How to beat the rising cost of energy bills
I’m very happy to bring you a guest post by Melissa from Mel’s Money Saving And Bargains. Mel has written about how she has put money-saving principles into practice, helping her to ride out a winter without central heating.
The cost of rising bills can be crippling, especially on the approach to autumn and a downturn in the weather. This is such a common problem, and one that I can empathise with fully.
In the past I have had bad experiences with my old central heating system. I moved in to my house 10 years ago and it was a ‘fixer upper’. The central heating and electrics were very old, but they worked so I was happy with that, considering the price of the house. Since then I have been gradually working my way through the house, modernising it and updating it where I can.
The heating and electrics have always been put to one side as they were always going to be costlier to update.
Although I did take out central heating cover as I didn’t want to be left with huge costs if it did break down, one Christmas I was left freezing cold on Boxing Day with a broken-down boiler. The company that I had it covered with couldn’t pinpoint what had gone wrong and they ordered parts that would take two weeks to arrive.
Crushed by the news and wondering how to keep a house full of children warm, we had to result to more traditional methods to try and cope. Out came the heaters and extra jumpers. Extra blankets were used when watching TV.
I felt completely helpless.
Three months later, the heating was finally fixed, and we had survived the winter. I have now replaced the heating system and electrics which will in turn save me money. I learnt a lot about how to survive the winter on a budget and how to beat the cost of rising bills.
A few tips on how you can also cut down on your energy costs:
Don’t overpay in the first place.
Use a comparison site such as Uswitch and make sure that you are on the best tariff from the start.
Don’t be loyal
Change supplier when you can, don’t be loyal just because you have been with the same one for years as it doesn’t pay, and you are losing money.
Use cashback sites
Cashback sites such as TopCashback and Quidco offer cash back on new sign ups to energy companies. Check out the cashback rates for using Uswitch and to go to the companies directly. You can earn a lot of cash back this way.
Check out the bank
Some banks offer cash back on paying your bills and it can add up. Look online and see if you can save by just paying your bills by direct debit.
Check out the latest government schemes for free loft and cavity wall insulation. Doing this can save you between 15% and 19% on your energy bills.
Turn the heating down
Turning your heating down by just 1 degree could save you £60 per year.
Wear jumpers, socks and slippers. Put extra blankets on the beds and while watching TV, turn off lights, cover the bottom of doors with sausage dogs, use colder settings to wash clothes, turn down the power in the shower. These are tried and tested methods and they work.
Seal your house
Seal any cracks or holes in your brickwork or around vents leading to outside, as you could be losing heat through these.
Cook meals in batches while the oven is already hot.
I hope this helps you to save money where you can and to beat the rising cost of energy bills in your home. Using some of these got me through a hard, very cold winter with children in the house, so it could help thousands of others too.
Over to you…
What do you think of Mel’s tips? Some of these I already do, but there are a few that I need to implement in my own home! Feel free to add your own tips and comments below.