MANY of us can beat power price hikes and cut energy costs by £250 a year, just by following Sun Money’s easy steps to reduce gas and electricity use.
Millions can slash up to 20 per cent off bills, wiping out the effect of last week’s £139 price cap increase to £1,277 per year for the average household.
Improving insulation and upgrading boilers pay for themselves by cutting future energy bills.
Other easy hacks to trim costs include blocking draughts, taking shorter showers and moving furniture away from radiators.
Reducing the kWh you gobble will also insulate you against further energy price spikes due next year, and you will be helping fight climate change.
The Energy Saving Trust said: “There are many simple yet effective ways to insulate your home and reduce heat loss, lower your bills and reduce carbon emissions. Even many little fixes around the home lead to significant savings.”
Here are some ways you can slash your energy bill.
KEEPING in heat is a surefire saver. A third of warmth can seep out through walls – but cavity wall insulation, which costs around £400 for a terraced house, cuts heat loss.
A quarter of warmth is lost via your roof if not insulated. Loft insulation costs from around £400 for an average house.
SAVE: £100 per year with wall insulation and £140 with loft insulation.
Lag tank and pipes
THIS one is a no-brainer. Wrapping your hot-water tank in a thermal insulation jacket costs £20 but will save you three times that each and every year.
And pipe foam costs a few pounds from DIY stores – stretch behind cupboards and install it yourself. It will keep your hot water hotter.
SAVE: £60 per year with a water tank jacket and £10 by lagging pipes.
HERE is the simplest economy of all. Half of homes need draught blocking around windows and doors. This is best done by a pro, costing around £200.
And upgrading single-pane windows to double glazing, for about £200 a window, means you can turn the heating down a notch.
SAVE: £30 per year with draught-proofing and £10 per window with double glazing.
Turn down thermostat
SETTING your thermostat by just 1C lower will cut your annual heating bill by £70. Recommended room temperatures are 21C by day and 18C at night. Put on a jumper instead, or use a thicker duvet.
Use a timer to control when your heating comes on and off. Adjust radiator valves in each room and turn radiators off if not using the room.
SAVE: £70 per year per 1C thermostat reduction.
LOW-income families can apply to councils for the new Household Support Fund for essentials. A Warm Home Discount is for OAPs, some low-income families and benefit claimants.
Over-65s get a Winter Fuel Payment to help out at this time of year.
SAVE: £140 with Warm Home Discount and £100 to £300 with Winter Fuel Payment for over-65s.
Be a bright spark
EACH energy-saving lightbulb can trim £50 off your bill during its long life. Save another £30 a year by turning off devices, not leaving them on standby. Putting less water in the kettle, shorter showers and washing clothes in cooler water each save £10 a year.
Half of homes block radiators with furniture so rooms warm up less well. Move that sofa.
SAVE: £60 per year.
PEOPLE on benefits and with annual income under £16,190 can get boiler grants, and wall and loft-insulation grants, via the Energy Company Obligations scheme.
The handouts can save you up to £2,000 on the price of a boiler and £1,000 for insulation.
Contact energy suppliers – not just your own provider – to ask what grants they have.
SAVE: £2,000 on boiler, £1,000 on insulation.
YES, this is expensive, but plugging away with an old boiler will cost you in energy and repair bills, and is worse still for the environment.
Swapping an ageing G-rated boiler for an A-category one will pay for itself in seven years or so. Factor in at least £2,000 for the cost.
SAVE: £350 per year for replacing a G-rated boiler with an A-rated one.
‘Turn radiators off in empty rooms’
A FAMILY hopes to save £300 a year by turning off radiators in rooms they are not using and installing an energy-saving smart thermostat.
Kirill and Valerie Anurov saw power costs increase as they worked from home more during lockdowns.
Their bill rose to £1,743 a year on a British Gas standard tariff for their four-bedroom house in Wandsworth, South West London, where they live with son George, five. Accountant Kirill, 41, and quantity surveyor Valerie, 37, also plan to boost their wall insulation.
Kirill said: “We turn the heating and lights off if we are not using a room.
“And we are hoping for savings this winter after installing a Hive thermostat. You just tap your phone to control it.
“We also want to improve our walls’ insulation when we do some work on the house.”
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