Dig a little deeper, and you could save even more on your energy bills
Citizens Advice Essex, Friday, August 19th 2022
- Save money on bills
- Get funding
- Switch suppliers
- Home improvement
Have you been paying your utility bills with cash or cheque? If you have, you could save yourself money by simply switching your payment method. Research has shown that you could save as much as £70 on gas and £50 on electric by changing from prepayment or standard credit to a direct debit. These figures are on an average household, so your saving could be smaller or more than this.
Managing your payments online could also be another way of saving money on your bills. So it’s always best to ensure that you’re using a method of direct debit or online payments to get the best savings.
Many companies will still charge for paper bills, so check with your providers because a simple switch to email bills could save you a considerable amount each year.
Wrap up your tank
If you live in an older house and have an uninsulated or poorly insulated hot-water tank, you are wasting money every time you switch on your hot-water system. Wrapping it up in a British Standard cylinder jacket of at least 75mm thickness can reduce heat loss by 70%. Jackets are available for as little as £10. Find out more: Water-saving products — a list of tools to help you save water 48.
Does the insulation on your home need to be replaced?
Ensuring your home retains the heat as best as possible will mean you need to spend less on warming it up.
The Energy Saving Trust estimate that loft insulation can help you save £175 off your bill each year and cavity wall insulation can save an additional £135.
Double glaze your windows
Replacing all the windows in your home can certainly be a costly expense, but it’s not only great for reducing your heating bills but also helps to reduce the amount of noise that comes into your home too.
If you don’t have the budget for double glazing, there are plastic linings you can buy for windows that work to keep the heat in too.
Get a new boiler
Upgrading to an A-rated condensing boiler could save as much as £320 a year.
Look into grants and benefits to help you save on home heat and insulation
Try the Energy Savings Trust, which can advise on benefits, grants for home insulation, reduced tariffs and special payment options.
- Simple Energy Advice on 0800 444 202 (for England and Wales)
Look into government energy efficiency schemes
Government initiatives that may be able to help pay for home improvements:
- In England, Wales and Scotland, the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal.
- In Wales, Nest.
- In Scotland, the Home Energy Efficiency Programme Scotland (HEEPS).
- Telephone 0300 123 1234, for England and Wales, and 0808 8082282, for Scotland.
Buy more energy-efficient appliances
We’re not suggesting you throw out perfectly-working appliances in the home, but when it’s time to get an upgrade, make sure you’re choosing the best energy-efficient rating. Electric ovens, dishwashers and fridge freezers can all help save you money in the long run.
Fill in your cracks
This can take a bit of effort on your part, but it certainly makes a difference when it comes to ensuring your home is retaining the heat you’re paying for.
At night, keep the blinds and curtains drawn and use draught-blockers on certain doors where you want the heat retained.
Check windows and main doors to see if they’re particularly draughty and could need some new padding on the rims to make sure extra heat isn’t escaping.
Switch to a water meter
If you’re currently paying a set rate for your water, it might be worth switching to a water meter where you only pay for the water you use. This can be the best option for those who aren’t using large quantities of water with baths every day.
Read your meter regularly
An estimated bill could result in overpayments. You are best-advised to provide the supplier with an accurate meter reading at least every three months. You can then let them know how much you’re using by calling or submitting your meter reading online.