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Want to save money on your household bills? Try our 5 simple tips.
It’s true that there are some expenses in life you simply can’t avoid and the energy you use in your home is one of those. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t some nifty tricks to help you save a packet on your bills.
In this blog we’re going to give you our top 5 tips for saving money on your major household bills. Put some of these ideas into practise, and you might find that paying for your energy isn’t such a drain on your finances after all.
1. Switch your supplier
We know that switching supplier can seem like a lot of hassle, but hear us out! It might actually be simpler than you think and could save you a lot. All you need to switch supplier is a recent energy bill and a few spare minutes.
Visit a comparison site - you can see the Ofgem-accredited ones here – and enter your postcode and usage information. You’ll then get a list of results that – hopefully – includes a choice of plans cheaper than what you’re currently on. You just need to confirm your switch with your new supplier and provide them with your payment details.
There will then be a two-week cooling off period in case you change your mind before your new supplier takes over. That’s it!
According to research conducted by the Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA) earlier this year, around 70% of customers are paying more than they need to for their energy. Make sure this isn’t you by comparing what’s out there and switching to a cheaper tariff.
2. Get energy-saving lightbulbs
Energy-saving lightbulbs are not only good for the environment but also your wallet. Just pop down to your local supermarket or homeware shop and pick some up – you should make back the money you spend on them through savings on your energy bills and they also last longer than traditional lightbulbs.
3. Keep your heat in
Make sure you’re not paying more than you need to for heating because all the hot air your radiators pump out escapes straight out of your home. Doors, windows, chimneys and loft hatches are the main places where homes lose heat unnecessarily.
Open the curtain or blinds to let as much light into your home as possible during the day but close them as soon as it’s dusk. You should feel a difference if you have curtains lined with thermal material – a cheap way to achieve this is to line your current ones with fleece.
Stop hot air from escaping through the door by placing draught excluders at the bottom and making sure that keyholes and letterboxes have covers and brushes attached.
As a general rule, try to avoid placing large pieces of furniture in front of your radiators and keep doors closed when you’re trying to heat a room up. A simple radiator reflector – a large piece of reflective material you place behind the radiator – can also help make the heat go further.
4. Check if you’re entitled to help
If you’re on benefits, you may find that you’re entitled to help with the cost of insulating your loft and replacing or repairing your boiler. To be eligible you have to own or privately rent your home and get one of the following:
• Pension Credit
• Working Tax credit
• Income Support
• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Income-related Employment and Support and Allowance
• Universal Credit
• Child Tax Credit
For a full breakdown of who is entitled to what and to find out how to apply, have a look at this Government page.
5. Change from Pre-payment to direct debit
When it comes to energy, the best deals are available to customers who pay via direct debit rather than pre-payment meters. If you’ve got a pre-payment meter, it may be possible for you to switch - you just need to check a couple of things first.
To start with, if you’re been put on a pre-payment meter because you’ve missed payments in the past, your supplier will want to complete a credit check to see whether you’re eligible for their direct debit option.
Secondly, you’ll need to make sure that your account is up to date – that you’ve paid everything you owe them before you try and change.
For more information on why some people have to pay their bills a certain way, have a look at our blog on pre-payment meters versus direct debits.
by Christine WalshBack to blog home