Save money and energy this winter
Published - 29 October 2019
Taking small steps in the coming weeks to winter-proof your home before winter arrives will help you to save money.
Use energy-saving tricks
• Switch off lights you don’t need and use energy-saving light bulbs - they last 8 times longer
• Exclude draughts with heavy curtains and sausage-shaped draught excluders near doors
• Turn down your thermostat by one degree - it can reduce your heating bill by 10%
• Time your heating for when you get up and for a couple of hours in the evening
• Wear extra layers instead of turning the heating up
• Switch off electrical items not in use - don’t leave them on standby
• Match your saucepan size to the hob ring otherwise you're paying to heat the air
• After you've used the oven and switched it off, leave the door open so the excess heat can circulate round the kitchen while it cools.
• Wash your clothes at 30 degrees and have a full machine when you wash.
• Air dry clothes or use an electric clothes airer (they cost pennies to run per hour) instead of using a tumble dryer.
• Know where your water stopcock is and how to turn it off. This will help avoid frozen pipes bursting and will prevent a flood and damage to your home when frozen pipes thaw out.
Switch your energy supplier for gas or electric
• Check with your current supplier that you are on the cheapest possible tariff
• Use a comparison website like uSwitch or Money Supermarket to see if you could save money by switching to a different supplier
• LAMB (Look After My Bills) is a free service that automatically switches you to a different energy deal if there is a £50+ saving to be made
Check your bills
• Only pay for the energy you have used by ensuring your bill is based on an actual reading rather than an estimated one (which has an E next to the meter reading). If the reading is estimated, check your meter and submit the updated reading to your supplier. Your bill will be recalculated and re-issued.
Need more support?
If you are finding it hard to pay your energy bills or you already are in debt:
• Speak to your energy provider. This might feel very daunting but your provider may be able to assist with a payment plan or freeze accumulated debt for a period. They might also offer energy saving advice as well as details of benefits for which you might qualify.
• Contact your Housing Officer or Neighbourhood Manager. They can work with the Tenancy Support team to locate the best partnership support for your personal situation
• Visit our Tenancy Support directory of partners who can offer support. You can search by need and by borough to fine tune the results.
• Contact Turn2Us, a charity that helps people in financial trouble get access to benefits, grants and other financial help. You can also use their FREE helpline on 0808 802 2000, (available 9am-5:30pm Monday to Friday), and speak to an impartial advisor.
• Visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Find your nearest one here
• For details of all Government departments and up-to-date information about benefits (including heating and housing), visit www.gov.uk.
• Check out energy trusts and funds which may be able to help by providing grants to clear debts including energy bills. Some energy providers contribute to a trust or fund which is administered by a charity. Contact Charis (the charity which administers all these schemes) by calling 01733 421021 or email email@example.com for an application form. They can explain if you would qualify for their support.