The cost of energy bills for the average U.K. household has soared over the last year, with most of us paying an average £300 more than we did a year ago. You don’t have to accept the rising costs though, as there are certain things you can do to make sure you are getting the best deal. To reduce your annual bill, try these money saving tactics.
Don’t just stick with your current energy provider, shop around to see what you could save by switching companies. Use price comparison websites to check what savings could be made — sometimes it can be as much as £300. You can also use it as a bargaining tool with your current provider to get you a better deal. Visit Energy Saving Trust for more information.
Paying by direct debit can save a consumer up to 10 per cent or about £100 a year. Also if you keep up with your payments there will be no late charges if you forget which day your bill comes out.
Keep an eye on your bills
Our energy bills are predominately based on estimates and with meter checks only being carried out once or twice a year, these are often wrong. Make sure you aren’t being over-charged by taking regular meter readings and update the provider when you spot a discrepancy. This is especially important if you are paying by direct debit because you may leave it a few months in between checking your payments only to find that you have been overcharged. If you find your account in credit, discuss with your provider about cutting your monthly payments or getting the money back.
Many companies are offering incentive packages to customers who are willing to pay by direct debit and manage their bills online. This makes it easier for the company to handle your account, so often the best deals will be for online packages. Currently Scottish Power and British Gas are two companies offering this service. Savings of up to £250 can be achieve on the average annual fuel bill.
Make home improvements
Home insulation is essential to keeping your house warm and your bills down. If your house is over 10 years old and you have not checked the insulation, make an inspection of the property. There is a government scheme in place to provide free home insulation. To check if you qualify go to The Warm Front Scheme. Aside from insulation, check that your home is energy efficient in regards to your boiler, windows and doors. For more information see the government’s advice on energy saving tips.
Many homes are making the switch to renewable energy sources and it could be a great money saver for you and your home if bills continue to rise. Try Renewable Energy UK for more information on what you could do in your home.