I'm a bills expert – four energy myths you need to avoid this winter or they could push up costs | The Sun

WITH so many energy-saving "tips" out there, it's hard to know which ones work and which ones don't.

There are common bill myths that could actually drive your bills up this winter, consumer champion Martyn James says.

He's one of the experts on The Sun's Squeeze Team panel of experts, here to help you through a crippling cost of living crisis.

If you’re worried about how to make ends meet, are struggling to pay off your debts or don’t know how best to manage your cash, get in touch by emailing [email protected]

His tips could help you keep costs down this winter, when bills typically soar as households reach to turn their heating on.

As over two million people are behind on their energy bills according to the latest Ofgem figures, lowering costs is more important than ever.

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Myth 1 – it's cheaper to have the heating on low all day

You might have heard this tip doing the rounds – but Martyn said you should be wary.

"It makes sense to heat your flat as and when you need it, not all day on low," Martyn said.

Insulation is one way to save hundreds off your energy bill, and it's something you can do from as little as £3.

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But it doesn't matter how good your insulation is, a certain amount of energy is constantly leaking from your home.

If you have the heating on all day, you're constantly using energy trying to replace that lost heat, which leads to higher bills.

Instead, it's better to use thermostatic radiators to control which ones are on and off in your home to save on bills.

Myth 2 – turning the thermostat up heats your home quicker

You might be tempted to crank the thermostat up high to get your home toasty quicker.

Some people think that this means your heating will be on for less time – and you'll save money.

But this is not the case, Martyn said.

"If your thermostat is set to, say, 19 degrees, then it will automatically raise the temperature to that limit.

"If your home is already that warm, then it won’t, which is why people often worry that their radiators are not working when they are."

In fact, turning your thermostat down could save you hundreds.

Uswitch has previously explained that households could make potential savings of up to £127.70, by turning down the temperature of the thermostat by just one degree.

If you were to turn your thermostat down by three degrees from 23°c to 20°c this winter you could save over £380 on your energy bills.

Myth 3 – there's no need to read a meter if I pay by direct debit

Some customers may think they don't need to take a meter reading if they pay by direct debit.

With a fixed direct debit, you'll pay a fixed amount every month.

Your energy company will work out the cost of your energy for the year ahead and divide this into equal payments.

It means that customers think there's no need to take meter readings because their payments have already been figured out.

But that's not the case, Martyn said.

Energy firms do make errors, and many come from estimated energy bills that don’t reflect what you’re actually using.

"Given the high price of energy these days, make sure you regularly update your energy firm with your readings so they know what you’re using," Martyn said.

"No matter what kind of meter you have or pay method you use, you should always read your meter, no matter what."

Read our handy guide on how to take a meter reading and submit it to your supplier.

Myth 4 – Most heating is lost through windows

You might think most heating is lost through your window.

That's because it often feels like the coldest place in your house if they're not double-glazed or insulated properly.

Focusing on your windows could mean you're neglecting other energy-guzzling hotspots in your home, Martyn said.

"It’s actually poor wall and roof insulation that results in the biggest heat loss in a house," Martyn said.

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