One thing that goes up, and up and up is you guessed it your Gas and Electricity costs, well now its time to beat the energy companies, and fight back with our always rising energy costs, we at Puffy Penguin has put together this post about top tips to save you money on your energy bills! So stick with us and see below the top 10 tips
All of the big energy companies are announcing price rises all the time! Battle the hikes by grabbing a cheaper tariff.
There is a £300-a-year difference between the best and worst tariffs, according to the price comparison website uSwitch.
Make sure you sign up to a fixed deal.
1) STOP WITH THE CASH:
Yes that’s right, stop paying companies by Cash, Cheque or calling and making payments each week, month or how often you pay!
You can make serious savings just by changing the way you pay your bills. Most energy companies reserve their best deals for online customers. So if you have access to a computer, use it.
Energy providers will also give you a better deal if you sign up to gas and electricity — a so-called dual fuel tariff.
You can also get a hefty discount — often as much as £100 a year on the average bill — if you pay by monthly direct debit.
Paying by cash or cheque is expensive. Only use this method of payment if you have to.
If you have access to the internet, you can also cut costs by viewing bills online, rather than receiving paper bills in the post.
Alot of companies, will CHARGE you for your own bill delivered! But this cost can be cut instantly by getting your bill online, maybe known as an E-Bill.
2) LEAVE THE THERMOSTAT ALONE, AND GRAB YOUR CARDI:
Most families have the heating on at 20 degrees all day, and wander about the house in summer wear (Shorts & T-shirts)
Turn down the thermostat just one degree, to 19 degrees, and put on a jumper or cardigan and you can shave your heating bill.
You can have a WHOPPING £60 a year saving for the typical household, not bad for wearing a jumper aye?
You’ll hardly notice the difference if your house is well insulated.
If your hot water is piping hot, it’s probably too high. Set the thermostat to no more than 60c
Make sure the central heating and hot water are off when you’re out for the day — whether that’s at work, school or visiting relatives. Use the timer sparingly so it comes on only when necessary, and when someone is actually in the house.
Turn off the radiators in rooms you’re not using, and simply keep the windows closed when the heating is on in the rooms your heating up – simple really…
You could even invest in a hot water bottle for less than £3, most if not all major supermarkets sell these.
3) TURN OFF YOUR LIGHTS, AND APPLIANCES:
Lighting accounts for 19% of the average household’s electricity bill. Energy-saving bulbs can take off £55 per year from your bill also the energy saving bulbs last ten times longer than normal versions, and use 80pc less energy. Each bulb replaced can save you around £120 over its lifetime, according to the Energy Saving Trust, see LED’s are clever little things!
Ignore anyone who says it takes more electricity to switch lights back on than is saved switching them off — experts say that is just a myth.
Cut out any bad habits. Turning off lights when you nip to the shops on a gloomy winter evening and on landings at night can save £10 a year.
Unplug appliances and devices that have the ‘standbye’ light on when idle (you know the red LED one) . That’s the TV, DVD player and even the mobile phone charger, internet router, that sort of thing say byebye to the standbye light and hello to cheaper energy bills!
Wait until the dishwasher is full before you switch it on — one full load uses less energy than two half loads.
4) BE SAVY WITH YOUR HOUSES WATER:
Turn down the heat on your washing machine, alot of modern washing machines now has a ‘quick wash’ setting, use this when able and reap the rewards! If your unfortunate to not have this setting, then simply turn your machine down to 30 degrees or less.
Use tumble-driers sparingly, these things rack up the energy bills, if you do need to use this then make sure that you save on loads and pile into 1, if you have any half loads then add in towels to absorb the water and allow for quicker drying times.
Don’t waste hot water — the more you use, the more you have to heat, pretty simple really.
A dripping tap wastes enough hot water to fill 69 baths a year. Tighten it with a spanner or call a plumber or a savy friend or relative.
Running a bath uses up to 100 litres of water. Showering instead uses much less — rarely more than 35 litres — and saves £18 a year, showers are quicker and sure are cheaper, have a bath as a treat! Not an everyday essential.
Put lids on your saucepans, so when your cooking your veg on the hob, make sure to keep it lidded, that way your temperature will heat alot quicker and you will save money because no heat is escaping.
5) CLAIM FROM THE GOV:
Last year, the Government paid out to more than 12 million people, for something called Winter Fuel Benefits, The winter fuel payment is an annual, tax-free benefit paid to people over the age of 61, irrespective of how much they have earned.
