You've been using your taps all wrong – simple tweak could cut your energy bills

ENERGY bills are rising and your hot water tap could be adding more to your costs than you realise.

Changing the way you use your tap could save you almost £80 a year.

Gas and electricity bills have soared after the energy price cap jumped 54% to £1,971 a year.

That's added an extra £700 on to the average household's annual energy costs.

According to Utilita's High Five campaign, you can cut your bills just by turning the hot water temperature down.

You don't need your hot water to be above 50C, and for every degree above that you're wasting £4 a year.

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That means if you turn it down from 70C to 50C you could save £79 off your annual bill.

Other tips in the Utilita campaign include saving £158 by turning your heating down by 1 degree.

The supplier says you could save £54 by avoiding leaving gadgets on standby and £25 by turning lights off in unused rooms

Washing your clothes at 30C rather than 40C or 50C could save £16 a year.

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If you followed all of the tips, you could cut up to £332 a year from your bills.

The calculations are based on the April 1 energy price cap rate, but the actual cost savings will vary.

How can I check my hot tap settings?

First you need to check what kind of boiler you have – you can do this by looking at the operating manual.

The type of boiler you have will affect how you change your hot water settings.

You will either have a combi, system or regular boiler.

If you have a combi boiler with an eco mode, make sure it's set to this as this will stop your water overheating.

If it doesn't have an eco mode, you will need to check the two dials on the boiler.

One controls your central heating, which you can leave, and the other sets your hot water tap temperature.

Turn the second dial down to 50C.

Households with system or regular boilers can still turn down the temperature, but every control panel will vary.

You'll have to check your operators manual for more information.

Both of these systems include a water tank, so you'll also need to check the minimum heat requirements on the Health and Safety Executive website.

Hot water storage cylinders should store water at 60C or higher to prevent Legionella bacteria growing, which can make you sick.

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You should always contact a qualified Gas Safe engineer if you are not confident in making changes, or if you have any concerns with your boiler.

Once you've turned the temperature down, you can test it with a thermometer as it comes out of the tap.

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