As the clocks wind back, the long winter nights draw in and the temperature starts to drop, I’m sure many of us feel we have missed out on Summer this year. But nonetheless, it looks like we have to navigate our way through a winter of lockdowns and restrictions before emerging on the other side in a better place, hopefully!
For now, we turn to that perennial issue for most, of trying to minimise our energy bills whilst remaining comfortable.
For some, this is really no laughing matter, and every penny counts. So, for those in need and those who want to save some pennies and still stay toasty and warm, here are our 7 top tips on saving money on your energy bills this winter.
1. Summers over – lose the shorts but put on the long-johns!
Sounds simple. But if you want to save money and it’s cold, put some layers on. If needs be, lots of layers. Wear thicker, longer thermal garments. Layer up with jumpers and long-sleeved shirts and make sure you have some decent warm socks to go with some heavy-duty slippers. My tip would be Alpaca wool socks – so soft and extremely warm.
2. To constantly heat or not to constantly heat?
The age-old question. And the answer is now definitive. None other than Martin Lewis from Money saving expert has spoken – It’s a good theory, but keeping the heating on constantly at a lower level is still the more expensive option. Keep it off if you are out or when it is warmer.
3. Work the night shift
This one might not apply to all but is still worth mentioning. Depending on your tariff, it can be significantly cheaper to use your boiler overnight, when the rates are much lower. Similarly, it is more sensible to use a timer to ensure you only heat up as much water as you need. So set your timer for the wee small hours to maximise your savings. If your tariff doesn’t allow this…
4. Shop around for some savings or play hardball
If your tariff doesn’t offer ‘off-peak’ rates at night, then why not consider changing to one that does? It’s always worth taking a look to see if you can save money with a different provider or even a different tariff. It’s not as difficult as you think. It might even be worth speaking to your energy provider to see if they will match any other offers.
5. Don’t get caught out in the cold
There’s nothing worse than waking up to a leaking pipe or an old boiler that has just run out of puff. Winter is definitely not the time to be left without heating or hot water, yet often the cold weather brings problems for systems left untouched over summer. Freezing temperatures can have catastrophic effects on ageing plumbing. Make sure your boiler is working safely and as efficiently as possible with an annual boiler service. And whatever you do, use a licenced and registered agent – it’s not a DIY job! If you have the money, it might even be time to consider a new boiler installation which will save you money in the long run.
6. Turn off, switch off and unplug
It might sound pointless, but you can save quite a bit by making sure switch off or unplug any appliances that you aren’t using. Similarly, don’t leave anything on standby – switch it completely off. They all mount up and could save you up to £30 a year. Illuminating!
7. Batten down the hatches!
Reducing heat loss makes your home more energy-efficient, and cheaper to run. Be sure to close curtains, windows, and doors, especially to rooms that aren’t in use. You can turn off radiators and shut the door to such rooms to prevent heat loss and unnecessary expense. To this end, you could also fit heavier or thicker curtains to stop heat loss from windows. Longer-term solutions include cavity wall insulation or window replacement if these are inadequate. A cheap trick is to wedge summer clothes in household gaps to remove drafts.
Finally, this isn’t a tip, it’s much more important than that – for those struggling to make ends meet the government offers a number of financial support options that can make a difference. There are three main options: Warm Home Discount Scheme, Winter Fuel Payment, and Cold Weather Payment, and Ofgem discusses which might be right for you here.
So, wrap up warm, do your reading and put those saved pennies to good use – a new Christmas jumper will keep you warm and cheer everyone else up!
We hope you have enjoyed reading our post, if you have any questions about your boiler or heating system, you can call us on 07771 956641 and we are always happy to help.