New parents see energy bills grow

New parents see their energy use grow in the first two months after having a baby, according to a poll of parents which shows two in three new parents find […]

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By Vicky Ellis

New parents see their energy use grow in the first two months after having a baby, according to a poll of parents which shows two in three new parents find energy use increases with a baby’s arrival.

Nearly a fifth (18%) find their energy use went up considerably, with four in 10 (40%) tumble drying more often and a third (28%) putting on ‘significantly more’ washing loads.

Electronic gadget use goes up too apparently, with new parents watching on average three and a half more hours of TV and listening to three more hours of radio a day.

More than a quarter (27%) use up to three extra gadgets such as baby monitors and bottle sterilisers each week and the same proportion (26%) of new parents run up to three loads of washing a day.

That extra washing machine use alone could add an extra £30.1 to a family’s energy bill over their baby’s first 60 days, says energy supplier E.ON which commissioned the survey.

Beverley Maguire, energy efficiency expert at E.ON said: “New parents are faced with lots of additional costs, but one thing they may not consider is how baby’s arrival will affect their energy consumption.”

The supplier suggests tips like giving clothes a quick extra spin in the washing machine before drying so they dry quicker: it says cutting down one load a week could take around £30.60 off your electricity bill.

It also advises putting energy efficient LED night lights around the house for when you get up for the baby at night, or using a baby bath divider or small tub rather than the main bath to save energy and water.