Ten ways to reduce your winter energy bills

January 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

Snow and freezing temperatures have hit the UK. While you may have prepared by stocking up on winter warmers and investing in a proper pair of boots, have you thought about keeping your home warm in the most cost-effective way?

Below are ten top tips to help you and your family save cash on your energy bills this winter:

1. Get government support

Pensioners, people on low incomes and those occupying properties which are hard to heat can reduce the cost of their energy bills by utilising government support. The coalition’s newly-launched Energy Company Obligation scheme, which runs alongside its Green Deal initiative, strives to kit out the homes of the country’s most vulnerable people with efficient boilers and insulation. Householders who think they may be eligible for help can contact the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 for advice.

Energy bill discounts of £130 will also be provided to more than one million of the most disadvantaged pensioners this winter, under the government’s Warm Home Discount scheme. Those eligible for the discount will receive a letter by February 2013.

2. Shop around

Latest research from Gocompare has revealed 16% of consumers have never changed energy provider, despite the savings a switch may bring. Its ‘Switched on to Switching’ report showed customers who swapped their gas and electricity tariff (duel fuel) in 2012 saved up to £350.95.
Tariffs can be compared via price websites such as: UKPower.co.uk, uSwitch.com, SimplySwitch, TheEnergyShop.com, beatthatquote.com, MoneySupermarket.com, Unravelit.com, and Fuelswitch.com
Energywatch.org.uk offers free information and advice on how to switch suppliers.

3. Seek advice

Energysavingtrust.org.uk offers people free independent advice on how to save money on energy bills. Expert advisers are contactable through a helpline from Monday to Saturday. They will explain the financial benefits of making small changes, such as fitting energy-efficient glazing, and big ones, including installing solar panels.

The organisation also produces a free bespoke Home Energy Check report (online and via post) which informs households how they can save up to £280 by making energy-saving improvements to their home.

4. Check windows and walls

Around a third of heat generated by a central heating system is lost through the roof and walls of an uninsulated property. This can be avoided by padding out the loft and walls using insulating fibre, beads or foam.

Loft insulation acts as a blanket which traps heat that rises from the bottom of the property. Cavity wall insulation, where the gap between the two walls is filled, acts in the same way. If your home has solid walls, heat loss can be reduced by insulating them on the inside or the outside.

As part of the government’s Energy Company Obligation (see above) grants are available to cover the cost of having loft insulation professionally installed.

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