How Turning Back the Clocks Adds £400 to Your Energy Bills – and How to Save


Daylight Saving Time Increases Energy Bills

According to an academic, households could save hundreds of pounds on gas and electricity bills if the clocks didn't go back. Daylight saving time ends on Sunday, October 29, which means the clocks go back one hour at 2am. While we gain an extra hour of sleep, the shift in time can disrupt daily routines and lead to changes in energy consumption patterns.

Potential Energy Savings

Academics at Queen's University Belfast argue that the average household could save £1.20 a day on electricity if the clocks were not put back in October. This is because it would reduce demand by up to 10% during the evenings. Evening energy demand peaks between 5pm and 7pm during the winter, which can strain the National Grid. Factoring in gas usage and electricity used by businesses would make the potential energy savings even more significant.

Impacts on Energy Consumption

When the clocks go back, people tend to turn their lights on earlier and increase heating costs as heaters are on for longer periods. Additionally, darker evenings lead to more time spent indoors and increased energy use for entertainment and electronic devices. These shifts in energy consumption patterns can result in higher energy costs.

The History of Daylight Saving Time

The daylight savings plan was first proposed in 1907 to reduce energy demand. Since 2002, most countries in the European Economic Area have adjusted their clocks on the last Sunday in March and October. The European Union has considered axing daylight saving time for years, but concerns about road traffic collisions and time zone issues between the UK and Ireland have hindered its implementation.

Tips to Cut Energy Bills

To cut your energy bills, you can turn your boiler's flow temperature down and make use of thermostatic radiator valves. Topping up loft insulation and switching to a smart meter can also bring significant savings. It's important to ensure there are no draughts when your boiler is running, as draughts are where heat can escape. Closing windows before sunset and only heating occupied rooms are also effective strategies. Additionally, addressing common boiler problems and monitoring rust on your boiler can help optimize its efficiency.