How to cut energy costs 10 ways to save cash on energy
Cut what you spend on energy
Take a look at our experts' top tips on making your home more efficient to save you money on your gas and electricity bills this winter.
1. Switch energy supplier
If you haven't switched your energy supplier in the last three years, there’s a good chance you could save money.
See if you could save money by comparing gas and electricity supplier with our independent comparison site Which? Switch. Customers who have their gas and electricity supplier saved an average of £217 a year.
Already switched supplier? Make sure you're on the cheapest tariff. The biggest savings are for paying by monthly direct debit, online tariffs managed on the internet, or duel fuel deals, so make sure you take advantage of these options if you can. Find out more about getting the best deal from your supplier.
2. Free energy help: save £250
The Energy Saving Trust has a free home energy check that will help you find out where to make energy-efficiency improvements and how much you might save.
It estimates some households could save £250 by following its personalised advice.
3. Get an energy monitor
An energy monitor is a simple handheld gadget that estimates in real time how much energy you're using, so you can see where to cut back.
Monitors cost from around £40, but some gas and electricity suppliers give them away free. Read our energy monitor reviews to choose the best energy monitor for you.
Already got an energy monitor? We reveal our expert tips for getting the most out of your energy monitor.
4. Turn down your thermostat: save £65
Reducing room temperatures about just 1ºC can cut heating bills by around £65 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust, so put on a jumper rather than turning up the heating.
Already turned down your thermostat? Save even more by turning down the radiators in rarely-used or empty rooms and by programming your heating to turn off when you're not there.
Take a look at our top five tips to using your home heating controls effectively.
5. Replace light bulbs: save £60
Energy saving-light bulbs can help you cut your energy bills easily. If you replace all the light bulbs in your house with energy saving ones, you could save about £60 a year.
Remember, energy-saving light bulbs do last longer than traditional ones - most CFLs claim lifetimes upwards of 6,000 hours and LEDs around 25,000 hours, where as traditional light bulbs last around 1,000 hours.
Read our light bulb reviews to find out which bulbs we rate Best Buys and discover which type of energy-saving light bulb you need.
Already use energy-saving bulbs? Remember to switch off lights when not in use, and use the best bulb for the size of room or the job it will do.
6. Cut draughts: save £75
Stopping heat from escaping through unwanted gaps could help you save around £75 a year. Take a look at the following areas:
- Windows - use draught-proofing strips around the frame, brush strips work better for sash windows.
- Doors - use draught-proofing strips for gaps around the edges and brush or hinged flap draught excluders on the bottom of doors.
- Chimney and fireplace - if you don't use your fireplace, use an inflatable cushion to block the chimney or fit a cap over the chimney pot.
- Floorboards and skirting - as floorboards need to move, use a flexible silicon-based filler to fill the gaps.
- Loft hatches - the use of draught-proofing strips will help stop hot air escaping.
Already repaired large draughty areas? Consider smaller holes of air such as keyholes and letterboxes.
Find out more in our guide to draught proofing.
7. Choose cheaper-to-run gadgets: save up to £93
If you're replacing an appliance, you can cut your electricity bills by choosing the most energy-efficient model you can - for example, a running costs for washing machines vary between £12 and £47 per year. In all our lab tests we reveal the annual running costs for all large appliances, from TVs to fridges. Just check out our energy running cost calculators page for links to tools which tell you how much appliances costs to run, and which ones will be the cheapest.
Choosing the most energy-efficient models over a least efficient ones can result in annual savings of around £35 for washing machines, £93 for a tumble dryers and £88 for a fridge-freezers. Find our more about cheap-to-run appliances.
Already have an energy-saving appliance? Check out our energy-saving tumble dryer tips for more ways to cut energy costs.
8. Get a new boiler: save as much as £310 a year
Replacing an old gas boiler with a new condensing model could trim an average of £310 a year from your gas bill.
A new boiler is expensive, with installation costing around £2,500, so if saving money is your priority it’s probably not worth replacing yours until it’s beyond economic repair.
For detailed information on the savings you could make by replacing different types of boilers, read our guide to boiler efficiency.
Already replaced your boiler? Make sure you're using it efficiently. Ensure radiators are working properly and you are using the boiler programmer so the heating only comes on when you need it. See our full guide to using your boiler and heating controls.
9. Insulate your home: save up to £320
Insulating both your loft and cavity walls can save you up to £320, and there are currently a number or free insulation deals to help you pay for it.
Laying loft insulation to a thickness of 270mm in a typical non-insulated three-bedroomed semi could trim £180 a year from energy bills, as less heat will be lost through the roof.
Insulating cavity walls can save around £140 a year and solid wall insulation, although more expensive to fit, solid wall insulation could save you £460 to £490 a year.
Already installed loft insulation? Even if you already have some insulation you could save £25 a year by topping it up from 100mm to the recommended 270mm.
10. See if you're eligible for free cash - save £££s
Half-price cavity wall insulation, money towards installing solar panels and grants for buying a new boiler are just some of the schemes currently on offer to help you save money on energy, for less.
Find out what you could be eligible for in our energy grant guide.
There is also money available to those struggling with energy bill payments - see our guide to help if you can't pay your energy bill.