Cutting your energy bills
10 ways to save on energy bills
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10 ways to save on energy bills
Save hundreds of pounds on your energy bills with our expert tips. We reveal ways to save electricity plus make your home more energy efficient.
From choosing the best energy tariff to making your home more energy efficient, our advice will help you save money and make your home more comfortable.
Some of our top tips take no longer than a few seconds - so you can get started on saving money on your energy bill today.
Keep reading to find out how to save electricity and gas and cut your energy bills.
1. Switch energy supplier: save £369
If you haven't switched your energy supplier in the last three years, there’s a good chance you could save money.
Consumers who used our independent comparison site, Which? Switch, to switch are currently saving an average of £369 a year on their gas and electricity bills. This is an average figure, based on those who applied to switch suppliers between 1 November 2015 and 30 May 2016. So many customers save a lot more.
Click to see if you could save money now by comparing energy prices.
Already switched energy supplier? Make sure you're on the cheapest tariff. You'll get the biggest savings if you pay by monthly direct debit and choose an online tariff managed on the internet.
If you want the same supplier for gas and electricity, then getting a dual-fuel deal will nearly always be cheaper.
But if you don't mind having separate suppliers, then our research found that going for the cheapest electricity supplier and the cheapest gas supplier would save you even more money.
2. Turn down your thermostat: save £85
Reducing room temperatures by just 1ºC can cut heating bills by up to £85 a year in a typical home, according to the Energy Saving Trust. So put on a jumper rather than turn up the heating.
Already turned down your thermostat? Save even more money by turning down the radiators in rarely used or empty rooms and by programming your heating to turn off when you're not there. For more advice, see our top five tips to effectively using your home heating controls.
You might also find a smart thermostat, which lets you operate your heating remotely via the internet, could help you save money. We've tested smart thermostats - including Nest, Hive and Honeywell Evohome. To find out more, see the best smart thermostats.
3. Replace light bulbs: save £180
Energy-saving light bulbs can help you cut your energy bills easily. An LED light bulb costs around £1.71 to run per year. Over its lifetime, it could cut up to £180 from your energy bills, compared with an old-style bulb.
Remember, energy-saving light bulbs do last longer than traditional ones:
- 1,000 hours - traditional light bulbs
- 10,000 hours - CFLs (10 years of use)
- 25,000 hours - LEDs
LEDs are the most energy-efficient light bulbs and use 90% less energy than traditional incandescents. Best Buy LEDs cost from around £3.50 for one and some can pay for themselves through energy savings in a few months. To find out more, see our light bulb reviews.
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.
4. Cut draughts: save £50
Stopping heat from escaping through unwanted gaps could help you save up to £50 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 pillow to block the chimney, or fit a cap over the chimney pot.
- Floorboards and skirting Floorboards need to move, so use a flexible silicone-based filler to fill the gaps.
- Loft hatches You can prevent hot air escaping by using draught-proofing strips.
Already repaired large draughty areas? Consider smaller holes that let in air, such as keyholes and letterboxes. Find out more in our guide to draught proofing.
5. Choose energy-efficient appliances: save up to £239
If you're replacing an appliance, you can cut your electricity bills by choosing the most energy-efficient model. For example, running costs for washing machines vary between £20 and £100 per year.
In all our lab tests we reveal the annual running costs for each large appliance, from TVs to fridges. You can use the results of our tests to find out how much appliances cost to run, and which ones will be the cheapest.
Choosing the most energy-efficient models can result in annual savings of around £80 for a washing machine, £70 for a tumble dryer and £89 for a fridge-freezer. And our research shows swapping these kitchen appliances for energy-saving ones could save you up to £239 a year.
Already have an energy-saving appliance? Check out our energy-saving tips for more ways to cut energy costs.
6. Get a new boiler: save up to £652 a year
Replacing an old G-rated gas boiler which has no controls with a new condensing model, including a programmer, could trim up to £652 a year from the gas bill of a typical home.
But a new boiler is expensive, costing from around £3,000 when you include installation. So if saving money is your priority, it’s probably not worth replacing your boiler until it’s beyond economic repair.
For detailed information on the savings you could make by replacing different types of boilers, read the five things you need to know before you buy a new boiler.
Already replaced your boiler? Make sure you're using it efficiently. Ensure radiators are working properly, and use the boiler programmer so the heating only comes on when you need it.
7. Home insulation: save up to £315
Insulating both your loft and cavity walls can save you up to £315.
Laying loft insulation to a thickness of 270mm in a typical non-insulated three-bedroom semi could trim £175 a year from energy bills, as less heat will be lost through the roof.
Insulating cavity walls can save around £140 a year. Solid-wall insulation, although more expensive to fit, could save you £260 in the same type of house.
Already installed loft insulation? Even if you already have some insulation, you could save around £15 a year by topping it up from 120mm to the recommended 270mm.
8. 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 £25, but some gas and electricity suppliers give them away free, and you'll get one if your energy supplier replaces your traditional meters with smart meters.
Already got an energy monitor? We reveal our expert tips for getting the most out of your energy monitor.
9. See if you're eligible for free cash - save £££s
Money off your electricity bill, 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 home energy grant guide.
10. Keep your energy bill under control
Paying your energy bill through direct debit means you spread your energy costs over the year and avoid big winter bills. Checking your meter will keep your bill as accurate as possible. This avoid building up a big credit or debit balance.
If you think you've been paying too much and are in credit with your energy supplier, take a meter reading. You can ask for a credit refund at any time, even if it doesn't fit with your energy supplier's automatic refund policy.
Your right to do this is legislated in Condition 27 of the Gas and Electricity Supply Licence Conditions. This says that any credit balance must be refunded if asked for by the customer.
Do remember that if it's summer, you should be building up credit for winter. But if you're owed money, don't hold back. Contact your energy supplier and ask for a refund.
Not happy with your energy supplier? Then choose a better one - we reveal the best and worst energy companies.