Advice: Top tips for reducing your energy bills this winter


December 2020

Advice: Top tips for reducing your energy bills this winter

Winter often proves a challenging time when it comes to energy bills. With the added pressure caused by COVID-19 this year, managing your energy expenditure may feel more daunting than ever. Here are some ways of cutting the costs of your energy bill this winter.  

Small Changes

There are many things we can do around the home that require minimal effort yet lead to big savings on our annual energy bills. We have included figures from Energy Saving Trust to give a clear indicator of how much money you can save. 

1. Turn off lights in empty rooms

A recent survey commissioned by Money Expert found that 35% of Brits are guilty of leaving lights on in the rooms not being used and that, on average, we leave lights on in empty rooms for over two hours a day. Reducing this time and having Christmas lights and lamps on timers can provide serious savings. 

2.  Be smart with water

In the same survey, 30% of Brits admitted to leaving the tap on while brushing their teeth and 19% to leaving it running while washing the dishes. To put this in perspective, doing the washing up in a bowl can save the average household around £25 a year.

Buying a more efficient shower head can cost as little as £15 but can save a massive £185 per year (on accumulated gas and electricity) and washing at 30 degrees instead of 40 can seriously reduce your energy usage. 

3. Buy more efficient appliances

There’s no need to start throwing out all your white goods, but when it comes time to upgrade be sure to check out the energy rating and go for A+++ wherever possible. Whilst improved energy ratings on some products only returns fractional cost over their lifetime (a modern dishwasher for example will only save you around £7 versus an older model), it’s still always worth checking. For example, a fridge freezer with an A+++ rating will save you around £320 in energy bills versus it’s A+ counterpart.  

4. Turn down your thermostat/Install a Smart thermostat

Heating and hot water costs account for almost half of the money spent on energy bills. Therefore, ensuring that you have total control over your heating is crucial to making wise savings. 

While simply turning down your thermostat by one degree could save an average of £80 annually, it’s the installation of smart thermostats that can lead to real savings. Smart thermostats allow you to control the heat in individual rooms, set timers, and let you access your heat from your phone; ensuring that you are not wasting a penny. 

5. Turn off appliances on standby 

Turning off appliances at the source can save on average £30 a year. With devices such as phone or timer controlled plug points, it’s now as easy as turning off a switch to save money. 

6. Monitor your usage

Installing a smart meter is quick and easy and allows you to track your usage in real time. Checking in regularly with your smart meter lets you see where your biggest energy waste comes from and can help you decide where to make changes. 

Long-term investments

Whilst there are considerable savings to be made with quick fixes, larger long-term investments can lead to a more sizeable dent in your annual energy bill. 

1. Install a new boiler

Buying a new boiler is no small investment, but upgrading from a G-rated boiler to an A-rated condensing boiler with room thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator control could save you up to £300 a year.

2. Draught-proof your property

Draught-proofing your property can help keep the heat in and stop cold air lowering the internal temp. This is also a relatively low cost solution and can be done without professional help with the use of draught excluders and draft-proofing kits. Sealing cracks in floors and skirting, lining the letterbox, plastic lining windows (if not double glazed), and blocking unused chimneys can save upwards of £35 annually.

3. Insulate the roof

Having an insulated roof can prevent heat from escaping your house and help to maintain a constant temperature. It can be a costly process and often requires registered professionals but, providing you monitor your internal temperature correctly, you could save around £135 on your annual energy bills.

4. Double glazing

Double glazing has been a reliable option for reducing energy cost for many years. The latest high standard A-rated double glazing could help save as much as £110 for a standard semi-detached house.

Use Green Initiatives 

When asked how they had actively saved money during lockdown, only 8% of people claimed to have switched to greener energy providers. Despite this low number, it is proven that having a greener attitude towards energy usage does not only benefit the planet, it helps your wallet as well. All of the above tips run in line with green initiatives but there are additional things we can all do day to day to further improve this, such as; reducing our shower time or having a shower instead of a bath, one fewer load of washing per week, installing energy saving bulbs, using fewer devices, and not overfilling the kettle.

Compare Energy Providers

More and more customers are seizing lockdown to look at where their money goes. According to an Ofgem report from this year, over 5.5 million customers switched providers between January and July (across gas and electric) and 22% of these switched to small to midsize providers. With the average variable tariff coming in at £1,125 per ann; and the cheapest available tariff coming in at just £807 per year (as of September 2020), it’s no wonder that so many of us are taking the time to research for a more economically friendly energy option. Use our energy comparison tool to see if you could benefit from a new deal.