The amount you receive ranges between £200 and £300, depending on your age and circumstances. For example, people aged between 61 and 70 can claim up to £200. Those aged over 80 can claim up to the full £300. However, if you live with a partner who also qualifies you will get only part of the benefit. Be aware that the qualifying age for this benefit for men and women is rising in line with the increase in women’s state pension age — currently 61.
A separate benefit, called the cold weather payment, is paid in the event of exceptionally cold weather.
If the temperature is below zero degrees in your postcode area for seven days in a row between November and March, you will receive an extra £25, so get checking the temp here!
These payments are usually paid automatically to those who are eligible for the scheme.
But if you haven’t received the payment before and are not getting the state pension or another benefit, you may need to apply.
Men under 65 who are too young to claim their state pension are most likely to miss out.
6) READ & CHECK YOUR METER:
Say bye-bye to estimated charges, and hello to ACTUAL meter readings, as you are probably aware Energy Companies bill their customers on ‘Estimated usage’ by following these tips here, you can actually provide Actual readings which maybe cheaper than the estimated amounts the companies ‘Think’ you will use.
Check your meter once every three months at the very least. Record your usage by calling your supplier or setting up an online account, most of them have this now so it really is as simple as pushing a few keys on your keyboard and submitting.
If you are in Credit on your account, then ask for the money back! Don’t leave it on your account for energy, putting this in your actual bank account can earn you interest. If your energy companies makes a fuss when your asking for a refund, just tell them this – quote ‘condition 27 of the Gas Supply Licence’. This states that credits must be refunded and direct debits fair.
7) OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW… BOILER:
Getting rid of an old boiler can cut costs dramatically over the longer term for you and your family members,
Boilers swallow 79% of your total fuel usage, according to Energy Saving Trust.
Scrapping a creaking model and putting in a more efficient one can cut bills by as much as £240 a year.
You will have to shell out on the initial cost to make this money mind;
Get quotes — don’t simply get your energy company to fit one. The prices can be vastly inflated compared with what an independent plumber will cost you, so go about online and get searching.
The top new boilers from brands such as Vaillant, Worcester or Baxi cost anything from £600 to more than £2,000.
And getting a plumber to fit it can cost another £600 – as you can see it can be a costly ordeal!
For bigger houses and families, this may be a good idea — for pensioners, however, it’s likely to be impractical and expensive.
Due to the initial cost, it would take 10½ years to break even, consider this when your choosing this option is it viable for you?
8) GET YOUR FREE INSTALLATION:
Take up the offer of the free installation deals out there, by making your home more energy efficient you are also making your bills alot cheaper, you can literally save £100’s of pounds per year!
Loft installation can save you up to £175 per year (according to the Energy Saving Trust)
Getting your Cavity Walls insulated, can add a further £135 per year to your savings pot – see not bad for FREE is it?
Energy suppliers are all offering deals because they have to meet the strict targets set by the government, failing that they will be facing a hefty fine, so bad news for them, good for us, what does this mean for us? – Put simply we can all benefit from these free deals even the middle value and high value household incomes can still have it to.
Even the poorest of family incomes can also claim up to £3,500 in government grants to help. The Warm Front scheme pays a company to improve insulation on your loft, cavity walls and hot-water tank.
To qualify, you must receive Pension Credit with your state pension, have an income below £15,860 and receive Child Tax Credit or Working Tax credits, or claim income support.
9) SHOP AROUND:
Simply check out comparison sites and see how much you could save by switching your energy supplier, you can save up to £400 per year alone by simply changing the supplier for the same service, just make sure when you do make the switch it is always best to go with a Fixed Term deal, meaning you won’t have no nasty pricing hikes during your contract!
Want to stay with your current supplier? – Then pick up the phone and see if your on the best deal, they literally have handfuls of new tarriffs coming out almost weekly, make sure your Tariff isn’t costing you more than a shiny new one!
10) CASH IN FROM THE SUN:
Solar Panels – Let the sun help heat and run your home.
UK government has gradually reduced the feed in tariff for solar it is still possible to get free solar in the UK if you have a good roof space.
Whether you should get them is a much more difficult question. Essentially when you get free solar panels you are renting out your roof space for twenty years in exchange for free electricity when the sun shines.
If you get free solar you can typical expect to cut your electricity bill by about a third, so around the £200 a year figure. Before doing so you should consider if this will affect your home’s value.
So that brings us to the end of our Money Saving Tips, we hope you enjoyed, why not comment below or follow us on Twitter – @puffyblog or our brand new Instagram page- puffyblogs.
Thanks for reading –
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