Save on gas and electricity this winter

Recent price hikes by gas and electricity suppliers including the likes of British Gas, Scottish Power, E.ON Energy and Scottish and Southern Energy are set to make life miserable for families this winter.

With Npower also announcing plans to increase their prices shortly, we have drawn up some guidelines on how you can reduce your fuel bill so you don’t pay over the odds when it comes to gas and electricity.

1. Compare and switch gas and electricity suppliers

Now that the majority of price increases have been announced, it is a good time to find out which of the energy providers will be the best supplier for your home this winter. By using your postcode, you can impartially compare all the updated tariffs for suppliers in your area, and then simply choose the best deal.
Long term fixed tariffs are often a good idea as they offer insurance against price hikes that may happen in the future.

2. Change your usage

By becoming more conscious about how much gas and electricity you are using you can save. Make sure you don’t leave lights on unnecessarily, invest in energy efficient light bulbs and don’t leave appliances on standby. 

Remember that the most energy-efficient way to heat your home to set the timer, so that it comes on when you need it most. This might be half an hour before you get out of bed for example (but make sure it goes off again when you leave for work). Similarly set it to come on before you come home in the evening. You can also save if you lower or turn off your gas and electricity before you go to sleep. Reducing the temperature of the thermostat by 1°C can save as much as £70 a year.

3. Make sure you insulate

The most simple way to reduce fuel bills in the long term is to ensure your home is insulated. If you have cavity walls, insulating them could significantly reduce the amount of energy you consume by as much as 15% and could save you an average of £120 a year.

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Posted by: Nicola Severn Categories: Finance Tags: , , , 4 Comments

4 Responses to Save on gas and electricity this winter

  1. avatar Di Walker says:

    I agree about not leaving things on standby, but I have been assured (by the husband) that it doesn’t use a lot of electric – still not so sure, but moreso that if you turn things off at the mains, your clocks, tuners also go off and every time you go to put things like the TV, radio/stereo on they need tuning in first – is this true?? Or is there an alternative way?
    Regards

  2. avatar nicolasevern says:

    If possible it is always best (for both the environment and your electricity bill) to switch devices off at the wall. However, taking into account your comment about clocks and timers, the next best thing is to turn the TV off using the on/off button on the actual set (not the remote).
    Much of the equipment that is left in Standby mode could actually be switched off completely. Most DVD recorders (and even later design VCRs) can reset their timer clock when they are switched back on by reading the time from TV signal. Digital radios using HD Radio, DAB or DRM can do the same thing. This eliminates the old problem of having to laboriously reset the clock by hand whenever the power was disconnected.
    However, most DVD recorders, PVRs and digital TV receivers still expect to be left in standby mode rather than completely turned off and some equipment does not have a true on/off switch, and can only be truly switched off by turning of the wall socket or removing the mains plug.
    Ultimately it is for you to decide if the hassle of having to re-set clocks etc. is worth the money saving and environmental advantages you could achieve by completely switching appliances off.
    For more information visit http://www.energy-saving-electronics.info/standby-power.htm

  3. avatar CompareGasAndElectricity says:

    Home insulation is a cost-effective solution that will definitely help you lower your utility bills. Installing double-glazed windows and attic insulation are two other tasks that offer a good return on your investment. Also, consider a new water heater and when you buy new appliances, such as a refrigerator or washing machine, make sure it is energy efficient. The government often offers rebates for many of these appliances and home improvements. Lastly, comparing energy suppliers can save several hundred pounds a year and is worth the short amount of time it takes to check.

  4. Home insulation is a cost-effective solution that will definitely help you lower your utility bills. Installing double-glazed windows and attic insulation are two other tasks that offer a good return on your investment. Also, consider a new water heater and when you buy new appliances, such as a refrigerator or washing machine, make sure it is energy efficient. The government often offers rebates for many of these appliances and home improvements. Lastly, comparing energy suppliers can save several hundred pounds a year and is worth the short amount of time it takes to check.