Now more of us are spending more time at home, we are using more electricity and gas. In fact, it’s thought our energy costs could rise by £32 a month during lockdown. Keep a lid on your costs with our top tips.
Switching supplier could save you money on your fuel bills. It used to be a bit of a carry on but it’s no longer a difficult process. It could also save you as much as £330 a year, according to Which?. Look after my bills, as seen on Dragon’s Den can do that for you, checking prices annually and switching you to the best tariffs.
You’ll need some details to hand (like the suppliers and tariffs you’re on), but it’s completely free to use and gives you cheaper
Energy-efficient LED bulbs are cheaper to run, but more expensive than their older counterparts – so it’s worth checking which bulbs you’re using. LED bulbs last for years and will save you money in the long-term. Do it gradually, changing the bulbs in your house that are on the most.
Small changes to your daily routine can pay small but regular dividends. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that spending just one minute less in the shower each day could save you up to £8 a year. Turn your room and tank thermostats down by one degree. It’s no good running a hot bath and having to cool it before you get in. Set the tank thermostat at a comfortable level so you don’t overheat the water. Put the heating on an hour later and wrap up in a cosy blanket instead. Don’t leave appliances on standby if you’re not using them.
Streaming some TV programs, live and on catch up is a great way to relax, but it can be expensive, and slow your internet, especially if you’re in a large household and everyone is online. To reduce your streaming costs, use low-powered devices (e.g. a laptop rather than a big television that uses more electricity), turn down the brightness of your devices and stream at a lower resolution.
When the temperature drops, the places we often feel it the most are in the draughts coming through our doors and windows. Most homes, particularly older ones, suffer from such draughts. Close your curtains to stop the draughts and put the ”sausage” under the door. Draught-proofing costs around £200, but will save you around £20 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust – and make you feel much more comfortable. You may also be able to get a government Green Homes Grant to help cover the cost of energy efficient improvements such as loft insulation to your home. Find out more from simple energy advice.
If you are having real trouble paying your energy bills, speak to your supplier sooner rather than later. They could be able to support you in reducing or pausing your payments or put you onto a better tariff.