The Home Of Outdoor Living
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Experts warn that homeowners face a huge weekly energy bill this summer as the sunny weather encourages us to switch on more of our outdoor appliances, just as energy prices continue to climb.
Whether you're hoping to relax in one of the best hot tubs or trim the turf with your lawn mower, the cost of running these outdoor buys can soon add up.
'Energy bills are always lower in the summer when the heating is not coming on as often, but millions of people have energy-guzzling gadgets in their gardens that they could use more efficiently,' warns Will Owen, energy expert at consumer comparison website Uswitch.com (opens in new tab).
'When buying any new gadget or appliance for the garden, remember to weigh up not just the outright cost, but how much they will cost to run. Sometimes the most energy-efficient devices are more expensive – but they will save you money in the long run.'
The cost of powering your outdoor gadgets
Lawn mowers, power tools, water features and lighting all play their part in bills to pay, but 'hot tubs are the biggest offenders, and can be a drain on energy as they need to be kept at an ambient temperature so they are ready to be used,' says Will.
More than one million UK households have a hot tub, costing an average £4.55 ($5.40) a day, he adds.
'Anyone using a hot tub from May to September could rack up bills of £700 ($835) in those five months alone, with the worst insulated and least-efficient ones costing as much as £7.80 ($9.30) a day to run.'
Also cost-heavy are electric BBQs, racking up around 95p ($1.20) a session to use, compared with 70p for gas-powered models and patio heaters, with a 2.4kW unit costing 67p an hour.
Invest in more energy-efficient designs
When you’re choosing new items for your outdoor space, invest in energy-efficient outdoor power equipment, says Alan Duncan, founder of Solar Panels Network USA (opens in new tab).
'You can also find energy-efficient lighting options for your garden or patio, such as solar power, which can help you save even more money.'
'A lot of homeowners have been turning to the best solar lights for quite some time now but not many have heard of solar-powered hot tubs,' says Stefan Bucur, founder of home advice website Rhythm of the Home (opens in new tab).
'These tubs are a great innovation to help cut down on energy costs. The tubs will charge during the day and are ready for use to relax after a stressful day.'
Another way to cut down on energy cost, Stefan says, is to turn to non-powered push mowers: 'These mowers eliminate the need for gasoline, making them a more sustainable investment.'
Will you be making the switch to solar-powered buys or more energy-efficient outdoor gadgets this summer?
Jayne Dowle is an award-winning gardening, homes and property writer who writes for publications including Sunday Times Home, Times Bricks & Mortar, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and The Spectator. She was awarded the Garden Journalist of the Year accolade at the Property Press Awards in 2021.
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