Gas and Electricy Money Saving Tips

Cut electric bills
Cut electric bills | Source

Fuel price index in the domestic sector in real terms Q2 2010 to Q2 2013

The price of all domestic fuels rose by 5.7 per cent in real terms between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013
The price of all domestic fuels rose by 5.7 per cent in real terms between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013 | Source

How to cut your Electricity and gas Bills and save money

Prices of electric and gas energy are hotly debated throughout the UK currently. A survey conducted by Populus, who interviewed a random sample of 2056 adults across Britain, found that the six energy giants supplying our gas and electricity are among the most disliked companies in the country. The energy companies were given a rating of 28.2 out of 100, the survey found that even the banks are more popular.

The good news, UK's economy is beginning to show signs of recovery, not by much, but certainly moving in the right direction with a small growth from 1.4% to 1.6%. We are also beginning to see a promising drop in the unemployment rate.

The bad news, prices are rising, but wages are continuing to lag behind inflation, as the cost of living threatens to spiral out of control.

With Winter fast approaching, the large gas and electricity suppliers are rubbing their hands in glee, as they prepare to hike up energy prices to an average of 9.1%.

With this latest price increase, many people will struggle to stay warm and keep the lights on this Winter.

My energy supplier just happens to be Scottish Power, also one of the UK's “big six” gas and electric companies who announced back in October, that they will be raising their energy price by a massive 8.5% for gas and 9% for electricity the increase is due to take effect from the 6th of December. This hike in energy will add as much as £113 to the average annual dual fuel bill.

Citizens Advice Bureaus, are currently dealing with large numbers of people who are seeking advice on how best to cope with inflated energy bills as the temperature begins to drop.

Energy firm SSE have recently announced a group pre-tax profit of £336.4m in the six months to 30th of September and revealed that shareholder dividends will increase by 3.2%, the admission came days before the company raised energy prices by 8.2%.

With gas and electrical energy suppliers seemingly holding up two fingers to consumers, it is time to fight back and show the big guys we are not completely helpless.

How to cut your Gas and Electricity Bills

The first way to cut your electricity and gas bills, is by switching to a cheaper supplier. Get both your gas and electricity from one provider. By maintaining separate suppliers for gas and electricity, consumers are most probably paying standard prices for each. Savings can be made by comparing rates of other suppliers and switching to a single firm, thereby qualifying for dual fuel discounts.

Dual Fuel Discount

Energy suppliers want their customers to buy both gas and electricity from them, to encourage this, they will reward their customers by offering loyalty discounts which are better value than buying from two separate companies. However; it is always a good idea to shop around for the best possible deals.

Dual discount rate can vary among the energy companies, but there are many energy websites that will help customers to compare prices. Switching to a new company is relatively easy, the new supplier will contact both the existing gas and electricity suppliers on the customer's behalf.

Save on oil

A few years ago, we lived out in the country side, with no gas supply, we had oil delivered two or three times per year, which proved to be rather expensive. In retrospect, we could have reduced the cost by buying in bulk together with the neighbours. Something to consider if you are in a similar situation.

Ways to save on electricity bills

  • Get help from the government, people who are receiving pension, income support, or disability allowance, may qualify for a grant from the government's Affordable warmth scheme. The money can be spent on, loft and cavity wall insulation and draught-proofing


  • Thermal curtains or drapes, are insulated to reduce energy loss by preventing warm air from escaping through the windows. They can be bought ready made, but the choice of colours and fabrics are often limited, the cheaper variety tends to look...well.. cheaper. A better quality product can set you back around £100. However; if you are handy with a sewing machine, you can make your own. Your insulated curtain/drapes should comprise of an outer decorative layer which is protected by an inner lining, a high density foam that blocks heat exchange, a reflective vapour barrier to block moisture and a reflective film to direct the heat back into the room. Magnets can also be used at the base of the curtain to form a tighter barrier with the wall for added protection. This will retain heat in the room and help to cut your electric heating bills to save money.

  • Foil insulation, heat your home more efficiently by inserting tin foil behind your radiators.This will help to direct the heat back into the room and prevent it escaping through the walls. Attach the foil to the wall with sticky tape or wallpaper glue, ensuring that the shiny side is as close to the radiator as possible. This simple action can allow you to turn down the heating and save money on your electric bills.

