Energy Saving Tips
Whilst the energy market is going through a turbulent time they are advising customers to stay with their current supplier, we have put together some suggestions on how you can get a better deal even if you stick with the same supplier:
- Make sure you have the right type of meter
- If you have night storage heaters in your home then you should have a duel rate ‘economy7’ meter. For properties with gas/oil boilers or heat pumps you will be better off on a single electric tariff. Economy7 meters will show 2 sets of numbers or may have the word ‘Multi Rate’ written on them. Standard meters have only 1 reading and may say ‘Single rate’. Your electric company should change your meter for free.
- Buy both gas and electricity from the same supplier (if you have gas and electricity). Most suppliers offer a discount if you buy both gas and electricity from them, typically they will give you a £15 per year discount.
- Pay by Direct Debit
- If you have a regular income and can budget for a regular amount each month then Direct Debit will not only help to spread the cost of your bills throughout the year but you may also get a discount from your supplier. If you are currently using a prepayment meter you are paying a little extra for this, consider changing to regular billing.
- Check your tariff
- Are you on the cheapest tariff?
You may be on the more expensive tariffs without even knowing it. If you call your supplier they will check this for you and let you know if you could save money. The suppliers Standard variable rate is often the default rate and this will change with energy prices which offers no protection against rising prices. Often suppliers have fixed rate tariffs which can protect your bill against future price rises. These tariffs also make it easier to budget.
General energy saving tips:
Heating and Lighting
- 1Turn it off: don’t leave things on standby if not necessary,
- Turn off the lights when you leave the room
- Switch your old light bulbs for new energy efficient ones. Even halogen spots can now be replaced with low energy LED lights
- Turn your thermostat down by 1ºc, you most probably won’t notice a difference but your bills will reduce
- If you have radiators below windows, tuck you curtains behind these at night to keep the heat in.
- Put radiator panels behind radiators on external walls these reflect heat back into the room rather than losing it through the wall
- Use your central heating programmer to turn your heating on and off not the thermostat
- Keep radiators and storage heaters clear to allow heat to come into the room
- Use thermal or heavy curtains in the winter and close them at dusk to keep the heat in.
- When your old appliances need replacing, replace them with new energy efficient appliances.
In the Kitchen
- Set your washing machine to 30, unless it’s really dirty
- Use a bowl to wash up rather than running the hot tap
- Use an economy programme on your washing machine whenever possible
- Dry clothes outside when possible
- Don’t dry clothes over radiators, this makes your boiler work harder and increases moisture in the air which can lead to condensation
- Clean the filters in your tumble dryer
- Use eco balls in your tumble dryer
- Only boil as much water as you need (but ensure you cover the elements) rather than filling the kettle up.
- Use the correct size ring for the correct sized pan.
- Keep saucepan lids on to keep the heat in and allow you to turn the ring down.
- Use the kettle to boil water for cooking, this is quicker and uses less energy
- Make sure the gas flame only heats the bottom of the pan
- Make sure taps are turned off fully after use
- Don’t keep the oven door open for too long as the oven will then have to work harder to get back to temperature
- If you don’t use the clock on your oven or microwave turn it off on the socket when not in use.
Fridges and Freezers
- Keep your fridge and freezer full, this means they don’t need to work as hard
- Defrost fridges and freezers regularly
- Don’t put hot food in the fridge, let it cool down first.
- The optimum temperature for your fridge is 3ºc - 5ºc
- Load and unload fridges and freezers as quickly as possible to keep the cold air in
- Keep fridges and freezers away from cookers and direct sunlight
- Keep the condenser coils at the back of your fridge free from dust
And lastly, who to turn to if you need help:
If you are experiencing problems with fuel debt there are a number of organisations who you can help.
Many energy suppliers offer support for those struggling to pay, it is important if you are struggling that you contact you fuel supplier to discuss this. they should be able to work with you to arrange an affordable payment plan to clear the debt. However if you are struggling to pay off this debt you could also contact Citizens Advice on 0800 144 88 48 or Community Energy Plus on 0800 954 1956 for advice.
You can also speak to the National debt line on 0808 808 4000.
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