As we all know, energy bills can end up becoming very expensive, but there are ways that you can reduce your energy bills, to keep them as low as possible. It is not unheard of for people to seek out payday loans online or other forms of short term finance in the UK to be able to see themselves through the periods during which their energy requirements are higher than usual.
We take a look at some of the ways you improve your energy efficiency, ultimately keeping your energy bills lower than they may otherwise be. By making a few easy changes to the way you manage your energy requirements; usually through changes to how you heat and power your home, you could find yourself saving hundreds of Pounds a year.
Installing a Smart Meter
Having a smart meter is one well-established way of saving money on your energy bills. But what makes them different to normal energy meters?
Smart meters take accurate readings from your gas and electricity, which is then sent directly to your energy suppliers. This in turn, means that your energy and electricity bills will no longer be based upon estimations. This can save you from being overcharged on your bills in the future. These readings are also be displayed on your meter in your home, meaning that you can be a lot savvier about your energy consumption.
By seeing your energy output in real-time using the smart meter, you will likely start instigating energy saving practices in your day to day life at home, avoiding potential financial emergencies in the form of not being able to pay your energy bills.
Switch Energy Suppliers to Save Money
A very simple way to save money on your gas and electricity bills is to look at switching energy suppliers. By using one of the many comparison sites available online, you could easily save hundreds of Pounds each year and it is easy to do with a few clicks. Furthermore, you can switch suppliers regardless whether you own the property you live in or not.
Based upon a Which? Survey on energy comparison sites, the average consumer saved nearly £240 on their energy bills each year between November 2016 and April 2017.
It is recommended, regardless of who you switch suppliers to, that you look at Ofgem accredited comparison websites, so that you know that they are operating according to the government's code of practice.
Pay Using Direct Debit
Paying your bills via direct debit is usually a less expensive option when it comes to paying your energy bills. It also means you are able to spread the cost of your bills over the course of the year, avoiding having to pay a hefty bill come winter. Setting up direct debit also means that you will not have to worry about missed payments and potentially fines for paying late.
Keep an Eye on Your Energy Bills
If you think you are paying too much on your energy bills, it is worth taking a meter reading so that you can provide the supplier with the actual, rather than the estimated reading. If you have been paying more than you ought to, and if you have proof in the form of your estimated readings against the actual readings, it may be possible to get a credit refund from your energy supplier.
Turn Down The Thermostat
Reducing the room temperature on your thermostat by just one degree has been shown to decrease the average heating bill in the UK by £85, according to a report by the Energy Saving Trust.
Cut Energy Wasting Draughts
A simple but effective way of saving money on your energy bills is cutting draughts in your home. For example, look for ways of preventing draughts in the following areas of your home:
- Fireplaces and chimneys – Fitting a cap on the chimney, or using an inflatable pillow to block the chimney if not using the fireplace can reduce draughts
- Windows – Use brush strips for sash windows, or draught-proofing strips
- Doors – Draught-proofing strips also can be used on doors, on draught-excluders at the bottom of doors
- Loft Hatches – Draught-proofing strips can also be used for lofts to prevent hot air escaping
Turn the Taps Off
Over the course of a single week, just one hot tap can waste the equivalent of half a bath. With this in mind, you can avoid wasting energy unnecessarily by turning the hot water taps off as soon as you have finished using it.
Check Your Eligibility for Energy Schemes
You may be eligible for a home energy grant and these schemes can help you save money on your electricity bills. It can help to buy a more energy efficient boiler, or even putting money towards having solar panels installed in your home should you so wish.
You can find out more about the benefits and grants available for reduced tariffs and home insulation grants by:
- Using the energy grants calculator on the GOV.UK website
- Contacting the Energy Saving Advice Service
- Contacting the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal
- In Scotland you can contact the Home Energy Efficiency programme Scotland (HEEPS)
- In Wales, by contacting Nest
It is also worth finding out if you are eligible for a rebate or discount, such as the Winter Fuel Payment, the Warm Home Discount or whether you may be able to take advantage of a payment method discount.
Avoid Leaving Appliances on Standby
A way of being more frugal with energy bills is by not leaving appliances on standby mode, or leaving mobile phones or laptops on charge for no real reason.
Buy Energy Efficient Appliances
If your washing machine, fridge, or tumble dryer has broken down and it is time to buy a replacement, it is often worth considering selecting the most energy-efficient model in order to save money on your bills. Research by Which? Shows that swapping such appliances for the most energy-efficient can save you nearly £240 each year.