Money saving tips

Managing your money and juggling bills can be hard. Here are some top tips and tools to help save money on utility bills and increase energy efficiency.

Our team are here to support you with your finances and advise the best option for you.

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1) Saving money on your utility bills

How to save money on your utility bills

Gas and electricity is expensive, we want you to save as much money as possible.  Here's some ways you can save on your bills.

Government grants

If you receive certain benefits, you could be entitled to a cold Weather payment. These payments are made if the temperature is recorded or forecasted on average or below zero degrees for 7 consecutive days.

Energy and water saving tips

Take a look at these top tips and see if you're saving as much energy as you could be.

Understand your bill

The information on a typical energy bill can be confusing. But understanding it can go a long way to helping you get to grips with your energy use.

Switch off standby

You can save around £30 a year just by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode.
Almost all electronic appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming. You may want to think about getting a standby saver which allows you to turn all your appliances off standby in one go.

Check the instructions for any appliances you aren’t sure about. Some satellite and digital TV recorders may need to be left plugged in so they can keep track of any programmes you want to record.

Careful in your kitchen

You can save around £50 a year just by using your kitchen appliances more carefully:
  • Use a bowl to wash up rather than a running tap and save £30 a year in energy bills
  • Only fill the kettle with the amount of water that you need and save around £7 a year
  • Cutback your washing machine use by just one cycle per week and save £5 a year on energy, and a further £8 a year on metered water bills
  • When cooking keep lids on pans if possible
  • Allow food to cool down before putting it into a fridge or freezer.

Get ahead

A family of four could save £67 a year on gas and a further £100 on metered water. If you've got a shower that takes hot water straight from your boiler or hot water tank (rather than an electric shower), fit a water efficient shower head on a non electric shower.

Spend less time in the shower

Spending one minute less in the shower each day could save £25 a year per person. With a water meter this will save a further £15 off annual water and sewerage bills. If everyone in a four person family did this it would lead to a total saving of £100 a year.

Draught excluder

Unless your home is very new, you will lose some heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor, or through the chimney. DIY draught-proofing of windows, doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can cost around £200, but can help you save up to £35 a year on energy bills.

Take control of your heating

More than half the money spent on fuel bills goes towards providing heating and hot water. The recommended temperature for your living room is 21C. For all other rooms its 18C. By using radiator valves and room programmers to control the temperature you could save up to £80 - £165 a year.

Turn off lights

Turn your lights and appliances off when you’re not using them. If you switch to LED lightbulbs you can save up to £50 a year on your annual energy bills.

Radiators

Keep radiators clear of furniture and close curtains at dusk.  Place radiator reflector panels behind radiators on external facing walls to avoid wasting heat.


2) Can you save by switching energy suppliers?

Are you getting the best deal available with your current gas and electricity supplier? You may be paying more than you need to. Shopping around could help you save on your bills and leave you with some spare cash to spend elsewhere.

Try using uSwitch or Which? to compare gas and electricity tariffs and see if you can start saving today. Find out more about how to switch energy suppliers on our dedicated page.

 

What information do I need to switch?

You’ll need the following information:
  • Your address and postcode
  • Your current supplier and how much energy you use. This will be in ‘Kwh’ and you can find out how much you use on your bills.
  • Have your bills at hand. These should say the kind of tariff you’re on at the moment.

Where is the best place to look?

Online price comparison websites are the best place to find a new deal. These websites put together different suppliers and show you what they will charge depending on the details you have entered.
Don’t be afraid to contact your current supplier as well. You may be able to find a better deal with them without having to move.

What tariff should I take?

There will be different tariffs available.   The two main types of tariffs are called ‘Fixed’ or ‘Variable’.
A ‘Fixed’ tariff sets the amount of gas and electricity you pay for a set period. This means that you might pay less than others but if prices drop further, you will pay more.

A ‘Variable’ tariff means that the price you pay could go up or down depending on how your supplier has set their prices for different times of the year.

Some suppliers offer a ‘Duel Fuel’ tariff which may give you a better deal if you pay for both your gas and electricity through the same supplier.

You can find out more about the different tariffs that could be available to you here.

How should I pay?

How you pay for your gas and electricity will depend on your circumstances and what you feel comfortable with.

The easiest way to pay is through a Direct Debit. Paying by Direct Debit means that you don’t have to worry about arranging a payment every month. Some suppliers may also give you a discount if you pay by Direct Debit.

You can also pay at your bank or post office with the bill you receive. You can usually do this by cash or cheque.

If you’re on a budget, you can pay for your gas and electricity with a ‘Pre-payment meter’. These meters allow you to ‘top-up’ your gas and electricity and pay for what you use, just like a ‘Pay as you go’ mobile phone.  This can help you to avoid large bills but you may pay more for the energy you use.


3) Make your home energy efficient

As well as being more comfortable, an energy efficient home can help you stay healthy and save you money on your gas, electric and water bills.

Find out how you can make your home more energy efficient and how we can help.
  

4) Take control over spending money

Find out how to control spending with this handy tool. Shopper Stopper is a tool designed to give people greater control over spending online and in the shops. For more information, click here.