We all know that energy prices are rising significantly due to a variety of reasons. So, how can we reduce our energy costs? There are a number of things we can do, ranging from smaller changes that add up to a bigger saving, to more substantial savings.
Energy crisis – what you need to know why prices are going up and what to do if you think your provider will go bust or if it has.
10 Top Tips for saving on energy costs
1) I usually advise regularly switching providers, How to take charge of your energy bills. But at the moment there is currently too much turmoil in the sector to be sure that you are getting the best deal. Wait until things have settled down. It is also possible that you may lock yourself into a deal and the price of wholesale gas will come down. Once things have settled and it doesn’t appear like any more providers are going under and comparison sites have offers available again, then start to look. Wait to switch then check cashback deals and going direct before you switch. More in the link above.
2) My Mum has stopped using the electric blanket on her bed and gone back to using a hot wot water bottle! This saves loads! Although an electric blanket can be used in a different way. “As well as wearing warmer clothes, consider an electric fleece blanket. This will keep your body warm and is much cheaper than having an electric heater on trying to heat a room. Plus it’s portable so you can take it with to the rooms you need it that may not be heated”, says Adam Stein of MoneySavvyDaddy.
3) If you have a well insulated house keep it at a constant temperature rather than turning the heating on and off or setting specific times for it to come on. It takes a lot more energy to heat up a cold house with cold walls than it does to keep it at a constant low temperature says Emma Maslin from Money Whisperer.
4) Buying some items can save you money in the long run. For example, consider purchasing an Energy Monitor.* This will measure how much power items are using. So you can check just how much power having your microwave or DVD player on standby really is using! It’s a lot, so don’t leave appliances on standby. And Hayley Muncey from MissManyPennies says “Switch to LED lightbulbs – don’t be put off by the upfront cost, the long term savings are significant and they are just as bright!”
5) There are 50 ideas for saving on energy costs at the Skint Dad Editor, Naomi Willis, says that one of her top tips is simple but effective. “Draft proof everywhere from your cat flap, keyhole, letterbox, chimney, doors, windows. You could save around £50 a year!” On a similar note, Helen Nuttall from BudgetingIsAChallenge, suggests putting a thick curtain in front of your front door, as doors can let out so much heat.
6) Will Pointing from GreatDcom says that washing your clothes on a cooler setting (30-40 centigrade) can be a great saver. “90% of the energy cost of a washing machine is heating up the water!”
7) There are a number of things you can do regarding heating to keep your costs down. HouseholdMoney blogger, Peter Chatfield, says “If there’s a room in your house that you rarely use, turn down the radiator and keep the door closed.”
8) Halimah Omogiafo at Koody says that turning down your thermostat by just one degree could save you up to £80 a year. This was the latest figure provided by USwitch in October 2020. Bearing in mind prices continue to rise this will now increase.
9) “Turn your water and heating settings to ‘ECO’ on the boiler. Eco-Mode uses less energy than a standard 1-5 setting. Saving energy and therefore money as it’s cheaper to run your boiler”, advises Claire Roach of MoneySavingCentral
10) Sara Wiliams from DebtCamel advises that energy bills are “priority debts”. This means that they must be paid even if that leaves you with little or nothing to pay towards credit cards and unsecured loans. “Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can help you work out how much to offer each of your debts, or explain if a debt relief order could help you – that would clear your energy debts.”
You can read more about “priority debts” following this link on the Citizens Advice website.
More on energy All you need to know to make a complaint about energy
How to sort out gas and electricity problems without draining your energy: 20 tips from our Consumer Fightback column – lots of information in my This Is Money column
Help with your complaints
If you need help with complaining effectively and making sure you are never fobbed off. GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!
101 Habits of an Effective Complainer to help you become more skilled and assertive when making complaints