  • Insulate doors, floors and windows, a large amount of cold air enters the house from under the doors and through the letterbox, from window cracks, floor boards and cat flaps. Use draught excluders to seal around doors and windows to prevent the run of cold air through the house. Draughts excluder are easy to install and can make a huge different.

  • Insulate fireplace, Only do this if you are not using your chimney. If you are not using an open fire, newspaper or cardboard can be used to block the opening where the chimney enters the room, this will prevent draughts from entering. An alternative way to prevent or reduce draughts from the chimneys is to use a chimney balloon. This allows you to also use an open fire if you wish. The balloon can be deflated and removed to enable an open fire, then reflated to block the chimney opening when the fire is not in use. Chimney balloon can be bought from Amazon.

  • Turn off heating, when you are out of the house, save energy by setting the heating to come on just before your return home. The house will still be warm, welcoming and cosy on your return.


  • Turn down thermostat, by simply reducing the thermostat by only one degree, you can reduce energy consumption and your bills by 10%
  • Heat only the room you use the most,

  • Free up radiators, do not use radiators to dry your wet laundry, allow them to do the job they were intended to do, in the most efficient way. A heated tower airer cost around £92.99 and 5p per hour to run, it can also help to save money on running a tumble drier, while also giving some warmth to the room.

  • Wear warm clothings, we lose most of our body heat through the head and feet, wear a warm hat, thermal socks and underwear, use sensible clothing to stay warm, try layering the cloths you wear, layering will keep the body warmer than a jumper.

  • Exercise, do 20 minutes per day will help to keep you warm, it will also boost the brain, circulation and immune system, it makes the body better able to tolerate the cold. Exercise can include housework like doing the vacuuming, dusting and cooking.

  • Keep warm and cosy in bed, turn off the heating before going to bed, use a hot water bottle and add an extra blanket to the duvet. You can also set the thermostat to come on before you are due to get out of bed.

According to the U S Department of Energy, heating and cooling, accounts for 56% of energy use in a typical American home, making it the largest energy expense for most homes. By reducing the amount of energy we use, we are not only keeping more money in our pockets, we are also helping the environment.

Martin Lewis Q&A Electricity Tariff when to Switch

Top tips to save on your electricity Bills

  • Consider switching to a cheaper energy Provider, get the cheapest fixed price plan. (See the Martin Lewis video Q&A for more information about switching your energy provider).


  • Take advantage of the cheapest tariff, the biggest savings are for paying by monthly direct debit, online tariff managed on the Internet, or dual fuel deals.


  • Use an energy monitor, this is a simple hand held device that estimates how much energy we used in real time, it can help you to decide where you can cut back to save money. The gadget cost around £40 but some electricity suppliers will give them away free of charge.


  • According to The Energy Saving Trust, turning down your thermostat by 1 degree can cut heating bills by £65 per year.


  • Turn off heating when not at home


  • By changing all your light bulbs to energy saving bulbs, you can cut bills and save another £60 per year.


  • Stop heat from escaping through gaps, and save around £75 per year


  • When you change your old appliance, cut your electric bills by choosing the most energy-efficient model you can find to replace the old one.



  • If your old gas boiler is beyond repair and need replacing, a new condensing model can reduce your gas bill by around £310 per year.


  • Insulate your home and save up to £320. Look out for free insulation deals to help with cost.


  • Switch off electrical appliances, do not leave them plugged in, or on standby. Satellite and digital TV recordings may need to remain plugged in to continue tracking programmes that are set to record, check instructions if unsure. A typical household can save £50 to £90 per year simply by turning off appliances that are left on standby.


  • Set washing machine at 30 degrees Centigrade. About 90 per cent of the energy used by washing machine is used to heat the water. Washing dark colours, delicates like wool and silk in cold water will save money, it will keep the colours bright and reduce wrinkling and running. According to Alliance to Save Energy, using cold water to wash your clothes for one year can save enough energy to run an average home for up to two weeks.

