It is that time of year again, when the nights are dark and the bills are large. Cold nights mean increased energy costs, and with the price of gas going up, we are all looking for ways to reduce the costs and save our pennies for more fun things. There are several ways that you can cut that bill down to size.
Do Your Research
Make sure that you have the best supplier for you; many of us either do not realise how easy it is to swap or put it off. With all of the different tariffs out there, it is difficult to know whether you are getting the best deal. There are now plenty of energy price comparison websites out there such as uSwitch or Money Supermarket, and loyalty certainly does not benefit the customer in this case. Quite often, you will find that taking out dual tariffs for both your gas and electricity will save you even more money.
Entitlements and Help – Make Sure You Are Getting Them
If you are 61 or over, you may be entitled to Winter Fuel Payments, which help with your energy costs over the winter. You can check and apply with the Department for Work and Pensions if you think that you should be getting them and are not. It is also worth looking into grants and help for insulating and heating your house. There are a lot of options out there, but one of the best places to check to see if you are eligible for help is by contacting the Energy Saving Trust (EST).
Other Hints and Tips to Cut Those Costs
- Pay your bills by direct debit and take advantage of the savings that many companies offer for doing this.
- Turn down your thermostat. Turning it down by even one degree can save pounds on your annual bill.
- Turn off your heating when you leave the house for any length of time.
- Make sure that your boiler is working properly and is efficient. Old, inefficient boilers will cost you more in the long run.
- Check your windows for draughts. You can do this quite easily by using a lit candle. Fill any obvious gaps with putty.
- Put silver foil behind your radiators; this saves precious heat from being lost.
- Put up thick curtains or well-made shutters. This will keep the draughts out.
- Use draught excluders and make sure that your letterbox has a draught excluder in it, too.
- Have smaller baths and shorter showers, or just showers instead of baths – it uses less water.
- Wear more layers so that the heating can be turned down while you stay warm.
- Get a hot water bottle and drink more hot drinks.
- Keep yourself active; you are more likely to get cold when sitting around.
- Double glaze windows that are single glazed or, as a cheap alternative, apply double glazing film.
- Check meter readings against your bills. Estimates are often incorrect, and if you pay more than you have used, you are losing money that could have been in your bank account earning interest.
Some of these may seem like little things, but they can make a notable difference over the course of a year! Make sure that you have a reputable and reliable plumber at hand, such as http://www.citygasservices.co.uk/, for all of those boiler installations, checks, and repairs. Keep warm, people!
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