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Top tips: How to make the biggest energy savings

Turn off to save money Credit: PA Pictures

According to the Energy Saving Trust here in the Midlands we could make big savings on our energy bills. Here's their tips on how

Standby Savers - There here are a number of products available to help cut down your standby electricity consumption, such as standby savers that allow you to easily turn all of your appliances off from standby without having to reach for the plug.

Televisions and games consoles are now among the primary sources of our everyday entertainment, yet when left on permanent standby they are costing us £45-80 a year. Check your appliances regularly and switch your supplier to take control of your bills.

Cold appliances - Is your fridge-freezer 15 years or older? If it is, then the chances are that it could be using more electricity than required. As fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers are switched on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it could be worth finding models that are more energy efficient and will save you money on electricity bills. Tenants can ask their landlord to buy a newer model if the current one is faulty or not performing efficiently. If it's not possible to replace the model, then the following tips and advice can help save money on refrigeration:

o Make sure the back of your fridge-freezer is ventilated and dust free - dusting should be done at least once a year to keep it running efficiently;

o Make sure the fridge-freezer is out of direct sunlight from outside or other sources of heat from inside the home, such as your oven or boiler;

o Make sure the door seal is not damaged

o Check that it is cycling on and off as it should - ideally you should only be able to hear your fridge or freezer running 30-40% of the time; and

o Don't keep the fridge-freezer doors open longer than necessary.

Lighting - Lighting is a vital aspect of any home, especially during the darker winter evenings. Lighting makes up 16 per cent of household electricity consumption. By turning off the lights when they're not needed you could save around £7 a year. If households want to go further, replacing all the remaining old-fashioned bulbs with CFLs and all the halogens with LEDs could typically save around £45 a year.

Switching off could save Midlanders millions

Turn off to save money Credit: PA Pictures

Research has found that West Midlanders could save £138 million just by turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.

74% of people living in the West Midlands are worried about energy bills but yet only half of households who received an unexpectedly high energy bills check if unused appliances are turned off. That's according to the energy saving trust. They also say three quarters of people in the region who have a spare TV leave it on standby.

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71% of parents want payday loan adverts banned before watershed

More than 70% of parents in the Midlands want payday loan adverts banned from airing on television and radio before the 9:00pm watershed.

The survey also found that 72% of children aged 13-17 had seen or heard of a payday loan advert in the last seven days.

The YouGov survey was commissioned by The Children's Society Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

It follows research by Ofcom last year that showed the number of payday loan adverts on television had increased by more than 20 times over the past four years to 397,000. The research found more than half of all payday loan adverts on TV were broadcast in the daytime schedule between 9:30am and 4:59pm.

TUC: '75% of affordable housing in East Midlands not available'

Rutland was found to be the most unaffordable Credit: Edward Smith/EMPICS Entertainment/PA

More than 75% of towns and cities in the East Midlands do not have affordable housing available, according to a new report by the TUC.

The majority of places have houses that cost more than five times the average salary.

Rutland was found to be the most unaffordable, while Derby was the most affordable.

New flat rate for Leicester parking

Drivers will pay no more than £1 an hour to park in Leicester city centre from November Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Drivers will pay no more than £1 an hour to park in Leicester city centre - at any time and on any day.

The new flat rate for parking will be introduced in council run car parks in November.

New payment machines and credit and debit card parking will also be installed.

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