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How to save money on your energy bills

How to save money on your energy bills

Category: Gas and electricity

Updated: 30/07/2014
First Published: 30/07/2014

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The cost of gas and electricity is an ongoing concern for many homeowners. It may be summer but that doesn't mean the bills stop, and trying to keep the cost down should be high on your list of priorities. We're here to help, which is why we've put together a few key ways you can save money on your energy bills – no matter what time of year it may be.

  • Turn it down. Hopefully you won't have the heating on at the moment – and if you do, what on earth for?! – but for future reference, make sure you pay close attention to the thermostat. Even turning it down by 1°C could save you as much as £75 per year according to the Energy Saving Trust, and if you've yet to install a thermostat, make sure to go all-out – installing a room thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator valves could save up to £150 a year. And remember, putting on a jumper will be a whole lot cheaper than turning up the heating.
  • Switch it off. Switching off lights and appliances when not in use is age-old advice, but it's surprising the difference it can make – and how many people fail to take it on board. The typical home could save between £45 and £80 per year just by turning off appliances that have been left on standby, so it's worth taking that extra second to do things properly.
  • Replace. It's all about maximising your energy efficiency, and if you replace non-efficient appliances or light bulbs with their greener counterparts, the savings can quickly rack up. Using energy-efficient light bulbs, for example, could save you up to £55 per year, and if you choose more efficient kitchen appliances when they need upgrading, you could save up to £93. Replacing your boiler could make an even bigger difference – saving you up to £310 per year – and although it's a big initial outlay, if it needs to be done it could well save you money in the future.
  • Insulate. Insulating your home is a must, and whether it's through the likes of full-on loft insulation or even something as simple as a draught excluder, it could make all the difference. Insulating your loft and cavity walls could save up to £250 per year – and there are a number of Government and environmental deals available to help you cover the cost – while a spot of DIY draught-proofing could shave up to £30 off your annual bill.
  • Monitor. An energy monitor can be a great little gadget to help you keep on top of things. Often given away for free by suppliers, one of these tools will estimate how much energy you're using so you can see where to cut back. Hopefully it'll help you think about how you use your appliances, as even a few simple cutbacks (setting your washing machine to 30°C, for example, or making sure to only boil the amount of water you need rather than filling the kettle) could save you up to £43.
  • Pay differently. Changing the way you pay for energy could make a surprising amount of difference. If you have the finances in place to set up a direct debit, make sure you do – research from Ofgem found that those who use pre-payment meters are charged, on average, £80 more per year than those who pay by direct debit, so it could be worth considering your payment options.
  • Switch. Is your energy tariff about to come to an end? If so, you could well see your bills rise. That's why you need to compare the options and, ideally, switch supplier and fix to a better deal, because chances are there'll be savings to be made. Even customers that have long since seen the back of a fixed deal would do well to start comparing the options, so make sure to use our comparison tool to see how much you could save.

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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.