Some of the best ways to save money on electricity and gas require just small changes: a phone call to your supplier, a quick search for better rates, or small things you can do in your home.
Even if you can’t afford major improvements (like re-insulating your home), you can get still start saving money today with these four tips.
1. Switch energy suppliers
Energy regulator Ofgem recommends switching your energy supplier or tariff if you haven’t done so in a long time. This could save you hundreds of pounds a year. If you don’t know what your options are, check the list of accredited price comparison websites on the Ofgem site. You can find the best deal for utilities in your area plus details of prices and any potential discounts available.
Your energy bill will include details of your supplier and tariff. With this information to hand, you can compare your current supply deal with others available in the market so you can switch if you find something better.
2. Use your thermostat effectively
Lowering your thermostat by just 1°C can cut your heating bills by about £60 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust. If you don’t have a smart heating control system or thermostatic radiator valves installed already, adding them will allow you to easily control your heating and hot water so you don’t waste energy.
You should also set the right temperature for different areas of the home. For example, there’s no need to keep the bedroom warm all day – just turn the heat up an hour before bedtime. Rooms that are unused (such as a guest bedroom) should not be kept heated either. Just close the door and save even more energy.
3. Eliminate draughts
Professional draught-proofing can be expensive, but even small changes to prevent heat escaping from your home can help you save money on electricity and gas. Start by using draught-proofing strips around the frame and edges of windows and doors.
If you have a fireplace you’re not using, consider installing a chimney draught excluder to close it off. This will prevent a lot of cold air from coming in and stop warm air from escaping.
If you want to be very thorough, there are letterbox draught excluders you can buy and easily install. They come with a magnetic closing to prevent heat loss through the letterbox opening.
4. Check whether you’re eligible for a rebate or discount
If you’re receiving a state pension or social security benefits, you qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment. This means you could get up to £300 from the government to help cover your heating bills. Anybody born before 5 October 1954 also qualifies for the help automatically.
You might also be able to receive assistance from your energy supplier. Some companies offer special discounts for pensioners, people with certain health issues or those on a low income. If you aren’t sure whether your supplier offers this or whether you qualify, just give them a call and ask. Some suppliers also offer a discount if you set up a direct debit rather than paying by cheque or cash every month.
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