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How to save £1,500 on your energy bills

How to save £1,500 on your energy bills

Category: Gas and electricity

Updated: 12/11/2014
First Published: 12/11/2014

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Winter is approaching fast, and that means the heating is probably getting turned up a notch or two. Unfortunately, it also means thoughts may be turning to how you'll afford the extra cost, particularly with tariffs only ever seeming to be on the rise. But, there are things you can do, and if you're seriously energy-efficient, you could save as much as £1,584 on your energy bills. Here's how.

  • Switch it off. It may be age-old advice but it's surprisingly effective, as switching off lights and appliances when not in use can shave huge amounts off your bill. This means turning things off completely and not leaving the TV on standby, for example, while some appliances and phone chargers even suck out energy when they're plugged in but not used. This "vampire power" wastes energy for nothing, so make sure to unplug as well as turn off. If you do, the Energy Saving Trust estimates that the typical home could save between £45 and £80 per year, so it's worth taking that extra second out of your day. SAVINGS: UP TO £80
  • Turn it down. You may be feeling the chill, but it'll be a lot cheaper to reach for a jumper than turn up the heating. Even turning the thermostat down by 1°C could save you as much as £75 per year, and if you go all-out and install a thermostat, programmer, timer and thermostatic radiator valves – which let you use your heating controls more effectively so you can regulate the temperature throughout your home – you could save between £70 and £150 a year. SAVINGS: UP TO £150
  • Be crafty in the kitchen. Being a bit savvy with your kitchen appliances can save a surprising amount of cash. For example, setting the washing machine to 30°C rather than a higher temperature can save £6 per year, only boiling the water you need rather than filling the kettle all the way up can save £7, and using a washing up bowl rather than leaving the hot tap running could mean you save as much as £30 a year. SAVINGS: UP TO £43
  • Replace rather than re-use. We're often told of the importance of recycling and re-using, but when it comes to being energy-efficient, it's often a better idea to replace. Using energy-efficient lightbulbs instead of old-fashioned versions could save up to £45 per year, and if you choose energy-efficient appliances when the originals need upgrading, you could save an additional £93. If you've got a shower that takes hot water straight from your boiler or hot water tank, fitting a water-efficient shower head could save a family of four around £65 per year on the gas they'd use for heating the water. Going one step further and installing a new boiler could save up to £310 per year – it's a big initial outlay, but if it needs to be done, it could save a lot of cash in the future. SAVINGS: UP TO £513
  • Block out draughts. Doing a bit of DIY draught-proofing could be just the thing to keep your bills in check, and of course, it'll make your home feel warmer, too. Check the seals around doors and windows and apply more if necessary, block any cracks in floors, line your skirting boards with silicone sealant and get a chimney draught excluder – it'll take a bit of time and money, but it could save between £20 and £30 per year. SAVINGS: UP TO £30
  • Insulate. DIY draught-proofing may be sufficient for some households, but others may need a bit more investment. Loft insulation is a must – the Energy Saving Trust recommends that you should have at least 270mm (10 inches) of loft insulation, and if you go from nothing to that level, you could save up to £150 a year. Cavity wall insulation should also be considered, and although the initial cost can be around £450, it'll save up to £145 a year – so it'll soon pay for itself. SAVINGS: UP TO £295
  • Pay by direct debit. A lot of suppliers will offer generous discounts if you pay by direct debit rather than annually, quarterly or by pre-payment, and it's surprising the difference it can make. Ofgem has found that those who use pre-payment meters are charged an average of £80 more per year for the extra processing costs involved, so if you can, it could be worth re-considering your payment options. SAVINGS: UP TO £80
  • Switch supplier. If you've never considered switching suppliers, now could be the time to do so. The whole process is surprisingly simple with the bulk of it being undertaken by the suppliers themselves, and with winter almost upon us, it's the perfect opportunity to switch before your bills go up. Research from has found that switchers can save up to £393 on their bills – that's a lot of cash for not a lot of work! Start comparing the options and see for yourself. SAVINGS: UP TO £393

As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do to cut your bills down to size – and the savings could be significant. Chances are you won't be able to benefit from everything mentioned, but even testing out a few tips could make the world of difference and cut those winter energy bills down to size.

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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.