Previously when people said you can save money on your energy bills, you would think about insulation or turning your thermostat down. However now you need to think about your supplier. Simply by switching supplier you could save yourself on average a £100 a year. Around 47% of the proportion of households have never switched their energy supplier and it only takes 10minutes.¯¨
You don’t have to run about ringing all the different energy suppliers, there are specific websites aimed to make it simple. A company called Energywatch, is an independent watchdog for gas and electricity consumers, they offer free information and advice on how to switch suppliers at energywatch.org.uk or on its helpline 08459 060708. Once you’ve got that advice, go to one of the comparison websites to work out which suppliers would be best for you and how much you might save by switching. Some of the key websites include: uswitch.com, theenergyshop.com, moneysupermarket.com and energyhelpline.com
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to start making alterations to your home to save you even more:
* Wrap up warm! If you feel a chill in your home then the first thing to do should not be flick the heating on, but grab a jumper. It doesn’t cost anything and is really effective.
* Not all doors are used all year round, nor are the windows, a simple tip is to plastic up the windows and doors that are going to go unused. There are window kits for sale for about £4 or £5 per window. These can help to eliminate drafts to keep in the heat. Can’t afford the kits or plastic sheeting? Another cost effective solution is to hang blankets to help insulate. If you are creative enough, you can hang it to look quite stylish.
* Turn the heating down at night and when no one is home. It’s a simple yet affective quick fix, this doesn’t mean turning it off completely but just knock it down a couple of degrees. Then when you are home or awake and the house needs a little boost you can put it up. It may even be beneficial to invest in a programmable thermostat, they are great and you can set your heating to come on and turn off at set times or intervals during the day.
* After baking or making dinner in the oven, leave the oven door open, or even half open. There’s a lot of heat contained in the oven, so use it to your advantage, even if it just warms up the kitchen.
* Get Thermostatic Radiator Valves, these go at the end of your radiators and control the amount of water entering it. This is effective if one room gets too warm, and another takes longer to heat.
* Use a space heater in the room you are concentrated in. This will take the chill out of the air to make you feel more comfortable, without heating the whole house. Another option is to switch to Electric Panel Radiators & Storage Heaters, these are independent units which are not part of a large system, heating a room at a time.
* Use silicone or filler to fill any cracks in doors, windows and walls. You would be surprised at how much heat is lost through cracks. A tube of caulk or silicone will only run you a few pounds and it would only take a few hours.
* Close any vents going to rooms that are not used regularly. That guest room that sits empty when you don’t have any guests? Close the door and the vents. Doing so can easily cut 100-200 square feet off of your energy footprint.
* Put weather stripping around windows and doors. Weather stripping helps a lot, especially in older homes. You’d be surprised how the seals around your doors and windows can deteriorate over time.
* Cover up the loft entry with plastic, pieces of insulation, old blankets, weather stripping, painter drop cloth, or even a few old shirts. Any of it will help to slow, if not, stop, the drafts and warm air from floating away through your roof. Heat rises and may be getting pulled up through the loft so you may not notice a cold draft even though your expensive hot air is floating away.
* Buy new radiators, this may be a slighly more expensive option but can make a huge difference in the long run. You may have old or inadequate sized radiators which won’t heat the room to its full potential.
* Get cavity wall insulation. If your home is under 10 years old then it will most likely have the insulation. It can be pricy but will make a huge difference costing from £100-£350.
There are many things to consider when trying to save money on your heating bills, from small factors like leaving the oven door open and switching your provider to insulation and new radiators. All these points will save you money in the long run, so it’s better to act now rather than pounds later.