We’ve only just got over the worst the winter can throw at us, and British summer time is about to begin – it’s hard to believe, but the clocks go forward this weekend, meaning we can soon start enjoying longer days and warmer weather as Daylight Saving Time begins.
The better weather means we need less energy to light and heat our homes. Here's how you can take advantage to help lower your energy bills.
Although dates for Daylight Saving Time in the UK change each year, they do follow a pattern.
Spring (clocks go forward)
The clocks go forward one hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March. This moves us to Daylight Saving Time or British Summer Time (BST). At first, this means it’s darker for longer in the morning, but lighter in the evening, but as we move into summer both the mornings and evenings are light – the longest day of the year has around 16.5 hours of daylight.
In 2019, the clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday, March 31.
Autumn (clocks go back)
The clocks go back one hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October. When the clocks go back, the UK moves back on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which makes it lighter earlier in the morning, but darker earlier in the evening. As we move into mid-winter, daylight hours are dramatically reduced, with fewer than eight hours daylight during the winter solstice on December 21.
In 2019, the clocks go back an hour at 2am on Sunday, October 27.
Here are three simple ways to help cut your energy bills when the clocks go forward.
Energy price rises are as inevitable as the changing of the seasons, and usually take place around the same time – last spring saw five of the Big Six energy suppliers announce price rises, with British Gas eventually joining the price increase party as autumn beckoned.
Switching energy supplier is one of the quickest and simplest ways to protect against the price hikes and save money on your gas and electricity bills – comparing quotes and switching with UKPower could cut your annual energy bills by as much as £491*, and signing up to a fixed rate tariff means your bills will remain unaffected by rising prices, and
Simply enter your postcode in the box at the top of the page to get started and see how much you could save.
Make sure you reset your thermostats to reflect the warmer weather – dropping the heat by just 1°C can see you make a significant savings on your energy bills. And don’t forget to reset any thermostat timers – more sunlight means your house will naturally be warmer and lighter, so you’ll not need the heating on as much, if at all.
If you’re on Economy 7, remember your meter might not change for Daylight Saving Time, and stay on GMT all year round. This means that when the clocks go forward, the time on your Economy 7 meter might not match the actual time, so to take advantage of the discounted rates, you’ll need to run your appliances based on the times showed on the meter.
Less time spent indoors means less money spent on your energy bills, so swerve those nights in front of the telly and embrace the great outdoors by taking a bike ride around the park or a walk along the beach instead.
Make sure you take full advantage of the warmer weather at meal times by firing up the barbecue instead of the oven, and line-dry clothes instead of using the dryer – every little helps when it comes to cutting the cost of your energy bills.
*Save up to £491 on your energy bills: Between 1 April 2017 and 30 September 2017, at least 10% of people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with uSwitch.com saved £491 or more.
Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.