How to cut your energy costs

Top tips to help you save on your energy costs

Reduce your energy costs
(Image credit: Getty)

Energy costs have escalated recently. The shortage of gas supplies in recent days has seen millions of households hit with high energy costs. To add to the pressure, next month’s energy price cap could see further increases. We take a look at how to reduce your energy costs and keep those bills as low as possible with these top tips. 

 Switch to save on your energy costs 

Shopping around for a cheaper energy deal is the best way to reduce your bill, but beware that many price comparison sites are currently not offering energy comparison services due to gas shortages and the current energy crisis. You may have to go directly to a provider to see if you can save on your current tariff, or even see if your existing provider has a cheaper deal. 

The switching process is straightforward and should take no longer than three weeks with no interruption to your supply.

Find the best energy prices online

 Setting up a direct debit to pay for your energy is a sensible idea. Not only will you never forget to pay, but it works out around 7%, or £85 a year, cheaper on average than if you were to pay any other way. Remember to give your supplier regular meter readings so that you are paying the correct amount each month. You can usually do this online, via an app or automatically if you have a smart meter. Accurate meter readings can save on your energy bill by making sure you do not overpay with estimated costs. 

Save money on energy bills using Debit Debit

Setting up a direct debit to pay for your energy is a sensible idea as it will immediately cut your bill. Not only will you never forget to pay, but it works out around 7%, or £85 a year, cheaper on average than if you were to pay any other way. Remember to give your supplier regular meter readings so that you are paying the correct amount each month. You can usually do this online, via an app or automatically if you have a smart meter. Accurate meter readings can save on your energy bill by making sure you do not overpay with estimated costs. 

Cash support for your energy bills 

Those who are elderly and/or on low incomes may be eligible for financial support. Pensioners can receive one-off winter fuel payments from the government of up to £300, while the warm home discount, worth up to £140 a year and the cold weather payments of up to £25 a week, are designed to support people through the winter. Some energy suppliers also offer grant schemes for struggling customers.  

Turn the heating down to cut your gas bill

Heating and hot water costs make up around half of your energy bill, so this is where the biggest savings can be made in the home. Start by turning your heating down by just one degree - it could save you up to £80 a year on your energy bills. Visit the Energy Saving Trust for tips on how to reduce your energy usage. 

Why a new boiler can save you money on energy costs

Installing a new boiler isn’t cheap but if you can afford the initial outlay then replacing your battered old boiler with an super energy-efficient one could save you up to £300 a year, according to experts. Look for a top-rated A-rated boiler.  

See if you can get the Clean Heat Grant - you could receive £7,000 to replace your boiler if you go for an eco alternative. The Clean Heat grant is available from the government next year.

 Turn appliances off to reduce electricity bills 

We Brits have an average of 10 electrical items plugged in and switched on around our homes at any one time which we aren’t using, according to energy supplier Utilita. Turning your television set off at the mains can save you up to £16 of electricity a year. Doing the same with an X-box or Playstation can double that figure. It all adds up. 

Buy energy efficient white goods to save on energy costs 

We’re not suggesting you throw away well-functioning appliances but when your fridge or washing machine come to the end of their lives, make sure their replacements are as energy efficient as possible. Upgrading a C-rated fridge freezer to a top rate A+++ one could save you £113 a year, according to Energy Local.  

Washing at a lower the temperature can reduce your gas and electric bill

Putting your dirty clothes in a 30 degree wash instead of 40 degrees reduces your energy consumption per cycle by up to 60%, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Cutting out one cycle per week, perhaps by wearing your clothes more before you wash them, could save you £5 a year. 

 Get a smart thermostat to reduce your energy usage

Rather than running around the house turning radiators on and off, a smart thermostat could do the job for you. It has the ability to only warm the rooms you are using and knows how long it takes to heat your home. Using an app, you can time it just right so that you never need to return home from work to a cold house. Uswitch estimates that a smart heating system can save you around £75 a year. 

 Use energy saving or LED light bulbs 

Energy-saving light bulbs are a no-brainer. Even though they cost a little bit more to buy than an ordinary bulb, you will save money in the long-run. They use less energy so your bills are cheaper, they last longer so you will need to buy fewer bulbs and they are just as bright. If you swapped all your old bulbs you would save around £30 a year on average. 

Insulate your home to save on gas costs 

 This needs initial investment, but getting wall and loft insulation and installing double or triple glazing on your windows will save you paying for energy that is being lost from your home.

Don’t forget your water pipes too. It takes longer to heat running water in uninsulated pipes. You may be able to get some cheap or free insulation through your energy firm, especially if you're on low income.

Avoid wasting money on energy by cutting out the draft

Heat doesn’t just escape from the walls and roof, but more obviously through gaps around the doors and windows, in the floorboards, or through the chimney and fireplace. Draft-proofing your home can save around £20 a year in a typical home and even more if you get a professional in to do it for you, according to the Energy Saving Trust. 

 Monitor your energy usage with a smart meter

Smart meters aren’t without their detractors, but they do enable you to keep an eye on how much energy you are using and when. It can help identify where you can change some of your habits. Some energy providers will offer a cheaper tariff if you agree to have a smart meter installed.