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How to to save money on your energy bills – 10 easy steps

The cost of living crisis is upon us. Now is the time to save money on your energy bills. If you’ve noticed a sharp rise in your energy bills, you’re not alone. April 2022 saw the energy price cap rise to its highest level yet.  In fact, the average household will now be paying around £700 per year more! And worst of all, as of now, there are more price rises to come.

It’s time to fight back.

In this article, I’m going to give you all the tips and tricks to reduce the amount of energy you use so your bill doesn’t knock you off your financial fitness plan. 

Heads up – We aim to produce honest and accurate content, however, we are not financial advisors. If you need financial advice, Unbiased can connect you with a suitable professional for free. Some of our links may earn us a small commission to help us run the site.

First - know your starting point

To see how efficient your home is, you can enter your address at SimpleEnergyAdvice and see your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

Your EPC gives your home a rating based on how efficient it is to heat and power. Fundamentally, heat escapes less in a more efficient home, which means you use less energy and reduces your bill.

If you own your home, there are loads of things you can do to improve your rating. And the place to start is knowing how efficient your home is now. It will guide your decisions about home improvements such as insulation, double glazing and new boilers.

On the other hand, if you rent, your landlord must legally provide you with the EPC for the property. Furthermore, it must be a rating of E or above. And in 2025 this jumps up to a rating of C or above. The good news is that this should mean tenants benefit from living in a more energy-efficient home, and the planet is healthier. However, be prepared to see landlords add the extra cost to rent. Ultimately, it will likely be tenants picking up the bill.

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1. Look for a better deal

I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but reviewing your energy suppliers on a regular basis is essential. You’ll usually pay less on a fixed deal though, so don’t switch providers just for the sake of it.

Crucially, make sure you do your research first. Have your current bill to hand. It will show you your tariff, how much you use and the cost per unit or day. This makes the comparison a lot easier and quicker.

Both Mike and I use Octopus Energy. They deliver great customer service, use renewable energy sources and have proven good value. Plus, they offer a £50 switch bonus! And if you sign up and also recommend a few of your friends and family, it may well be the cheapest deal out there too. Here’s the link to claim your £50.

2. Get a smart meter

What you can’t measure, you can’t manage, right? Well, a smart meter allows you to see exactly how much energy you’re using at any time.

You can pick up a free smart meter by contacting your current energy supplier.

Then it’s down to you. The awareness it brings is fantastic. Just try NOT to be that person that scrutinises your housemate every time they flick the kettle on…

Keeping the display unit in a prominent place really helps with keeping tabs on your usage. As a result, you’ll probably find you naturally become more conscious and start turning lights and plugs off more often. This leads me to my next point…

3. Turn off 'vampire' devices

According to research from British Gas, Brits could be spending an extra £2.2 billion per year on energy, thanks to ‘vampire’ devices.

A vampire device is anything that consumes electricity even when it’s on standby. It’s estimated that you could save up to 23% on your electricity bills by simply powering these devices off whenever they’re not in use.

Here are the worst offenders:

  • TV – £24 per year
  • Sky/Virgin Media box – £23 per year
  • Microwave – £16 per year
  • Games Console – £12 per year
  • PC – £11 per year

And as energy prices increase, so will the savings you’ll make from flicking these devices off.

One simple trick is to put your TV, Games Consoles, Sky/Virgin Media boxes all on one power bar. Then when you go to bed at night, you can simply flick everything off in one go. And you could do the same in your home office, kitchen and bedroom too.

4. Turn down your heating

According to the Energy Saving Trust, you’ll add around 10% to your heating bill for each degree you turn up your heating. If you can, clock your thermostat down a degree to bag significant savings.

Some experts estimate that turning down your thermostat by just 1 degree may save £80 per year.

But if you can’t face your house being any colder, why not turn down the radiators in rooms you don’t use as much instead?

Furthermore, investing in a smart thermostat such as a  Google Nest, which proactively monitors your usage patterns, can accelerate your savings.

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5. Wear more layers

Sometimes the most obvious ideas are the best ones. There’s a reason why so many grown-ups bleat on about “putting another layer on”.

Simply wearing more layers when you’re at home can help you turn down that thermostat a little further. Just 1 degree makes a big difference. So build a new habit and throw on that manky, paint-stained hoody to save the planet…and your bills.

6. Get a shower timer

When I first heard about this, it blew my mind. Picking up one of these free shower timers can cut a typical family’s bills by £70 a year!

They’re great for saving on your heating bill. And even better if you’re on a meter for your water, as you’ll reduce your water bill too.

