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Could Spotlights be Increasing Your Energy Bills?

A light bulb hanging from the roof.

It was in recent news that Kim-Fox Johnson, a resident of Northfleet, Kent was confused and couldn’t figure out the cause of her electricity utility bill to go up after she had her new kitchen installed. “I went round the house and turned everything electrical I could find off,” Kim said.

Since she had a smart meter on hand, she tried to switch on and off her appliances and was able to see what her electricity use should be when no appliances are running.

“When everything was off, the display went down to 70 watts,” she said. “When I turned the fridge on the usage went up to 585 watts, which I thought was a lot, so I turned it off and tried switching some other things on.

I was really shocked when I turned on the kitchen lights and the reading shot up to 670 watts – I thought, how can a few spotlights use more than a big fridge-freezer?!

It turns out my halogen spotlights were costing me almost £100 a year to run – no wonder my bills had gone up since I had my new kitchen.”

After the realisation, Kim is now gradually replacing her lights with LED bulbs.

“They cost more than halogens to buy but I’ve replaced six of the 12 already and now the display reads 348 watts when they’re on and when I’ve changed them all I’ve worked out they’ll only cost me £15 a year to run,” she said.

Figures from Energy Saving Trust reveals that millions of households could save hundreds on their utility bills by just merely replacing their lighting. An energy saving light bulb can help you save £3 a year on average versus a one traditional bulb. On the other hand, swapping all your inefficient bulbs can save around £55 a year.

According to Trust, LED bulbs can be expensive, they are considered investments because they tend to pay for themselves several times over before they need replacing.

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Earlier this year (2014), a family from Leeds told This is Money they were able to trim down their bills overnight by simply defrosting their freezer. They noticed their energy consumption going up inch by inch even though their habits had not changed. The Lewis family When it got to be around 60-70p extra every day, they defrosted their freezer.

“Overnight our energy usage dropped down to the level it was at previously,” said father-of-three Ian Lewis.

As it got more frosted up, the freezer had to work harder to keep cold and so used more electricity.

It’s not much of a difference on a daily basis, but left over a year it can add £100-£200 to bills,” he said.

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