Gas and electricity bills can be expensive, but lighting and heating your home is a fundamental necessity. You might be worried about your next bill and find that you're struggling to pay for the amount of gas and electricity you use.
So here are some tips on how you can reduce your energy bills while still keeping your home warm and comfortable.
Tips for reducing your bills
- check that you're on the cheapest energy plan for your needs. Speak to your energy provider or consider switching suppliers
- replace your light bulbs with energy-efficient ones which use less electricity
- turn the lights off when you leave the room
- if you have a hot water cylinder, make sure its thermostat is set at 60°C
- don't leave appliances on standby or continually charge your mobile. When you've finished using something, turn it off
- when cooking, remember to put the lids on saucepans. Your food will cook more quickly, saving energy
- don't leave the fridge door open longer than necessary
- defrost your freezer regularly to keep it running efficiently
- only run the washing machine or dishwasher when you have a full load
- set the temperature on your washing machine to 30°C for most everyday laundry
- take short showers instead of running a bath
- fix dripping taps as soon as possible. One dripping hot water tap can waste the same amount of water as a hot bath in a week
- get your boiler and other appliances serviced regularly to make sure they're running efficiently and safely
Essex Energy Switch
Essex Energy Switch is a collective auction for potential customers keen to save money on their utility bills. The scheme is run annually by Essex County Council, and is open to residents and businesses within Essex. Over the last two years, nearly £1million has been saved by those choosing to switch suppliers, with an average yearly saving of over £200 per resident. Each energy company makes their lowest offer, and the lowest offer is sent to all those who have registered. There is no obligation to switch. For further information, and to register, visit the Essex County Council website.
Support for people with disabilities
People with disabilities or health problems may be able to claim a Disabled Facilities Grant towards the cost of work will make their home warmer and more energy-efficient.
Other information and advice
The Money Advice Service offers the following advice:
The government have produced a leaflet called Help towards lower bills and warmer homes which includes all the information you'll need.
Ofgem regulates the electricity and gas markets in Great Britain. On their website you can find out how to:
The Energy Best Deal campaign, run by Ofgem and the Citizens Advice, aims to provide the public with information on saving money on their energy bills, avoiding fuel poverty, and keeping warm:
Energy Saving Trust has a wealth of information on how to make your home more energy efficient and save money on your fuel bills. Visit their website or call their advice line on 0300 1231234.
uSwitch gives independent advice on switching energy providers and finding the best tariff for you.
You may also find it helpful to look at our page on Winter fuel payments.