10 ways to help you save money on your home energy bills

1. Switch energy supplier: save £237

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 £237 a year on their gas and electricity bills. This is an average figure, based on those who applied to switch suppliers between 1 November 2016 and 30 April 2017. So many customers save a lot more.

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. You might also find a smart thermostat, which lets you operate your heating remotely via the internet, could help you save money.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Read original article here: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/cutting-your-energy-bills/article/how-to-save-on-your-energy-bill/10-ways-to-save-on-energy-bills – Which?