How to Cut Your Energy Bills
Every home could make large energy bill savings if they have not already changed their habits or adapted their home to be more energy efficient.
These are some simple tips that require little effort or cost as well as some energy efficiency measures that may be more costly, but you could be eligible for a grant, or they will pay for themselves as they offer greater energy bill savings:
1. Switching suppliers may be simpler than you think
Many UK households are paying too much for their energy as they are put on standard variable tariffs by the energy supplier at the end of a fixed price contract or when they first move into a property. Switching energy suppliers could help you save up to £482 per year.
The easiest way to compare energy suppliers is by using a price comparison site to see which energy supplier can offer you the best tariff. It is worth knowing that you may get a cheaper tariff if you are able to:
- Pay by direct debit
- Manage your account online rather than receiving paper bills, and submit your own meter readings
- Get both gas and electricity from the same supplier on a dual fuel tariff
Power Compare has a price comparison tool that is powered by the uSwitch service that is accredited by Ofgem. To learn more about why you should switch and how the process works, see our useful guides for homeowners and businesses.
You may also want to consider joining a collective energy switching scheme. These schemes enable groups of people join together to switch energy suppliers, and could help you get a better deal.
2. Be energy smart
Understanding how we use energy is not easy, but it could become easier if you switch your meters to smart meters. Energy suppliers must replace all meters with smart meters by 2020 wherever possible and you could elect to get yours installed sooner.
Smart meters are free to customers but not all energy suppliers are starting to install them yet but should be doing so soon.
3. Wrap up your home
Insulating your home is one of the most effective ways of reducing your energy bills and making your home more comfortable to live in. Some homes may be eligible for free energy efficiency measures like insulation through the Energy Company Obligation scheme.
The savings from insulation courtesy of the Energy Saving Trust can be substantial:
- Loft insulation can save £10-225 per year
- Wall insulation can save £70-425 per year (depending on your house and wall type)
- Draught proofing can save £25 per year
To learn more about how insulating your home could save you money, see our insulation guide.
4. Turn it down
You could save £80-85 per year according to the Energy Saving Trust by turning your thermostat down by 1 degree. Why not give it a try? If it feels a bit cold, try adding an extra layer of clothing until you adjust to the change.
5. Add controls
If your heating does not have heating controls, such as a room thermostat, thermostat radiator valves (TRVs), or heating programmers which allow you to control your home heating more effectively then it might be worth investing in them.
The Energy Saving Trust indicates that heating controls can save you around £75 and make your heating easier to manage and more effective.
6. Switch it off
We all are told to switch off appliances and lights, but does it really make much difference. The Energy Savings Trust state that homes could save £30 per year by switching appliances off alone.
7. Cooking efficiency
Cooking food and boiling kettles all use a lot of energy, but you can reduce the amount you use by:
- Only boil the amount of water needed in the kettle
- Use hobs instead of the microwave
- Put lids on pans so the heat is not lost as steam
8. Reduce water consumption
Reducing the amount of water you use can save energy too. Showering instead of having a bath uses less hot water. Reducing the length of your shower will use even less water and energy, as the Energy Saving Trust claim that a family of four could save £80 per year doing this. There are also energy saving showerheads that reduce water consumption.
If you are on a water meter you will make savings on your water bills too.
9. Lighting upgrades
Over the last decade, lighting has evolved massively with energy efficient LED lighting which not only reduces energy consumption but they last much longer too.
You can also get smart light bulbs now that enable you to control your lights through your phone or voice using a smart home device. These bulbs allow you to dim the light to reduce consumption and control them remotely so that if you have a family member who always leaves the lights on you can turn them off from your phone.
10. Replace old appliances
Old appliances can be costing you a lot more on your energy bills, such as boilers, fridges, freezers, cookers, washers, and driers. When feasible you should upgrade your old and inefficient appliances and ensure that you select a new appliance with a high energy efficiency rating.
60% of energy bills are from heating so an old inefficient boiler could be costing you a lot more to run. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that replacing your boiler could save £55-320 per year and the savings are greatest for those boilers with a D-G energy efficiency rating.
Replacing your boiler will reduce your energy bills, be more reliable, and it will help pay for itself. Learn more about boilers, including environmentally friendly options, in our renewable heating guide.
Start to reap the rewards
You may think some of these tips might not make much difference on their own but if you start to combine the savings across all or just some of these tips you can really make a dent in your energy bills.