Normally, the timer is set to 4 minutes. But if you can shower quicker, you’ll make even greater savings! And if you want to take things to another level, have a look at buying a water-saving shower head as well.

7. Draught proofing

Draught proofing your home is a quick and easy way to save money on your bills. The idea is to keep in as much of the heat you’ve paid for and to prevent it from escaping.

The key areas to attack are:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Chimneys and fireplaces
  • Floorboards and skirting
  • Loft hatches

Here’s a video on how to do the work yourself for very little cost.

8. LED lighting

If you still use older-style light bulbs, then it could be time for an upgrade. LED lighting costs around 80% less to use than traditional halogen bulbs. (Though if you’re upgrading from the curly fluorescent bulbs, expect the savings to be smaller.)

Switching from a 60W incandescent bulb to an LED one will save around £6 per year. Of course, you’ve probably got more than one bulb in your home, which means you’ll save more – particularly as the cost of energy increases.

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9. Reduce tumble dryer & dishwasher use

According to the Energy Savings Trust, you can cut your bills by £60 per year by reducing your tumble dryer use. Cutting just one dishwasher use per week could save £14 per year too.

These might sound like small savings, but chuck them in with all the others we’ve already mentioned and you’re well on your way to a decent chunk of money in the savings account.

So stick your clothes on the line outside whenever it’s dry enough, and use a rack as often as you can. Right, who’s washing and who’s drying?

10. Investing to reduce your energy bill

Most of the tips above have covered things that cost very little or nothing at all. They’re great for making lots of relatively small savings that soon add up.

However, if you’ve got some spare cash, you should also consider making these moves which will save you more in the long run:

  • Loft insulation – If you don’t already have it, now’s the time. These days, you should be looking for insulation at least 270mm thick. The traditional recommendation was 120mm so many homes could do with a top-up. It’s cheap to install and could save the average home £150 or more per year.
  • Energy-efficient appliances – According to Which, a more energy-efficient fridge could save you up to £138 per year, a tumble dryer up to £137 and £69 for a washing machine.
  • Upgrade your boiler – Swapping an old boiler for a new one could save you up to £195 per year.
  • Renewables – Adding solar panels or heat pumps can dramatically reduce your energy costs. Historically, the payback period for an investment in renewables was around ten years. However, with energy prices rising rapidly, it’s now around just 5 years. Plus, with equipment dropping in price as it becomes more mainstream, now could be the right time to take the plunge.
  • Smarter home heating – There is a range of smart home heating devices that can adjust individual room temperatures based on your usage and when you and the family are usually home.
  • Downsize – If you have a home that’s larger than your needs, why not consider downsizing to a smaller home that’s cheaper to run? Plus, lower mortgage payments, quicker wealth building and less cleaning to do. Nice.

If you’re really struggling with your bills, there’s help

If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills, contact your energy supplier. They’re obliged to come up with a solution that works for both of you, so make that call.

In fact, if you’re failing to make payments but you don’t contact your energy supplier, they might threaten to disconnect your supply. Contacting your supplier and agreeing on a plan will ensure you don’t get disconnected and help you manage the cost.

Additionally, if you’re behind on your payments, there’s help in the form of benefits. They are there to help people in need. If you get Pension Credit, then contact the Pension Service. And if you receive other benefits, contact the Jobcentre.

There are also a number of energy companies that offer grants and schemes that are open to anyone. You don’t always have to be a customer, so it’s always worth having a look.

Furthermore, you might be able to get a grant from a charitable trust to help pay off your debts. Let’s Talk has more information on available grants and how to apply.

How to save money on your energy bills - final thoughts

So there you have our 10 simple steps that can help you save money on your energy bills. Some of these tips are going to require changing some habits you’ve built over many years. Whilst they may not all be easy,  I can guarantee they’ll be more fun than being in debt.

And if you’re looking for some additional money-saving tips, check out – 9 ways to easily save money fast.

If you still have questions, please come join our supportive UK Personal Finance club on Facebook, where you’ll find other like-minded individuals who are serious about their financial futures. It’s a safe, private community where you can ask questions and learn more about making the most of your money. Best of all, it’s free! I’d love to see you there.

Here’s to your Financial Fitness

EatSleepMoney.co.uk does not offer financial advice and is intended for reference/information only. Remember, you should always carry out your own research and/or take specific professional advice before choosing any financial products or services or undertaking any business or financial venture. If you need financial advice Unbiased can connect you with a suitable professional for free. Investments may go up as well as down and you may get back less than you put in.