Despite the Government freezing energy prices for two years from 1 October under the Energy Price Guarantee (alongside direct financial aid in the form of a £400 electricity bills discount between October and March), bill payers could still pay an average of £237 more for energy over the three coldest months than they did last year.
This research comes as Uswitch launches its new app, Utrack, which is designed to help households track and reduce their energy use. By connecting a smart meter to it, users can see where their energy is being used and get tips and advice to ensure they’re not using more than they need to.
Alongside the launch of Utrack, Uswitch’s Check, Track and Change plan is designed to get UK households thinking about the amount of energy they use and taking action where needed.
Check your meter readings are up to date. If you don’t have a smart meter, regularly take meter readings and submit them to your supplier. This ensures that your bill is accurate and lets your supplier modify your direct debit to match your usage.
Check your other household bills. At the moment you might not be able to save when it comes to your energy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cut costs across your other household bills. Reviewing your broadband, TV and mobile packages, especially if you are out of contract, could be a quick and simple way to reduce your monthly outgoings.
Check what energy support schemes or grants you, or any vulnerable friends or relatives, may qualify for. If you are struggling with your bills, there is help available from the Government and energy suppliers. The Warm Home Discount scheme will open for applications in November, but many suppliers have their own customer support funds, with some offering home insulation and energy-efficient white goods.
Track your energy usage for free with Utrack. Utrack by Uswitch is a new app to help you manage your home energy costs. With features focused on controlling your home energy by connecting to your smart meter, it could help you reduce the cost of your household bills.
With Utrack, you can:
Track your energy across the day and monitor changes in your energy spend
Get dynamic energy insights, such as peak usage times
Calculate potential savings with handy household tips
Download it on the App Store and Google Play now.
Track your energy settings. Even if you don’t have a smart meter, you can still monitor how often you use energy-intensive appliances, such as your washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher, and consider which settings you use. See if you can save money by running them only when full, or using eco settings and lower temperatures. Some tariffs will charge you less if you run them overnight.
Change the way you use your appliances. Tracking your usage may help you see how changing some habits can make a difference in your home. Whether that’s setting your wash cycle at a lower temperature, ditching the tumble dryer, or running the dishwasher only with a full load, small changes may have a big impact on your next meter reading.
Change your thermostat setting. For those who can, turning your thermostat down by just one degree could reduce your energy bill by up to ten per cent. The Energy Saving Trust recommends heating your home to between 18 to 21 degrees Celsius during winter while the World Health Organisation suggests 18 degrees for healthy people.
Change your door seals and window dressings. Draught-proofing is a quick and cost-effective way to prevent heat escaping from your home, which can save you around £45 a year. Fitting door seals between doors and frames, attaching brushes under draughty external doors and using chimney balloons will all keep the heat in. Thick curtains can also help prevent heat loss from windows.
Ben Gallizzi, energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Energy bills are still due to rise in October despite the Government support, and we know that many people are feeling anxious about the winter ahead.
“Keeping on top of your home energy consumption will be especially important during the coldest months when the heating comes on.“
With more people looking at how they can cut down their energy bills this winter, getting a deeper understanding of your household usage will help you find ways to save money around the home.”
With energy prices still high, there are limited options for both saving money and limiting your impact on the environment. Previously you’d have been able to switch to a better energy deal with one of the increasing number of green energy suppliers, but this is no longer the case.Learn more
What is the energy price freeze and what does it mean for you? Find out how energy prices are changing with the Energy Price Guarantee.Learn more
What does the average UK gas and electricity bill look like? See how your energy usage and bills compare against Ofgem's averages for 2022.Learn more