hand-washing – FALSE

This energy saving myth sounds perfectly logical – a big electrical appliance running for an hour must use more energy than a sink full of hot water. That’s not how it works, though.

Dishwashers are carefully designed to use a minimum of water and to heat it efficiently, and most now have an economy mode that’ll save even more energy. Plus, in a single wash a dishwasher will clean more than a sink full of water would.

Turning things off at the plug doesn’t make a difference – FALSE

While turning your toaster off at the plug might only save you a fraction of a penny, turning off TVs, games consoles and other home entertainment could save you pounds. If you want to keep your bills as low as possible, cut the power to anything with a standby mode when you’re not using it.

If you want some top energy saving tips that really do work, take a look at our article on reducing your bills and saving the planet.