This winter saw each of the big six energy companies put their prices up and despite these being curbed by cuts to green levies, the vast majority of people will see their energy costs rise in 2014. What follows is a list of tips and tricks to help get your energy bills under control this year.
If you’re interested in getting your personal finance and accounts in order this year, our Money news site has five tips to help you on your way.
1. Switch your energy provider
Recent research carried out by uSwitch found that just 38% of homes in Britain have changed their gas and electricity provider. This means the majority of the country continues to overpay for their energy. Run a quick, free price comparison to save up to £350*on your bill.
There are plenty of different options out there for anyone looking to switch to a better energy tariff. You can lock energy rates for up to three years with a number of fixed price tariffs, select a variable plan and hope rates don’t go up, or even pick a tariff that uses ‘green’ methods to produce energy.
*Between 1 June 2013 and 30 November 2013, more than 10% of people who changed energy provider for gas and electricity with uSwitch saved a minimum of £350
2. Turn off lights and appliances when you’re not using them!
An oldie but a goodie. Research from the Energy Saving Trust found that Brits waste between £50 and £86 every year powering appliances which aren’t being used. Just think of all the energy those new video game consoles and gadgets are going to drain when you’re not even in the house.
Do yourself and the environment a favour: if it’s not in use, turn it off.
3. Energy saving gadgets
There are plenty of these out there and of course some are far better than others. Popular items include radiator boosters, which increase the efficiency of your heaters, radiator keys, to make sure your heater isn’t full of air, and plug-in thermostats, to control when the heating is on.
4. Talk to your supplier about installing a smart meter
uSwitch research found that households which already have smart meters are enjoying more accurate billing and higher satisfaction rates in relation to their energy suppliers. 92% of survey respondents said they were happy the equipment was installed and a further 87% said they would recommend getting a smart meter.
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, referred to the study as “the clearest evidence yet that smart meters will be a game-changer for consumers.”
5. Help friends and family switch their provider
Already switched your energy provider? How about helping out someone who’s not so savvy. It’s easy to help someone else find a better energy deal, just be by their side as they run a comparison or make a phone call. You know how easy it is to save, but not everyone is as confident using the internet. Join the conversation and get more information with #giftaswitch.
6. Make your home more energy efficient
When it comes to saving energy there are plenty of things you can do to improve your home. Wall and loft insulation will help keep you warm and ensure heat doesn’t keep seeping out through your roof, walls and windows. Draught proofing is a cheap way to keep the heat in during winter.
If you’re interested in any of the above it’s worth checking out the government’s Green Deal scheme. The scheme essentially offers a loan to those looking to improve their homes’ energy efficiency status. You can find out more in our Green Deal guide section.
You can find plenty of other ideas in our energy saving guides.