How to save energy during Daylight Saving Time
The last 12 months has been a bit of a blur for many of us, with multiple lockdowns messing with our routines and skewing our sense of time.
But, amazingly, this coming Saturday (March 20) is officially the first day of spring, and then next weeked will see the clocks go forward, 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.
When do the clocks change each year?
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 2021, the clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday, March 28.
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.
Three simple ways to save energy when the clocks go forward
1. Switch energy supplier
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 hundreds of pounds, 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.
How to switch energy supplierHow to switch energy supplier with UKPower. Simply enter your postcode and we'll compare energy prices from a range of suppliers. You then choose the one you prefer and we'll take care of the rest.
2. Reset your thermostats
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.
3. Embrace the great outdoors
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.
And 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.
Remember, lockdown restrictions are still in place, but we should be able to meet up in groups of six from March 29, all being well.
For more on the key dates on the roadmap out of lockdown, check out the video below from our business energy partners at Bionic.
Key dates for the roadmap out of lockdownThe UK government has revealed a roadmap to help get the nation out of lockdown by summer.
Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.