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As we start the long cold journey into winter, it may be time to start thinking about cutting costs when it comes to your energy bills. Costs seem to be on the rise constantly, and your heating bill is certainly going to go up in the next few months. It’s not the most exciting thing to do, but you may be able to save yourself a few hundred pounds! That could go a long way in making your Christmas extra special. Here are a few ways you can reduce the cost of your energy bills:
The first step is to figure out how much energy you’re using at the moment. You’ll find it difficult to get better deals if you don’t have a starting point. You’ll also need to know the names of the companies you use, and the tariff you’re on.
There are plenty of comparison sites like MoneySuperMarket, CompareTheMarket and SimplySwitch that can help you find the best deal. Each one will quote a different amount you could save per year, but on average it seems to be around £350.
MoneySavingExpert also runs the Cheap Energy Club, which is a free service that has 3.5 million members. It will help you find the best deal for your energy by letting you know when is the best time to switch, plus you can earn up to £25 cashback!
You may have also heard of ‘Look After My Bills’, which was featured on Dragons’ Den. This free service promises to take care of everything. They’ll automatically switch you to the best tariff, so you don’t need to compare anything yourself or do the swapping.
Smart meters and smart heating are becoming increasingly popular. Apparently by 2020, every home in the UK will be offered a smart meter. They give far more accurate readings, so you only pay for what you use, not an estimation. You can even see what appliances are costing the most, so you can try to cut back. Though probably not your fridge. Or freezer.
You can cut back on costs by switching to eco-friendly light bulbs, or even putting on fewer loads of washing. Leaving your electronic devices on standby can also cost you lots of money every year— turning the switches off at the wall could save you £100s each year.
Replacing your boiler could save you hundreds each year. Boilers can take up over half of your energy bills, so having a cost-efficient one can be crucial when reducing costs. If your boiler is much older, it may be a good idea to shop around for a better one.
It may sound obvious, but a great way to reduce your energy bills is to not put the heating on if you don’t need to. Keep insulated – wrap up in layers if you can, or track down your hot water bottle.
It’s also important to make sure your home is well insulated. Thicker curtains can stop heat escaping through the windows, and you can make sure your walls are well insulated too. Loft insulation can also stop a lot of heat escaping through the roof, and will last for at least 40 years.
Check out our hacks for staying warm this winter!
Setting up a Direct Debit with certain suppliers can help cut costs. Some companies will offer the best deals if you set up a Direct Debit rather than wait for the bill to arrive. You just need to check to see if this is the case, as paying for some things, like home insurance, by Direct Debit can end up costing you extra.
You can get a free personalised report about how you could save money in your bills. Through the Energy Saving Trust, you can get fantastic advice about how you can save in the long run, and it will take about 10 minutes. There really is no downside.
You can also check on the government website whether you’re eligible for any grants. Even if you’re not, they can offer more advice on how to improve your energy efficiency.