Winterize Your Home and Save Money

How do you save money and energy in your home

  • By turning down the thermostat
  • By heating only the room I spend most time in
  • My house is fully insulated
  • I get guidance from the Energy Saving Advice Services for best package of improvements for my home
  • All of the above
  • I've never considered it
See results without voting

Save money and energy: turn it down

Heat just the areas of your home where you spend the most time, and adjust heating according to how warm you want that area to be.
Heat just the areas of your home where you spend the most time, and adjust heating according to how warm you want that area to be. | Source

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27 comments

tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Hi joelle, the cost of energy here in the UK is ridiculously high and still rising. My neighbour have recently had solar panels placed on their roof, it will be interesting to see how much they've manage to save. In some cases not only do you save when you install solar panels, but you can sell the excess energy and make a little extra money.

Comments are never late, always a pleasure and much appreciated. :) I hope your project is successful. take care and my best to you.


kidscrafts profile image

kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

As you can see Jo, I am a little bit late commenting :-( I had a big project on the go so I kept all my HP notifications to come back to it later :-)

Excellent hub about tips to save money with energy! With prices rising on one end and the resources diminishing we have to find ways to save energy and at the same time money! We had extra insulation installed in our roof a few years back and we could feel the difference both in the winter and the summer! Because our house was built in the 1960s, we had to change the windows and doors. Every single thing can really help to save money. The next thing I would like is to have solar panels on the roof. We had that in our previous house and it saved a lot of money to heat the water even in the winter in Canada!

Great hub, Jo! Certainly voted up, useful and interesting!

Have a great weekend!


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Hi Christy, lovely to see you. Thanks for stopping by and for the great comment, much appreciated. We need to stay warm, but with the high cost of energy we need to rethink how we use it. I must admit, doing the research for this article has opened my eyes. Great to have you back, my best as always.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Excellent tips here. I try to put on warmer clothing instead of always turning up the heat, in hopes of saving a bit of money. Your tips are very useful and are helping readers already - great topic for a hub! Voting up and sharing too.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Hi Crafty, lovely to see you. You're so right, if oil and electric prices continues to rise at this rate, we will have to go back to the days of horse and cart. It looks like you are doing a good job of saving energy, so I will not preach to the converted. :) Have a wonderful day and my best as always.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Jainismus, nice to see you, thanks for the visit, comment and share, much appreciated and my best to you.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

Great tips! We need all the help we can get saving.

Fuel for cars here has gone down, but it's still $3.60-$3.70 a gallon.

It adds up to over a couple hundred a month with my husband's commute to and from work.

It cost us about $400 for a little over 100 gallons of heating oil. We have to get it about 4x a year.

We calked our windows/doors. That helped. Plus we do have the thermal curtains. That helps a lot too.

We also keep everything unplugged when not in use, leave lights off unless we need them, and keep the heat to about 62. It's very expensive to live here as is. So we try to keep our electricity and gas prices down.


jainismus profile image

jainismus 3 years ago from Pune, India

Excellent and detailed information, which will help many to save their money of energy...

Share this Hub.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Flourish, you are one of the lucky ones, I appreciate you stopping by, my best to you.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Hi 2uesday, Thank you for stopping by and for taking a look. You're right, we also use the online site to submit our meter reading, another way to make some savings, the company don't need to send someone round so it's cheaper for them.

It is not always possible to know where you can get the best deal, not until all the energy providers have published their increased rates. However, if you are at the end of a fixed rate deal and wish to switch, it's worth looking at companies like Npower or EDF with the longest cheapest fixed deals. Their prices are fixed till December 2017 with no exit fee. I appreciate your visit and the insightful comment, thanks again and my best to you.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

I am fortunate enough not to live in an area with very cold winters, but having previously lived in Maine and Ohio I can appreciate the value of many of your tips.


2uesday profile image

2uesday 3 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday.

Some power companies allow you to send your meter readings to them online. I find this useful as it is a reminder of how much more or less you are using than in previous months or years.

Sometimes it is difficult to work out the best deals, as comparisons are not always as simple as they might seem. For example switching to a slightly higher tariff now, but having it at a fixed price for a longer term. In such cases an educated guess is probably the best you can do, as one would need an accurate crystal ball to know the long term outcome for sure.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Hi electronician, thank you for the visit, comment and vote, much appreciated. My best to you.


electronician profile image

electronician 3 years ago from Birmingham, England

Very thorough list of some great tips - voted up!


