Energy bills are set to go up for many households across England, Wales and Scotland as the energy price cap has increased from 1st October 2021. The cap is being increased by the energy regulator Ofgem, to take into account the rising cost of gas and electricity. For more information, please click here.
Saving energy is a great way to help the environment and save money. We all use energy to power our lives – from taking a hot shower in the morning to charging our mobile phones in the evening. Do you want to save energy but are not sure where to start? Here are some of our top tips to help you save money on your energy bills and could reduce your carbon footprint.
Switch energy providers
We would normally say make sure you are on the cheapest tariff by switching your gas and electric supply but due to the increase in the energy price cap - do nothing! If your fixed-term energy deal is due to end, go on to the standard tariff at the end of your deal. If you’re already on the standard tariff, stay on it. There are currently no fixed-term energy deals close to the standard tariff.
Although you may be paying more for your energy, you can look at ways of reducing the amount you pay. Check if you qualify for various discounts from your supplier such as:
- dual fuel discount for having the same supplier for both gas and electric
- discount for paying by Direct Debit
- discount for paperless billing and managing your account online
Ofgem offers energy switching advice that can make a big difference to your gas and electricity bills.
If you’ve never switched energy suppliers, or you last switched over a year ago, you will most likely have defaulted to a standard (or default) tariff when your fixed period ended, which means you may be paying too much for your energy.
You could reduce your energy costs by checking if you could move to a cheaper deal, either with your current supplier or to another company. Please visit www.uswitch.com or www.moneysupermarket.com to look for the best tariff for you.
Please note: Increase to the wholesale cost of supplying you with energy has led to some companies going bust. If this has happened to your energy provider, please click here to find out what you need to do.
The Warm Home Discount
Did you know you could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2021 to 2022? If you qualify, it’s a one-off discount applied directly to your electricity account between October 2021 and March 2022. The scheme is operated in partnership with many of the larger energy companies.
For more information on the Warm Home Discount, please visit www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme. If you want to apply, please contact your energy provider.
Please note: Increase to the wholesale cost of supplying you with energy has led to some companies going bust. If this has happened to your energy provider, The Warm Home Discount may not be available.
Winter Fuel Payment
The Winter Fuel Payment is a payment of between £100 and £300 to help towards your winter heating bills. If you were born on or before 26 September 1955 and you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit), then you may be eligible. For more information on the Winter Fuel Discount, please visit www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment.
Tweak the heat
Turning your thermostat down by as little as one degree can help save £75 and 320 kg of carbon dioxide a year. This is an easy saving and you won't be able to feel the temperature difference. If you want to take things a bit further, you can lower the temperature even more and layer-up with some jumpers and woolly socks.
Let the light in
Turn off lights in the day – open your curtains or blinds first thing in the morning and make the most of the natural daylight. This can help to reduce your energy consumption. During the winter months, it can be tempting to switch on a light during the day. If you do need to switch the light on, switch to an LED energy saver, these bulbs can save you around £36 a year and reduce your home’s carbon impact. Don’t forget, if you leave a room then get into the habit of switching the lights off!
Load it up
If you can, try not to start your washing machine or dishwasher if it’s only half full. Starting a wash with a half-empty load makes these appliances less energy efficient, if you can wait until you have enough for a full load you’ll be saving water and energy. Also avoid using tumble dryers when you can – this is one of the most expensive appliances to use in your home.
Many modern appliances have an eco-mode that helps them save energy. Fridges, freezers, washing machines and dishwashers may have an eco-setting, turning them on can be an easy way of using 30-60% less energy and cutting down your bills.
A good energy-saving habit is to turn off unused appliances at the socket when not in use. Did you know unplugging laptop and phone chargers while we’re not using them can have a big impact on bills and usage? Even if it’s not connected to your phone or laptop, a charger can still use energy, so it’s always a good idea to unplug them or switch off at the mains.
Did you know many of our appliances such as TVs consume up to 90% of their normal energy in standby mode? Buying energy-saving plugs or standby savers cut the power to your appliances by recognising when they have entered standby mode or with the flick of a remote control. This can help you save energy and money!
Cup of tea?
Make sure you only fill the kettle with enough water to make your favourite hot drink. This can save you wasting energy and money on your bills!
Having quicker showers reduce the amount of energy and water you use. Set a challenge to take shorter showers! Did you know by spending one minute less in the shower each day, a family of four could save up to £44 a year?
A smart meter can let you see how much energy you are using and send meter readings to your energy supplier, meaning they can bill you accurately for the energy you’ve used. Having a smart meter won’t automatically save you money or energy, you can use it as a tool to help you keep track of how much energy you’re using then look at ways to reduce it. To see if you are eligible for a smart meter, please contact your energy supplier.
Get your boiler serviced regularly
A well-maintained boiler will heat your home efficiently and result in less chances of your boiler breaking down. Please make sure your boiler is regularly serviced – we will write to you each year to carry out a gas service on your boiler, if you have an overdue service please contact us. When we come to do a gas service, we can also offer advice on boiler settings to help you reduce wasting energy.
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