Many of us started the year off with a big freeze, as plunging temperature left most of the UK covered in snow and ice. At the same time, energy bills have soared, and all of the Big Six energy firms, along with a number of smaller providers, have raised prices leading to higher energy bills for households across the country.
The average dual-fuel bill for a household with a Big Six energy provider now costs £1,137 – a rise of 7.95% even since the start of December, according to energy comparison site uSwitch.
Switching energy companies is the number one way to save money on your bills. If you have not done it for a while, it can cut yours by £287 a year on average.
However, it is not the only way to reduce your bills. Here are other money-saving tips.
1 Fit foil behind your radiator
(Saving: £40 a year)
The theory is if you put tin foil on the wall behind your radiator, heat is reflected back into your room instead of being lost through the walls. This way, you keep more of the heat in your home and you are not wasting money on lost energy.
Unfortunately, you can’t use bog-standard tin foil for this one: you’ll need to buy specially designed thickened sheets.
One company offering them is Radflek. It says, on average, its sheets (with packs starting from £21.99 for between three and six radiators) can reduce the energy lost through walls by 45%, or £40 a year from your annual bill. So you will soon recoup your initial outlay.
2 Banish ‘energy vampires’
(Saving: £30 a year)
Energy vampires are devices that burn through energy even when they are not in use and in standby mode. Turning off these devices could knock around £30 off your annual energy bill, according to the Energy Saving Trust. For example, rechargeable devices, such as smartphones, continue to use power even after a phone is fully charged.
Desktop computers are one of the biggest suckers as they use the same amount of energy when they are in screensaver or sleep mode and can waste £62 a year, according to the energy provider, Eon.
To avoid burning energy on these devices, switch them off at the plug when not in use.
Philip Dyte, 30, who lives in a one-bedroom flat in London, says his bills went down by £100 when he upgraded to an energy-efficient boiler.
“I had upgraded as part of general refurbishment and I thought there might be an improvement in cost, but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so pronounced,” he said.
Although he’s not sure, he thinks the older boiler was decades old, and the replacement cost him £1,000 including installation.
“My mum always taught me to switch off lights and electronics I wasn’t using,” he adds.
Click here to visit the Money Wise website for more great energy saving tips.