Reduce the energy price pinch this winter - Utilities |

News News brings you the latest financial & economic news & reviews of the best products in the UK by our team of money experts.

Reduce the energy price pinch this winter

Reduce the energy price pinch this winter

Category: Utilities

Updated: 19/12/2016
First Published: 08/02/2012

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Brrrrrrrrrrrrr, it's cold out there!

Yes February 2012 has started (and looks set to remain) pretty chilly.

And at the same time, even in spite of recent decreases to energy prices, the cost of heating your home is more expensive than ever.

But if you haven't changed energy tariffs for a while, you can minimise the pain of this cold snap. Energy prices have witnessed two massive increases in the last year. Even though a price drop was announced by most suppliers in December/January, it still doesn't come close to offsetting the price rises that took effect at the end of last summer.

So switching to a new gas and electricity supplier could save you a shed load of cash and mean that you get a competitive price for that most necessary of necessities.

Freezing February could increase your energy bills by 80%

That's a pretty startling figure isn't it? has recently predicted that the UK's total domestic energy bill would hit £4.9 billion in February 2012. When compared to February 2011, when energy consumption cost £2.7 billion, this is a significant increase.

Freezing February means that we as a nation will be reaching for the thermostat considerably more than usual. It means that the average UK home is set to pay £189.82 for their energy in February, compared to just £105.59 this time last year.

Whilst the weather certainly plays its part, has calculated that a sizeable portion of the increase is due to the energy price rises last year. Indeed, of the £84.23 difference between February 2012 and February 2011, £20.13 is attributable just to those price increases.

Compare energy prices to save money

Cheapest UK Gas and Electricity Deals (as at 8.2.12)



Average Cost

Average saving*


iSave v9




iSave Fixed v1
(fixed until May 2013)




New Energy Fixed
(fixed for 12 months)




Online Fixed Price Energy May 2013
(Fixed until May 2013)




Go Fix 10
(Fixed until 8.4.13)



*Average saving based on OFGEM average bill of £1,322. All costs are for a yearly average usage dual fuel household paying by monthly direct debit. Average usage defined by Ofgem as 16,500 kWh p.a. of gas and 3,300 kWh p.a. of electricity.

Be energy smart this winter

Making sure you are on the cheapest energy deal is one big way that you can minimise the pain to your finances this winter. But it's worth remembering that there are other, simple things that you can do to bring down your bill:
  • Layer up
Whilst you want your home to be a comfortable temperature, it doesn't need to be at 'Hawaiian' level on the thermostat! Putting on an extra layer can certainly take the edge off the cold and mean that you can keep the thermostat lower. Switching down the thermostat by just 1 degree, can slash your heating bill by 10%!
  • Programme your heating
Set up your heating to come on for an hour or two before you get up, and again for an hour or two before you get home. That way, it's not on all day, but you feel the benefit when you get out of bed or come home.
  • Hunker down
Close doors, and try to stay in one room. Turn radiators down in rooms you don't use very much.
  • Close curtains and check for draughts
Close curtains when it gets dark, and even consider leaving them closed while it's very cold, in rooms you don't use often (such as a spare bedroom). Check for draughts around windows, doors and other openings. Can these gaps be plugged? A small outlay at a DIY store could save you much more over the course of a year.

What next?

Compare household energy prices
Compare business energy prices

More tips

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.