Small changes, big savings on energy

First Published: 17/07/2019
Finance savings and calculations

Becoming more energy efficient at home is not only for those who want to save the environment; it can also help your wallet. Whatever your reasons, cutting back on energy usage has many benefits.

Some changes are one-time investments, while other things you can do each day. Whether you make a big investment in something like solar panels or insulating your roof, or you opt for switching off your lights, you can still save money.

The average house uses 37% of its energy in the winter, compared to 13% in the summer. For example, if your annual energy bills are £1,000 that equates to approximately £28 a week in the winter months and £10 a week in the summer months. So being extra careful over winter could really pay off.

Tips for using less energy:

  • Dry your washing outside when you can.
  • If you need to replace an old appliance, look for a modern energy-efficienct one with an A++ rating.
  • Replace light bulbs with low-energy ones, or switch to LEDs, which use 90% less energy than traditional incandescent ones.
  • Slightly reduce the time and temperature that your heating and hot water is set to, it can make a big difference.
  • Close doors in your house to retain heat inside each room.
  • Open your window blinds or curtains to let in heat and light and close again once your room has heated up. A large percentage of a room’s heat is lost through the windows.

Find the most competitive energy supplier

You can a compare gas and electricity tariffs at Ofgem-accredited price comparison sites like USwitch and MoneySuperMarket. Click here for a full list of Ofgem-accredited price comparison sites.

These sites also compare mobile phone, landline and broadband tariffs as well as household insurance.

Switch to a water meter?

If you have a water meter fitted, you will only pay for the water you use. Check out the water meter calculator on the Consumer Council for Water’s website to see if you can save some money – it will depend on a number of factors.
Not everyone is better off on a water meter so it’s best to check before making any decisions. If you aren’t online, you can call them on 0300 034 2222 in England or 0300 034 3333 in Wales, Monday – Friday.

Are you elegible for an energy saving grant?

There are also a number of websites where you can check if you are eligible for any saving grants:

  1. Warm home discount
  2. Disabled facilities grant
  3. Winter fuel payment
  4. Cold weather payment
  5. Pension credit
  6. The British Gas Energy Trust
  7. EDF Energy Trust

Dont be afraid to haggle

Don’t be afraid to call your existing supplier and haggle. They would rather keep your business than losing you to a competitor. Let them know that you are thinking of switching and see what they will do to keep your custom. Often they will offer you a discount to stay. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

The better prepared you are the more likely you are to negotiate a discount with your existing supplier – make sure you know how much you’re paying and how much cheaper you could get the service elsewhere if you switched.