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4 savvy ways to save £400 a year by switching to a smart home

author: Fiona Peake

By Fiona Peake

With the continuing energy crisis, gas and electricity bills are expected to soar.

The average UK energy bill now costs £1,295 each year, or £108 per month according to government statistics. But switching to a smart home could bring your monthly costs down.

While there is an initial cost, smart home meters and appliances can save you thousands in the long run. Ocean Finance compared the upfront costs to long-term savings to reveal how much you could save on your energy bills by switching to a smart home.

Key findings

  • You could save up to £399.30 per year by switching to a smart home, or £3,993 after 10 years.
  • Upfront costs like installation only set you back £2 when you factor in savings across the year.
  • Google searches for ‘energy prices’ reach their highest point in five years.
  • 30 million Brits lose out on long-term energy savings by not switching to a free smart meter, according to government statistics.

How to save £400 a year by switching to a smart home

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1. Save £207 per year by switching to smart bulbs

Research shows that incandescent bulbs cost around £12.40 to buy and power annually, compared to just £2.05 for an LED smart bulb. Saving £10.35 per bulb, a house with 20 bulbs could save £207 every year by opting for energy-efficient lighting.

Smart lights can last up to 10 years, meaning you could save up to £2,070 after a decade using smart lighting, including the upfront costs (approximately £161 to buy 20 smart bulbs).

2. Smart thermostats save up to £120 a year

A smart thermostat allows you to easily control your heating from your phone or another device, which can reduce your energy usage and bring down your bills. According to British Gas, switching to a smart thermostat can save you a huge £120 a year. 

While a smart thermostat has a higher upfront cost (around £225), your reduced energy bills could offset the cost in two years. After 10 years, the amount saved increases to £975.

3. Save £80 a year with smart plugs

Research by The Energy Savings Trust reveals that Brits waste £80 a year on average by leaving appliances on standby.

If you forget to properly turn off appliances like your TV, laptop or gaming console, you could save money with smart plugs. You can simply put smart plugs into your wall sockets and then control the power using your phone.

Smart plugs cost around £60 for nine plugs, which should last for a decade if cared for properly. This means after your initial cost, you could save up to £740 after 10 years.

4. Smart meters save up to £37 per year and they’re FREE

Getting a smart meter installed could save you £36.93 per year on gas and electricity, according to the government’s Smart Meter Roll-Out Cost-Benefit Analysis.

The report explains a smart meter could reduce your gas bills by 2.7%, which is the equivalent of £17.25, plus a 3% reduction in electricity usage, which equals a saving of £19.68.

Energy suppliers should install your smart meter for free, so it’s a great way to start saving on your bills. After 10 years, you could have saved up to £370 on your bills.

Upfront costs like installation only set you back £2 when you factor in savings across the year

Buying and installing these four smart home products costs £446 upfront, on average. However, by the end of the year, you can save up to £444, which means you’ll spend just £2 on the switch by the end of the year.

By year two, it’s expected that your energy savings will offset the upfront costs, saving you £​​442 after two years of living in a smart home.

Google searches for ‘energy prices’ reach their highest point in five years

As the UK’s energy crisis continues, it’s unsurprising that Google searches for ‘energy prices’ have reached their highest point in five years.

By September 2021, Google searches reached 6,600 per month, a huge 125,400% increase when compared to 2020 (1,900 searches);

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30 million Brits losing out on long-term energy savings

The most recent GOV.UK statistics show that out of 55 million energy meters installed across the UK, less than half of these (46%) are smart or advanced. That means 30 million Brits (54%) are losing out on long-term energy savings by not switching to a smart meter.

The government’s Cost-Benefit Analysis says, ‘the earlier a household receives a smart meter, the greater the level of benefit they are expected to realise will be.'

Discover more top tips to reduce your energy bills and find out the best time to switch suppliers to get you the best deal.

One way to get a better deal on your energy bills is to improve your credit score, as those with a better credit history are often offered cheaper rates. Learn more about building your score with a credit card online.

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Fiona Peake

By Fiona Peake

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Mobile phone smart home app with a modern living room in the background Mobile phone smart home app with a modern living room in the background