Doncaster residents asked to turn their lights off between 5-6pm every night to save on their energy bill

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Brits are being urged to flick off the lights between 5pm and 6pm - to save energy and pocket £10.

The National Grid’s Demand Flexibility Service aims to combat energy usage during peak hours.

It will see people signed up to the scheme paid to boycott energy-guzzling appliances - all while reducing pressure on the grid during increasingly cold nights.

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But the scheme has been criticised by some, saying it risks dragging the country back to the dark ages.

You could save £10You could save £10
You could save £10

And one leading property expert today says Ministers and energy bosses would be better off encouraging households to be more energy efficient throughout the day - rather than for an hour.

Tom Cranenburgh, from Get An Offer, said: “Asking millions of people to turn off devices at one of the busiest times of day is doomed to fail.

“But the good news is there are things you can do to save money and reduce the level of these crippling bills. By making a few small changes you can literally save hundreds of pounds.”

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Offering his 17 top tips which add up to almost £1,500 a year in savings, Tom explains how it’s done…

Boil what you need when you make a brew. Nothing more. Nothing less. By avoiding overfilling your kettle you could save £11 a year on your electricity bills.

Change the temperature on your thermostat by a couple of degrees. Experts say 19 degrees is about the norm in the UK. Some people do like their homes a bit warmer, but as a rule of thumb, every degree you turn your thermostat down you will save about £50 a year

Daytime energy costs can often be far higher. Although most energy suppliers charge the same rate for electricity used throughout the day, some electricity tariffs offer cheaper prices for off-peak electricity used at certain times during the evening and at night. Check with your provider. More timely energy-use could see you save up to £35-a-year.

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Using an eco-function equals money saved. Turning your dishwasher onto the “eco setting” or “energy saving mode” could save £14 a month or £160 a year.

Aim to be in and out of the shower in four minutes. Taking a four-minute shower every day, rather than the average eight minutes, can help save more than £100 over the course of a year.

Gaps inside the home can leave a huge hole in your finances. By draught-proofing windows, doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards you can save around £45 a year on energy bills.

Have one less bath a week.. Swapping a shower for a bath once a week can help you to save around £12 a year, as long as you keep it short!

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Invest in a smart meter. They will help you keep on top of your energy usage.

Seeing your costs in real time can inspire the whole family to make adjustments. Some users have reported saving as much as £45 a month or a whopping £500 a year while using them.

Keep the tumble drier switched off. Instead aim to air your clothes on a washing line or clothes horse. According to the Energy Savings Trust this will help save you £60 a year.

Microwaves are a great way to save money at meal-times. Mixing up and using other appliances will help too. By switching to using a slow cooker and a microwave four times a week you can save £58 a year.

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Only use the washing machine when it’s full. A washing machine uses around 1kWh of energy per cycle, costing about 28p. By only putting it on when you have a full load you can save £41 a year.

Plug holes in exterior walls. Have a look around the exterior of the house and block up any non-essential holes. Effective insulation will save you at least £100 a year.

Reduce the temperature of your boiler flow system. Its default setting is usually too high. Turn it down a bit to between 55 and 60 and your home will feel just as warm, but you could cut your energy bills by 8% and save up to £70 per year.

Switching shower heads will freshen up your finances. Replacing your current one with a more efficient model can save you £55 on your gas bills each year.

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Thermostat charges might leave you at boiling point. But changing the temperature by a couple of degrees can make a big difference. Experts say 19 degrees is about the norm in the UK. Some people do like their homes a bit warmer, but as a rule of thumb, every degree you turn your thermostat down you will save about £50 a year

Vacuum your fridge and save cash. Dust on the condenser coils at the back can prevent a fridge or freezer from cooling properly. Not keeping your fridge freezer clean could cost a whopping £45 more each year.

Eco efficient light bulbs and other LED saving options are also a great way of saving cash. You can save £2-3 per year for every traditional halogen bulb you switch to a similarly bright LED bulb. If the average UK household replaced all of their bulbs with LEDs, it would save about £40 a year on bills.

TOTAL: £1,432

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