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Benefits and money advice

Energy saving tips

Lowering your energy bills could be easier than you think. Read on for our super-simple energy saving tips.

Image: Energy saving tips
  • Switching providers
  • Heating and hot water tips
  • Electricity tips
  • Extra financial help

Switching providers

Our top tip for saving money is to switch your gas and electricity provider as it could save you a pretty penny, and it's so easy to do. Whether you switch or not make sure you keep up with your utility bills. If you're struggling to pay get in touch with your provider sooner rather than later.

Tip 1

Our top tip is that switching your gas and electricity provider could save you money. Companies like Switch Aid, USwitch and Compare the Market can help to find you cheaper deals, as long as you’re not tied in with your current provider.

Tip 2

Paying for dual fuel by Direct Debit is usually the cheapest way to get gas and electricity.

Tip 3

Pre-payment meters are often the most expensive ways to pay for your energy, however they can help people to budget and ensure that they don’t get large bills. Switching is possible for pre-payment customers and this can save you money so is worth looking at.

Tip 4

If you don’t want to switch or can’t because of arrears, call your provider and ask them to make sure you’re on the lowest rate possible.

Heating and hot water tips

Keeping your home warm in the colder months can be costly, but here are some tips to help you keep those costs down.

Tip 1

The extra money spent on heating your home during the colder months can really add up so keep a close eye on how you’re using it. Turning your thermostat down by just one degree could cut your heating bills by a whopping 10%!

Tip 2

If you have thermostatic valves on your radiators, turn them down in any rooms you don’t use that much. You’ll be amazed what a difference it can make to your bill at the end of the month. Keep your home at a constant temperature, ideally 18–21oC. This will help you stay warm and well and also help reduce your fuel bill.

Tip 3

Use your boiler and heating controls correctly, with the programmer set to match your needs. For example, setting your heating to come on half an hour before you get up in the morning could make a big difference to your energy costs.

Tip 4

Place draft excluders under all your doors and stick insulation strips around your windows. These will stop cold air from coming into the room while preventing any warm air from escaping. These can be bought cheaply in most DIY stores.

Tip 5

Never hang your washing on the radiators. This reduces the amount of heat available to warm up the room. Instead, hang your washing on a clothes airer in a warm, dry room.

Tip 6

Make sure your hot tap is always turned completely off. Ignoring the drip, drip, drip of a leaky tap wastes a lot of water and could really ramp up your bills.

Tip 7

Always cook food with the lids on. This saves heat and allows you to cook food faster using slightly lower temperatures, meaning you use less energy.

Prepare for the colder months

Read our helpful advice on how to make sure you and your home are ready for the winter months.

In debt with your energy supplier?

If you’re in debt to your energy supplier and struggling to find the money to pay them back, then please speak to your supplier as soon as possible. If they know there’s a problem they can work with you to find a solution. Visit our debt advice pages for more help.

Electricity tips

If you’re in debt to your energy supplier and struggling to find the money to pay them back, then please speak to your supplier as soon as possible. If they know there’s a problem they can work with you to find a solution. Visit our debt advice pages for more help.

It's surprising how following these few simple steps could help reduce your electricity bills.

Tip 1

Never leave your TVs, computers or stereos on standby. By leaving that little red light on, you’re actually wasting a surprising amount of electricity. It’s much better for your wallet to turn them off at the wall - and much safer too! Read our guide to electrical safety for more advice.

Tip 2

Make sure you don’t overfill the kettle when making a cuppa. It might seem small but only boiling what you need will help save money and energy.

Tip 3

Turn off the lights in rooms you’re not using. It’s a really easy thing to forget and can make all the difference to your bills at the end of the month.

Tip 4

Always cook food with the lids on. This saves heat and allows you to cook food faster using slightly lower temperatures, meaning you use less energy.

Extra financial help

Are you eligible for extra financial help in the winter months? If you're struggling to pay your gas and electricity bills there are some additional extra payments and schemes available to help.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

If you receive any of the following, you might be able to claim a Warm Home Discount from your supplier:

  • Guaranteed Credit (part of Pension Credit)
  • Limited Capability for Work Related Activity (part of Universal Credit)
  • Support Group payment (part of Employment Support Allowance)

The Warm Home Discount Scheme could give you an extra £140 towards your fuel bill. Your Winter Fuel payment and Cold Weather payments are not affected by this. To find out if you’re eligible, please contact your energy supplier or visit the government's Warm Home Discount Scheme website

Cold Weather Payment

Has the temperature been below zero degree celsius for the past seven days? You might be able to get a Cold Weather payment if you’re getting certain benefits. The payment gives you £25 for every seven days the average temperature in your area is recorded as (or forecast to be) zero degrees celsius or below. To find out more, please visit the government’s Cold Weather Payment website.

Winter Fuel Payment

If you’re over the age of 65, you could be entitled to extra money towards your energy bills with the Winter Fuel Payment. To find out more, please visit the government’s Winter Fuel Payment website.

Prepare for the colder months

Read our helpful advice on how to make sure you and your home are ready for the winter months.

What benefits can you claim?

Find out what benefits you can claim with this free and and anonymous calculator.

50/50 financial inclusion team

Talk to us

Our advisors are trained to give free, one to one support, if you're worried about money. If you're struggling to pay your rent, looking for benefits advice or help with budgeting then give us a call.

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