Households are using 17 per cent more electricity since Britain went into coronavirus pandemic lockdown, new data suggests.
The biggest change in usage is at lunchtime when homes use 27 per cent more energy than usual at 1pm, according to Bulb Energy.
The energy supplier analysed how electricity use has changed since lockdown began, using data from more than 2,000 customer smart meters.
It found that, although energy usage at home has risen, national electricity consumption is down by 15 per cent overall as high usage moves from businesses to homes.
People are using much more electricity during the daytime hours than in the evening time
Homes are using 17 per cent more electricity during working hours than they normally would whilst energy use between 9pm and 11pm has fallen 7 per cent, suggesting people are switching off earlier.
But despite that, it seems many are using the lockdown as an opportunity to sleep in more as they no longer have to commute.
Households are consuming 21 per cent less electricity than usual at 7:30am, the biggest fall compared to the pre-pandemic crisis.
Other firms see similar increase
Other energy providers have also seen a similar increase with Shell Energy recording a 15 per cent increase in electricity usage in the four days immediately after Boris Johnson announced lockdown.
Based on the average annual electricity bill, this means Britons will spend an additional £6 a month, if they continue using energy at their current rate.
The data revealed that the traditional morning spike of usage has changed into a more gradual increase throughout the morning, with peaks in home energy usage occurring between 12.30pm and 1.30pm, as people prepare their lunch at home.
A study from Tado, a smart thermostat firm, also found that Brits used 15 per cent more heating last month than they did in March 2019.
The average outdoor temperature only changed by one degree between the years, showing the increase is due to the number of people at home.
Cooking one big meal instead of lots of little ones will save energy – and thus save you money
Top tips to cut energy bills
To help people cut down on their energy usage, This is Money, with the help of Bulb, has given top tips for keeping energy bills in check.
Get clever in the kitchen: Cooking one big meal instead of lots of little ones will save energy – and cut down on the washing up. Let your leftovers cool down properly before you store them.
Warm food raises the temperature of a fridge so it has to work hard to cool itself down again.
Using the right size lid and the right size hob for your pots and pans reduces the time and energy it takes to heat your food.
Choose your room: Switch off the lights and follow the sun if you can. Taking advantage of natural light can save energy and reduce your bills – but it can also help improve your mood and boost productivity when working from home.
Close doors to empty spaces and focus your heating on the room you’re using. Reduce draughts and turn your heating down by just one degree.
This can make a big difference to your energy bill – reducing it by £80 a year for an average home.
Turning your gadgets off when you’re not using them saves the typical household £30 a year
Govern your gadgets: Electronics and appliances on standby mode use a surprising amount of energy.
Turn your devices off at the switch when you’re not using them to avoid paying as doing so can save around £30 a year for the typical household.
Remember to unplug phones and laptops on charge. They’re still using electricity, even at 100 per cent.
Get familiar with your energy: Submit more regular meter readings to your supplier while you’re spending more time at home.
This will help you to keep an eye on expenses and avoid any unexpected bills in the future.
If you’ve got a smart meter, you can track how much energy you’re using on the in-home display.
Look for a better deal: Shop around for the best deal on your gas and electricity.
Energy switches are handled remotely, so your power won’t be interrupted if you choose to swap suppliers.
Changing providers can save customers hundreds of pounds a year on their energy bill.
Bulb compared usage across two three-week periods to determine the effect of the coronavirus lockdown, looking at data from 2,277 smart meters.
One three week period was before lockdown and the other was after.
It worked out the average percentage difference in electricity usage between the pre-restrictions and post-restrictions periods.
Can you cut your energy bills?
This is Money has partnered with Compare the Market to offer readers a simple way to try to save on their energy bills.
You can quickly check for great deals for your home. Plus, if you switch via our Compare the Market-powered service you can get Meerkat Meals and Meerkat Movies.*
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.