It’s Big Energy Saving Week this week – a campaign by Energy Saving Trust, Citizens Advice and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that aims to help people save money on their energy bills.
There is a free tool provided by the Citizens Advice where you can compare the prices.
Is it worth doing?
I am of the belief that if you don’t need to spend any money unnecessarily, then you shouldn’t. What’s the point in paying more money for something from one provider when you can get the exact same from someone else for less?
Did you know that more than a third of the country hasn’t switched energy supplier or tariff in the last six years – and may have missed out on £1,500 as a result! That’s 27 times the UK’s average weekly food shop of £58.60 – in other words, more than six months’ worth of food shopping!
How can I find the cheapest provider?
Citizens Advice have a free, impartial tool which you can use to compare prices on your energy bills. You just need to put in some information and they will do the hard work for you – checking the different providers to find the best price for you.
The tool can be found here, and if you do decide to switch,the entire process is handled by your new provider, and there is an Energy Switch Guarantee means it only takes 21 days – with a 14 day cooling off period if you change your mind.
Why don’t people switch providers?
An EST study found that:
- 65% of people would read reviews when planning to spend £1,000, but only 16% read any reviews about their new energy supplier or tariff when they last switched, with the average dual fuel bill £1,123
- One in five people (20%) are unaware or don’t know there are ways to switch supplier other than online
- A third of people (33%) believe there’s no point in switching because ‘all suppliers are the same’
On average, you could save £300 by switching – now if someone came up to you and handed you £300 cash, I’m guessing you would take it? It’s no different here – but make sure you use the extra cash towards your financial goals inside of letting it slip past you!
What can I do to save money on my bills in general?
Once you have made sure that you have the cheapest provider, there are loooooads of things that you can do around the home to get your energy bills even lower. Once you start doing them, they will become second nature, so just a few little tweaks can save you hundreds of your hard earned money!
Some examples include:
- Turn off lights when you aren’t using them – if you switch a light off for just a few seconds, you will save more energy than it takes for the light to start up again, regardless of the type of light. This will save you around £14 on your annual energy bills.
- Switch to LEDs. You can now get LED spotlights that are bright enough to replace halogens, as well as regular energy saving bulbs (‘compact fluorescent lamps’ or CFLs). They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and fittings. If the average household replaced all of their bulbs with LEDs, it would cost about £100 and save about £35 a year on bills.
- Get a water efficient shower head. If you’ve got a shower that takes hot water straight from your boiler or hot water tank (rather than an electric shower), fit a water efficient shower head. This will reduce your hot water usage while retaining the sensation of a powerful shower. A water efficient shower head could save a four person household (e.g. a family of four or even a shared student flat) as much as £75 a year on gas for water heating, as well as a further £120 on water bills if they have a water meter.
- Spend less time in the shower. Spending one minute less in the shower each day will save up to £7 off your energy bills each year, per person. With a water meter this could save a further £12 off annual water and sewerage bills. If everyone in a four person family did this it would lead to a total saving of £80 a year.
- You can save around £37 a year from your energy bill just by using your kitchen appliances more carefully: Use a bowl to wash up rather than a running tap and save £25 a year in energy bills. Only fill the kettle with the amount of water that you need and save around £7 a year. Cutback your washing machine use by just one cycle per week and save £5 a year on energy.
More than half the money spent on fuel bills goes towards providing heating and hot water. Installing a room thermostat, a programmer and thermostatic radiator valves and using these controls efficiently could save you around £75 a year. If you already have a full set of controls, turning down your room thermostat by just one degree can save around £80 a year.
Whatever the age of your boiler the right controls will let you: set your heating and hot water to come on and off when you need them; heat only the areas of your home that need heating; set the temperature for each area of your home.
There are two fabulous competition prizes on offer throughout BESW – a £899 retro-styled energy efficient fridge freezer from luxury appliance brand Gorenje – head over to the Energy Saving Trust Facebook page to enter.
AND you can win £1,500 in cash by entering the Big Energy Saving Week quiz!
Don’t forget to use the free Citizens Advice tool – it only takes minutes and if you do decide to switch, the entire process is handled by your new provider. It’s really, really easy! Let me know in the comments below how you get on.
Energy Saving Trust sponsored this post, but all opinions are my own.