FIX YOUR TARIFF
Switching can backfire if your new supplier looks cheap but is about to hike its bills, as disgruntled British Gas customers who switched to npower last week can testify, says Martin Lewis, creator of MoneySavingExpert.com. “Consider getting a cheap fixed deal instead. Someone with typical bills on a standard tariff could save more than £200 a year when fixing for 18 months, or lock into no price rises for four winters and save £80 a year.”
While the big energy firms have been hiking prices, green energy minnow Ecotricity has cut its 100 per cent Green Electricity tariff. Founder Dale Vince says 40 per cent of its electricity is generated by its wind and sun parks, allowing it to price independently. “If we do raise prices next year, we promise that it will be by less than the Big Six.”
WRAP UP AND CUT OUT DRAUGHTS
If you’re staying warm at home by pulling on an extra jumper, make sure your boiler is also well wrapped up. Insulating your boiler typically saves about £45 a year, while insulating below your ground floor floorboards can save about £60, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Even a simple step, such as fitting draught excluders, can save you about £55 a year, according to BQ Energy Saving. Draught-free homes allow you to turn down your thermostat, saving another £65.
UPGRADE TO EFFICIENT PRODUCTS
Electrical appliances make up 18 per cent of the average energy bill according to MS Bank. So when your old dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer or fridge freezer packs up, replace it with an A-rated energy efficient version. On a fridge freezer, for example, this will save you about £23 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Lighting typically accounts for about 20 per cent of your electricity bill. You will save about £5 a year each time you replace a 40W traditional bulb with an 8W low-energy bulb, which have fallen in price to about £1 and last up to 10 years.