Our top tips to help you stay cosy and save on your energy bills.
As the cost-of-living crisis continues and the days are turning colder, many of us are feeling worried about keeping warm in the months ahead. Our guide aims to help families save money on their energy bills and provides advice about additional financial support.
What Is Fuel Poverty?
Fuel poverty is when a household cannot afford to heat their home at an adequate cost. Fuel poverty affects thousands of people across the UK and many families are struggling to afford to heat their homes, especially in the colder months. While the government helped families with their Energy Bills Support Scheme last year, there are no plans (at the time of writing) to repeat this scheme again this year. Without this additional help, many families will find winter a struggle.
Am I Eligible For Extra Support?
Your family may be eligible for extra support if you meet certain criteria, such as being of a pensionable age or in receipt of disability benefits. To find out if you’re eligible for any additional help with your energy bills, visit https://www.gov.uk/get-help-energy-bills#:~:text=If%20you’re%20struggling%20to,debts%20to%20your%20energy%20supplier to find out more. Citizens Advice can also help you work out if you are eligible for help with the cost of living – visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ for more information. If you’re really struggling to pay your energy bills but don’t think you are eligible for additional support, it’s worth speaking to someone at Citizens Advice – their expert advisors may be able to point you in the direction of schemes or support you didn’t know existed.
Can My Energy Supplier Help?
Yes. In fact, the sooner you speak to your energy supplier about your difficulties, the better to avoid falling behind or building up debts. If you’re struggling to pay your bills, the first step is to get in touch with your energy supplier to see what help they can offer. Most suppliers can offer reduced payment plans and advice on how to keep your energy costs down. Some suppliers are even offering grants to help struggling customers pay off their energy debts.
Keeping Warm At Home
There are lots of little changes you can make in your home to help you save money on your energy bills. These tips can help to keep costs down and save you money at a time when every penny counts:
- Leaving your electrical appliances on standby costs money. Most of your appliances (TV, games console, kettle, etc.) can be turned off at the wall to save you money. Try to remember to switch off what you can before you leave the house or go to bed at night.
- Turn off lights when you leave the room. If you can afford to, switch out your old lightbulbs for more efficient LED bulbs.
- Reduce how often you use your tumble dryer. Invest in a clothes airer or on the line on warmer days. This can save you a lot of money.
- Take shorter showers and swap baths for a quick shower.
- Turn down your thermostat. Turning it down by just one degree could save you up to £80 a year.*
- Wash clothes at a lower temperature – turn down from 60 degrees to 30 degrees to make some savings.
- Keep an eye on your usage – ask your energy supplier to install a smart meter. When you can see what you’re using and how much it’s costing you, it’s easier to keep track of spending and spot areas where you can make savings.
- Close curtains and blinds in the evening to block out draughts and to keep the heat in.
- Avoid overfilling your kettle when you boil it – only boil how much water you need.
- Pop a lid on your pans to reduce cooking times and save energy.
If you need further support, here are some helpful websites and organisations that can offer advice and tips:
How to save energy and lower your bills: https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/energy-saving-advice/
Energy saving tips: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/energy-saving-tips/
What to do if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/how-to-get-help-if-you-re-struggling-with-your-energy-bills-/
Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-help-paying-your-bills/grants-and-benefits-to-help-you-pay-your-energy-bills/