Top Tips on how to reduce your energy bills this winter

Energy prices are trending at the moment. And not in a good way.

The rising cost of gas to energy supply companies, and the October raising of the energy price cap, is causing higher energy bills for many customers. 

A dual fuel customer on a standard variable tariff, and paying by direct debit, is facing an average rise of around £139 a year; with their total bill in the region of £1277. Customers who prepay will have an even higher average bill: around £1,309.

And this sorry situation is set to continue for some time. Keith Anderson, Chief Executive of energy company Scottish Power, predicts that UK households face another18 months of rising bills.

Many small energy suppliers have already gone out of business, and unfortunately more are likely to follow. It’s possible that by 2023, only a handful of the strongest suppliers will still be operating.

In light of this, are there things that you can do to reduce your energy bills this winter?

In this article we explore four ways that may help.

Four ways to reduce your energy bills this winter

Four of the key ways that could help to reduce your energy bills this winter are shown in the diagram below. 

They are:

  • Get the best deal from your supplier;
  • Use heating sparingly;
  • Remember to switch things off;
  • Insulate your home.

We will explore each one in turn.

 

 

  • Get the best deal from your supplier

Whether you have been with your energy supplier for years or have recently moved to a new supplier – perhaps because your previous supplier went out of business – it is important to check that you are on the best possible tariff.

If you have been transferred to a new supplier, any credit you had with your old supplier will be transferred across. But make sure that you have not been put by default onto a more expensive tariff than you could be on.

However long you have been with your supplier, check which tariff you are on to see if there is a better deal going. Bear in mind that you may get a better deal if you are prepared to pay by monthly direct debit rather than prepay. 

It is also worth checking whether you could get a better deal from another supplier. Take a look at comparison and switching websites such as Money Supermarket or USwitch to help you with this.

Making sure that you are on the best tariff available is an excellent way to start to reduce your energy bills this winter.

 

  • Use heating sparingly

By being careful about how you use the heating in your home, you can keep nice and warm but also reduce your energy bills this winter.

Here are four ways to use heating sparingly:

  • Turn your thermostat down

Try turning your thermostat down just 1 degree from where it normally is in winter. You should not notice a significant difference in the temperature of your home, but this could save you around £80 per year.

  • Get your boiler serviced

If your boiler is working as efficiently as possible, this will reduce your energy bills. A boiler service ensures that everything is working as well as it can, and also removes build ups of dirt and debris that could cause the boiler to malfunction.

  • Bleed your radiators

Over time, radiators can become clogged with trapped air. This interferes with hot water circulating freely inside the radiator. The boiler has to work harder to push water through, and even so, heat is often not being distributed evenly.

Bleeding a radiator is the process of removing the excess air from the radiator so that the heating system can work more efficiently and does not need to use as much energy to operate.

  • Put on another layer of clothing

Many of us automatically turn up the heating as soon as we feel cold. But it is more economical – and often a more instant solution – just to put on another layer of clothing instead. Getting the whole family to do this is another significant way to reduce your energy bills this winter.

 

  • Remember to switch things off

Another good family habit to get into is to remember to switch things off.

Most of us just leave everything switched on at the wall, in standby mode. But if you do this, appliances and devices are still using energy. It costs an estimated £30 a year just to leave devices in standby. This is not necessary for most newer electronic appliances, which can be turned off at the wall without any disruption to their programming. 

The other thing that many of us forget is to switch off lights when we leave a room. But switching off a light even for just a few seconds can save around £15 on your annual energy bills. So unless you are planning to come straight back into a room again, adopt the policy that the last one to leave switches off the lights.

 

  • Insulate your home

Another way to reduce your energy bills this winter is to insulate your home. Even with the most efficient heating system in the world, your home will still feel chilly if there are draughts around it. 

So if you feel a draught, don’t just grumble about it. Take time to check where it is coming from. Typically this will be through door or window surrounds, gaps in the flooring, down a chimney or through a hidden vent that may not even be needed any longer. Once you have identified the sources of the draughts in your home, use suitable draught excluders or sealants to fix the problem.

It is also well worth considering other energy saving measures for your home. Examples include door and window glazing, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, floor insulation, pipe lagging or solar panels. 

You can find more information about these and other energy saving measures through The Energy Saving Trust. Some of these measures may be eligible for government grants. You can check this on the Gov UK website.

 

We hope that the above information helps you to find effective ways to reduce your energy bills this winter

Check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from Advantage Loans.