Looking at your energy bills is essential for your budget. It’s never been easier to switch supplier and you may be able to save money in the process. A lot of people leave them as they are as they think changing will be a hassle but the hassle may be worth it if you save money.
What about arrears? There’s options for those too.
Best ways to save on gas and electricity
Energy bills can be expensive, but there are a few things you can do to keep your costs as low as possible.
Changing energy supplier is easier than ever and can save you hundreds of pounds on your energy bills.
The whole process shouldn’t take more than 17 days and you won’t be cut off at any point. The only change you’ll notice is a new supplier sending you your bills (if you switch supplier) and lower rates.
Before you get started, you’ll need:
- A recent energy bill, or annual energy statement
This contains details about your current energy plan, including how much you use and the name of your tariff. If you don’t have a recent energy bill, you can contact your current supplier for this information.
- Your bank details
You’ll need these if you decide to switch.
Then find a price comparison website, Ofgem have an approved list of comparison websites here. Follow the process through and see if there’s any savings to be made.
Use Less Energy
We’ve picked out five of the Energy Saving Trust’s top tips to help you on your way. They all have a big impact, so even if you just do one of them, you’ll still be better off.
- Turn down your thermostat – just reducing it by 1°C could cut 10% off your heating bill – it usually saves around £55 per year.
- Turn off the lights – when you leave a room.
- Fill up your washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher – one full load uses less energy than two half loads. Wash your clothes at 30ºC and don’t use the tumble dryer if you can avoid it.
- Don’t boil more water than you need – making a cup of tea? Just boil enough for a cup of tea.
- Use energy saving light bulbs -They last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs and don’t cost much more. Using one can save you around £55 over the lifetime of the bulb.
Dealing With Arrears
When you’re facing energy bill arrears you’ll need to think about why you’re in arrears, are you using plug-in electric heaters in the winter? Maybe you’ve deviated away from your usual budget or maybe you’ve had to pay out more money due to unseen circumstances. Recognise the root of the problem so you can try to avoid falling into this trap again.
If you’ve just fallen a bit behind, try talk to your supplier and see if they will allow you to make small repayments to spread the cost of the arrears. You’ll need your account details on hand when talking to them.
If you’re really struggling then every major energy supplier should have a trust fund where customers can apply for a grant to cover some of their arrears, check on your supplier’s website to see if they have this. Searching for the name of your supplier followed by “trust fund” on Google will usually find the correct page. While you’re applying for this make sure you continue to pay your energy bills and any repayments you’re making.