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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