Gas and Electricy Money Saving Tips
Fuel price index in the domestic sector in real terms Q2 2010 to Q2 2013
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. can be bought from Amazon. Chimney balloon
- 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.