10 ways to save on energy bills
If you haven’t switched your energy supplier in the last three years, there’s a good chance you could save money.
See if you could save money by comparing energy prices using our independent comparison site Which? Switch. Customers who have changed their gas and electricity supplier saved an average of £141 a year.
Already switched energy supplier? Make sure you’re on the cheapest tariff. The biggest savings are for paying by monthly direct debit, online tariffs managed on the internet or dual fuel deals, so make sure you take advantage of these options if you can.
The Energy Saving Trust has a free home energy check tool on its website that could help you find out where to make energy-efficiency improvements and how much you might save.
It estimates some households could save £250 by following its personalised advice.
An energy monitor is a simple handheld gadget that estimates in real time how much energy you’re using, so you can see where to cut back.
Monitors cost from around £30, but some gas and electricity suppliers give them away free. Read our energy monitor reviews to choose the best energy monitor for you.
Already got an energy monitor? We reveal our expert tips for getting the most out of your energy monitor.
Reducing room temperatures by just 1ºC can cut heating bills by around £75 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust – so put on a jumper rather than turning up the heating.
Already turned down your thermostat? Save even more by turning down the radiators in rarely-used or empty rooms and by programming your heating to turn off when you’re not there.
Take a look at our top five tips to using your home heating controls effectively.
Energy-saving light bulbs can help you cut your energy bills easily. If you replace all the light bulbs in your house with energy-saving ones, you could save about £60 a year.
Remember, energy-saving light bulbs do last longer than traditional ones – most CFLs claim lifetimes upwards of 6,000 hours and LEDs around 25,000 hours, whereas traditional light bulbs last around 1,000 hours.
Read our light bulb reviews to find out which bulbs we rate as Best Buys.
Already use energy-saving bulbs? Remember to switch off lights when not in use, and use the best bulb for the size of room or the job it will do.
Stopping heat from escaping through unwanted gaps could help you save up to £50 a year. Take a look at the following areas:
- Windows – use draught-proofing strips around the frame, brush strips work better for sash windows.
- Doors – use draught-proofing strips for gaps around the edges and brush or hinged-flap draught excluders on the bottom of doors.
Chimney and fireplace – if you don’t use your fireplace, use an inflatable cushion to block the chimney or fit a cap over the chimney pot.
Floorboards and skirting – as floorboards need to move, use a flexible silicon-based filler to fill the gaps.
Loft hatches – the use of draught-proofing strips will help to prevent hot air escaping.
Already repaired large draughty areas? Consider smaller holes of air such as keyholes and letterboxes.
Find out more in our guide to draught proofing.
If you’re replacing an appliance, you can cut your electricity bills by choosing the most energy-efficient model you can – for example, running costs for washing machines vary between £11 and £50 per year. In all our lab tests we reveal the annual running costs for all large appliances, from TVs to fridges. Just check out our energy running cost calculators page for links to tools which tell you how much appliances cost to run, and which ones will be the cheapest.
Choosing the most energy-efficient models can result in annual savings of around £39 for a washing machine, £100 for a tumble dryer and £62 for a fridge-freezer.
Already have an energy-saving appliance? Check out our energy-saving tips for more ways to cut energy costs.
Replacing an old gas boiler with a new condensing model could trim an average of £310 a year from your gas bill. A new boiler is expensive, with installation costing around £2,500 – so if saving money is your priority, it’s probably not worth replacing yours until it’s beyond economic repair.
For detailed information on the savings you could make by replacing different types of boilers, read our guide to boiler efficiency. Already replaced your boiler? Make sure you’re using it efficiently. Ensure radiators are working properly and you are using the boiler programmer so the heating only comes on when you need it.
Fitting loft or wall cavity insulation could save you up to £250 a year
Insulating both your loft and cavity walls can save you up to £250, and there are currently a number or free insulation deals to help you pay for it.
Laying loft insulation to a thickness of 270mm in a typical non-insulated three-bedroom semi could trim £150 a year from energy bills, as less heat will be lost through the roof.
Insulating cavity walls can save around £145 a year and solid wall insulation, although more expensive to fit, could save you £270 in the same type of house.
Read our full loft insulation and wall insulation guides for all you need to know.
Already installed loft insulation? Even if you already have some insulation, you could save around £15 a year by topping it up from 100mm to the recommended 270mm.
Half-price cavity wall insulation, money towards installing solar panels and grants for buying a new boiler are just some of the schemes currently on offer to help you save money on energy, for less.