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The REAL energy truths...or are they?

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29
January

man holding coffee cup shouting - E.ON

We hate to break this to you, but eating more carrots won’t help you see in the dark. And eating your bread crusts won’t give you curly hair.

Our parents were full of tall tales. And some myths have been spread so far and wide that they almost seem to become accepted as facts.

We hear plenty of rumours around energy too. We’re sure you’re familiar with a lot of them as well. But can you really believe all – or any – of them? Let’s take a look at some of our favourites and try to work out whether people are spreading energy facts or energy myths…

It’s more efficient to leave the lights on all the time, rather than turning them on and off constantly

We hear this a lot. And it’s complete rubbish. A light bulb doesn’t use up more electricity to turn itself back on. If it’s on it’s on, if it’s off it’s off. The only exceptions? Modern energy saving light bulbs and fluorescent lights require some extra energy to turn them on, but unless you’re only leaving the room for a moment, then you’ll generally save energy by turning them off.

Turning the heating up high will heat the house quicker

Another myth. It may be tempting to do it when you come home to a chilly house, but a thermostat doesn’t control the speed that your house heats up, it’s designed to keep the room at a steady temperature. So instead of having a warmer house quicker, you’ll just end up feeling overly hot and spending more than you need to.

I can save energy by washing my clothes at a lower temperature

This one can be true. Washing your clothes at 30c uses around 40% less energy per year than washing at higher temperatures. And it can be better for your clothes as well. It’s not the same for all items – particularly towels – but in many cases 30 can be just fine, saving you energy and cash.

Most of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while they’re turned off

This one’s true. In fact, some sources say that as much as 75% of all electricity used to power electronics is consumed when the devices are not in use. Games consoles, TVs and mobile phone chargers are all expending unnecessary energy because we’re not unplugging them once we’re finished with them or because we’re leaving them on standby.

Wind Turbines don’t really produce much energy

False. In fact, one wind turbine can produce enough electricity to power up to 300 homes. And it’s thought that wind power could account for a third of the world’s energy supply by 2050. It’s environmentally friendly and effective. That’s a win in our book.  

Running a screensaver on your computer saves energy

You’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise, given their name, but most screensavers actually use the same amount of energy as when the screen is being used. Want to really save energy when not using your screen? Then switch it off.

You can heat a cup of coffee by yelling at it

Technically, yes. Seriously! But you’d need to have a pretty open calendar if you really wanted to make it happen. Studies show that if you screamed for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you’ll have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee. Probably better to use a kettle though.

Energy - fact or fiction.


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