How to get your energy bills in trim for the New Year

Despite recent energy price cuts, energy bills are substantially higher than they were a couple of years ago but there are ways to ensure you get cheaper energy and get your energy bills in trim for the New Year.

Switch Energy SupplierAccording to uSwitch.com, an independent price comparison and switching service, household heating accounts for over 40% of the average annual energy bill and most of this is incurred in the Winter months.

With recent announcements of new energy plans by a number of the main energy suppliers, there are opportunities to get cheaper energy bills. As examples, there are the new nPower Web 17 and Sign Online 17 energy deals or the WebSaver 5 from British Gas.

You can use an energy comparison service such as that offered by uSwitch.com or Confused.com to see which are the best energy plans in your area that best meet your specific needs.

There are further ways of getting cheaper energy bills. You can really save money by opting for energy deals that include dual fuel (both gas and electricity), paying by direct debit and an online plan.

Suggestions from uSwitch.com to help you get cheaper energy bills include

  1. Compare and switch – never switched? Then now is not the time to be complacent as you are likely to be paying a premium on your energy bills. Getting the right deal for you – based on where you live, your actual energy usage and how you like to pay – is key to saving those pounds. Use a price comparison service, such as that offered by uSwitch or Confused.com that it is accredited under the Consumer Focus Confidence Code.
  2. Pay by direct debit – if you pay by cash or cheque you likely to be paying quite a lot more a year on average for your energy than paying by direct debit. Not only is direct debit easy, but many suppliers offer a discount for paying this way.
  3. Switch to dual fuel – buying gas and electricity from one supplier can save time and money. Not only do you benefit from dealing with just one bill and one supplier, but dual fuel plans can also offer a discount.
  4. Opt for an online energy plan – This is an easy saving to make – don’t be put off by it being called an ‘online’ plan as some suppliers will only expect you to register online and then manage your account in the same way as before.
  5. Keep on top of energy bills – make sure you give regular meter readings to ensure you are being billed accurately and review your energy bills at least once a year to ensure you are still on the cheapest deal.
  6. Insulate, insulate, insulate – don’t spend hard earned cash heating up the street and not your home. Make sure your loft is insulated to a depth of at least 10 inches.
  7. Are you eligible for a grant or financial help? – contact your energy supplier or the Energy Saving Trust to find out whether you’re eligible for a grant or financial help towards making your home more energy efficient.
  8. Switch it off – before you go to bed make sure you turn off all appliances such as TVs, computers and DVD players at the socket. Fit energy efficient light bulbs and make sure you turn lights off when not using a room.
  9. Turn it down – most of us have the heating on way too hot. Turn it down by just one degree and you could save up to 10% on bills.
  10. Cut out the draughts – check your windows and doors are sealed against draughts before the winter chill turns your home into an icebox.

Be aware that switching energy supplier really is easy, easier than you might think – see our article Switch energy supplier – how easy is it? for more info – and it really can save you money.

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