Utility bills can rack up each year, and your water, gas and
electricity is something you can’t avoid, they’re essential for home, but there
are certain things you can do to cut down on how much you’re paying for them.
With all our helpful tips you could lower your utility bills
and result in some extra spare money for you to spend on yourself each month.
Switch your suppliers
This can be a lot easier than you think, and the money it
will save you can be incredible, with some tariffs looking at saving upwards of
£200 each year. When you switch suppliers, it’s not something that you need to
stick to forever, typically you’ll sign up for a year’s contract, and then you
can switch once again after that year’s up and see if you can save any further
money. There’s no reason to stay loyal to a company that you’ve been with for
years when they’re not giving you anything in return for your loyalty.
Change how you pay bills and go paperless
Have you been paying your utility bills with cash or cheque?
If you have, you could save yourself money by simply switching your payment
method. There has been research to show that you could save as much as £70 on
gas and £50 on electric by changing from prepayment or standard credit to a
direct debit. These figures are based on an average household, so your saving
could be greater or smaller.
Managing your payments online could also be another way of saving
money on your bills. So it’s always best to ensure that you’re using a method
of direct debit or online payments to get the best savings.
A lot of companies will still charge for paper bills too, so
check with your providers because a simple switch to email bills could save you
a considerable amount each year.
Fill in your cracks
This can take a bit of effort on your part, but it certainly
makes a difference when it comes to ensuring your home is retaining the heat
you’re paying for.
At night, keep the blinds and curtains drawn and use
draught-blockers on certain doors where you want the heat retained.
Check windows and main doors to see if they’re particularly
draughty and could need some new padding on the rims to make sure extra heat
Switch to a water meter
If you’re currently paying a set rate for your water, it might
be worth switching to a water meter where you only pay for the water you use.
This can be the best option for those who aren’t using incredible amounts of
water with baths everyday or endless washing loads, etc. It can be the better
option for smaller households.
Read your meter regularly
An estimated bill can result in a lot of overpayments on
your behalf, instead, you want to provide the supplier with an accurate meter
reading, which should be checked once every three months at least. You can then
let them know how much you’re using by calling them, or submitting your meter
Insulate the home
Does the insulation on your home need replacing? Ensuring
your home retains the heat as best as possible will mean you need to spend less
on warming it up. Insulation can sometimes be quite costly, so shop around for
the best deals, and if there are any free insulation deals on offer grab them
with both hands.
The Energy Saving Trust estimate the loft insulation can
help you to save £175 off your bill each year, and cavity wall insulation can
save an additional £135.
Double glaze your windows
Replacing all the windows in your home can certainly be a
costly expense, but it’s not only great for reducing your heating bill, but
helping to reduce the amount of noise that comes into your home too.
If you don’t have the budget for double glazing, there are
plastic linings you can buy for windows that work to keep the heat in too.
Get a new boiler
If your old boiler is still in use, you might not want to
fork out the huge amount on a new boiler. But upgrading to an A-rated
condensing boiler could save as much as £320 a year.
Buy more energy efficient appliances
We’re not suggesting you go and ditch all of your
perfectly-working appliances in the home, but when it’s time to get an upgrade,
make sure you’re choosing the best energy-efficient rating. Electric ovens,
dishwashers and fridge freezers can all help save you money in the long run.
Get a smart
You’ll be using your energy more efficiently with a smart
thermostat, as it warms only the rooms you’re using. They can learn how long it
take to warm the home, and ensure that it’s the perfect temperature at certain
times of the day. Plus, you can control them from your phone, so no returning
to a cold home.
They can be quite a hefty sum of money to pay for, but research
has shown they could help you save up to a third on your heating bills.
Consider Equity Release
After upgrading some of the features around your home, you may notice that your property has actually increased in value. Consequently, one extra way to free up some money is through equity release. If you’re over 55 and own your house, you can actually borrow or extract tax free money based on the existing equitable value of your home. If you’re interested in getting an estimate of how much equity could be released from your property, a first step would be to use this equity release mortgage calculator.
Conserve energy by habit
These are quick and simple tips that cut help cut the costs
of your utility bills. They may not be for everyone, but these small changes
can add up in big ways.
- Reduce the temperature of your washing machine to wash at 30 instead of 40, and choose quick washes where you can.
- Use the tumble dryer as little as possible, and line dry your clothing wherever you can.
- Fix dripping taps, you’ll be surprised at how much water your waste with this.
- Use baths as a treat, and opt for short showers where you can.
- Boil just the water you need in a kettle, and don’t heat up water that’s not going to be used.
- Turn off appliances by the plug, instead of using the standby function.
- Only turn on the dishwasher when it’s full.
- Defrosting your freezer when you can, can make a big difference to its efficiency.
- Use the lids on your saucepans when you boil things like vegetables and rice to help them cook quicker.