I could list a million ways to cut your energy usage, and hence your bills, by insulating your home, turning lights off etc. But, a lot of this is common sense. Furthermore, few people have the time to carry out half of these supposed tips. The ethos of my blog is to give people tips, one step at a time which require, minimal effort to implement yet can have big financial benefits with little or no impact on their lifestyle. So today’s post is the first in an ongoing series of Lunchtime Money Makeovers. These will be a collection of tips on a specific topic which you can implement during your lunch hour!! The point being that by the end of the hour you should be financially better off. So……….following on from yesterday's post here are 6 ways to reduce your energy bills:
- Change provider (Money tip #17) – most people are reluctant to change energy providers on the basis that ‘it's too much hassle’. With the advent of price comparison websites, such as Energyhelpline*, you can quickly check if you can save on your energy bills by moving provider, and then implement the move there and then online. You can do this by simply entering your postcode in the box below. The most accurate way to make the comparison is to use a bill from your existing supplier which details your annual usage over the last 12 months. That way it covers both the winter and summer months when usage varies massively (you don’t use your heating in the summer normally). If you don’t have such a bill to hand then call your existing provider and request one. You then simply enter your usage details into the price comparison website and voila you will likely cut your energy bill in one fell swoop. And the beauty is that you can repeat this process in the future when there are savings to be made. One word of warning though, in future when you read something in the press about a supplier cutting their rates don’t always rush to change your energy suppliers immediately. A lot of the advertised deductions are on their expensive tariffs but perhaps more importantly when one supplier makes cuts it inevitably forces their competitors to do so as well. So wait for the dust to settle before looking to move. The same goes for when suppliers start raising their prices, once one breaks rank the others will likely follow suit soon after. According to confused.com their customers save £223 on their gas and electricity bills when they change tariff.
- Dual Fuel (Money tip #18) - Look at having your gas and electricity with the same supplier. Not only is this more convenient, as you only have one bill to pay, but it is usually the cheapest way to receive your gas and electricity. But always check the price of the cheapest gas and the cheapest electricity supplier separately. Very occasionally having two companies instead of one can be cheaper.
- Pay by direct debit - (click here to see yesterday’s post).
- Choose an online tariff (Money tip #19) – Emma Bush, from uSwitch.com, was quoted in The Times yesterday as saying that “Online plans are around £300 a year cheaper than standard plans, but only 5 per cent of customers, or 1.3 million households, are on one.” I for one can vouch for the sense in online tariffs. By simply switching from Npower’s standard tariff to their online tariff I saved over £120 a year. Even if you can’t be bothered to do a full price comparison switching to your current energy supplier’s online tariff will save you money.
- Choose Paperless billing – (Money tip #20) - it is possible, particularly with online tariffs, to opt to receive your bills by email instead of by post. This saves you £1.25 a month with British Gas.
- Get a water meter (Money tip #21) – Ofwat estimates that metering can reduce household water consumption by 9-21%. On an average bill of £312 this is a saving of up to £66. However, water meters are not for everyone and tend to benefit smaller families. To work out if you could save by installing a water meter, which is free by the way, follow this link to the Uswitch website. They can help you calculate your potential saving based on your average usage i.e. how many showers you take a week. If switching to metering is worth your while then contact your water supplier and ask for a meter to be installed. Again, I personally benefited from this tip to the tune of around £100 a year.
[box type="shadow" ]Compare all UK suppliers including internet, standard and fixed tariffs. Switching tariffs is easy and takes a few minutes[/box]
So by following the above tips, even just some of them, you could save hundreds of pounds each year on your energy bills. I pesonally saved over £300 last year by following them. It’s worth giving up one lunch hour surely!
By the way if you find this or any article on my blog useful please leave a comment and/or refer a friend. And if you save money please let me know how much – I’d love to know.