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Hi Imogen, such a pleasure to see you!!...Solar panels sounds great, the price is falling and if you are living in certain parts of the country and have a suitable roof, there are companies who will fit them for free. The only problem is that although you will make savings on you electricity bills, the installation company takes the feed-in payment, so you do not get paid for the energy you generate. Still; you can save as much as £150/year on your electricity bills. Good luck, thank you for stopping by and for the interesting comment.


Imogen French profile image

Imogen French 3 years ago from Southwest England

Good tips - I'm sure none of us wants to let the electricity companies rip us off any more than we have to! The price of domestic fuel has spiralled out of control since it was all privatised in the UK. We now use our open fire more and turn the central heating down or off when we can. We are considering installing either a wind turbine or solar panels to generate some of our own electricity - haven't decided which would be most cost effective yet. Thanks for all the useful info.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Kim, wow...and I thought the Hertfordshire countryside was cold. :) Winter must be very difficult when you live in remote areas, beautiful, but there is always a downside. The energy companies only see how they can make more money from our misery. Here in the UK, the five largest companies have the monopoly and they are driven by pure greed. I'm glad you found this useful, take care and my best as always.


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

Jo,

Excellent hub with great tips. Plus illuminating (I couldn't help myself) for simple things like just changing light bulbs can make a difference.

The other thing I learned was just the differences in where you live compared to where I live. Because the only way to get one's electricity is through the local coop, there is no competition; thus, the coop really can charge about whatever they want to charge in my part of the world. Initially, the coop made sense for it allowed people in the remote area in which I live to finally get electricity. Now, it feels as though they are just a big company. Recently, the newspaper caused some controversy when they reported the CEO of our (supposedly our) coop makes $750,000 per year along with lots of other perks. Also, where I live, with the wind, the temps often fall below zero and pipes freezing can be a real threat. Anyway, I appreciate all the information and particularly the video on how to transform curtains as well. V+/Share for this is information everyone should read.

Wishing you warmth,

Kim


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Bill, sorry but I got cut off by HP, I think they're trying to tell me I go on too much. :) I just wanted to say thank you you're the best, love to you and Bev.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Hi Devika, yeah, our energy companies are pretty slow in installing smart digital meters, a pity, because the smart meters are much more efficient. I guess their priority is their profit margin. :)

Thank you for taking a look, it's always a pleasure to see you. Have a wonderful Sunday.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Hi frank, thank you for stopping by. As always, much appreciated. Have a brilliant weekend.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Bill, I just love an open fire, especially at christmas. Until two years ago, when we downgraded, we used wood and coal, no gas so we had oil delivered and stored in a 1000 litres tank, a real pain in the proverbial. The house was an old cottage, very pretty, but always drafty and difficult to heat. I do miss the open fire and the quiet of the country, great in the Summer, but cold and very drafty in the Winter. Our small bungalow is double glazed, easy to heat cheaper to maintain and very comfortable. You are very lucky with the weather out there in Olympia. Thank you for the brilliant comment as always, I do hope people will read


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Electric Energy: Money Saver Tips interesting photo you have of the reading of electricity we have all new digital reading and recently our electric bills have decreased, thought you have shared helpful tips in saving electricity. An informative hub for many readers. Voted up, useful and interesting.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

toobusiness, a very useful, clear to understand hub


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

All excellent suggestions Jo! We don't have a furnace; the house is heated by a wood stove; luckily we don't have real cold winters so a cord of wood is all that is needed for winter heating. We insulated last year and took other measures to stop heat loss.

This article should be read by millions; crossing my fingers that it happens.

Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

Blessings always

bill


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K Author

Faith, you appears to be doing all the right things. It's amazing how much energy we waste by not taking action, especially when there are a lot of government help available for those who need it. Luckily, both my husband and myself prefers the bedroom to be cool and unheated, but the bed is always warm and cosy. :) It's always a pleasure to see you my friend, you are very much appreciated, my best to you and the family.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Hi Jo,

Thanks for sharing the great tips here for energy saving costs, which are for sure the most costly! We have double-paned windows in our house, and it makes a big difference. In our other home, we could actually feel the wind coming through! We have extra insulation in the house too. We do use an electric blanket and it truly helps. I am so cold-natured, especially at night, so that helps a lot. My husband and I are opposites and keep turning up and down the thermostat, which is not good. Oh, we started using those energy saving light bulbs too throughout the house.

Up and more and sharing

Have a great weekend,

Faith Reaper

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