With the high costs of energy bills, many people are making the tough choice over whether to spend more money and be warm or don’t spend and be cold. There is a third choice! Switch, save and be warm instead.
So who’s getting cold? The temperature is really starting to drop and it’s starting to feel bitterly cold first thing.
Being a bit tight with money, I’ve tried to keep the heating off as long as I can but I am close to breaking. In fact, I nearly gave in the other day and mentioned to Skint Mum about putting the heating on for an hour. She just glared at me so I put on a jumper and an extra pair of socks instead!
With the clocks going back on Sunday it’ll be getting even darker in the evenings and, with the drop in temperature, many of you are going to be reaching for the thermostat – if you haven’t already. Or will you?
According to recent research from gocompare.com, 12% of homeowners are worried about paying their winter fuel bills this year.
Of the 1,300 people surveyed, 36% of them say they will have to actively manage the amount of heating they use this winter and one in ten have said that they’ll have to make cutbacks elsewhere to keep the heating on.
It’s not nice to know that 11% admitted they were cold last winter trying to keep bills down.
How do you stay warm?
People do all sorts of things to keep warm and avoid putting the heating on.
How many of you have left it as long as possible before turning on the central heating, or turned the thermostat down by one degree in a bid to save energy?
What about turning radiators off in rooms you don’t use or layer up with extra blankets and duvets and hot water bottles?
Who gets their thermal underwear out?
Big Energy Saving Week 2015
It’s Big Energy Saving Week 2015 from 26 October so make sure you take part by getting your energy bills lowered – do a comparison of your gas and electric and see if you can make a saving. There are 53% of homeowners who haven’t changed providers in over three years and they are the ones who are going to be paying too much.
If you haven’t switched your energy provider in a year or so it could well be worth checking as you could save up to £300 on your gas and electric costs.
Switch and save
It’s so easy to switch as well.
Grab your energy bill, pop the details about how much gas and electric you use into a comparison site and you can find out how much money you save in less than 10 minutes.
What I love most about switching (having only just done it again recently when we moved – plus I did a comparison via a cashback site to earn an extra bit on top!) is that you notice nothing different. My gas and electric comes to my house as normal and there is no halt in the service during the switch. The only thing that is different is a different website to log my meter readings and a different logo on the bill.
It’s important to find out whether you are tied into a contract. If you leave your supplier early you may have to pay a fee to leave – usually around £30 per energy type. That could leave you facing a charge of £60. However, if you are going to save £300 in a year on your bill, you will still see an overall saving of £240!
For extra savings check out Quidco’s gas and electricity cashback offers here.
How much could you save?
Moneysupermarket have looked into how much we can save if we all switch.
It works out at a massive £2.6 billion and depending on where you are in the country, you may find that you can save quite a bit!
Average Energy saving
Yorkshire and The Humber
East of England
On top of energy saving tips like turning your lights off when you leave a room, you can even do small one off things like switch to paperless billing or set up a direct debit for your payments as most providers offer a discount.
Remember to take a meter reading every month and submit it to your supplier. It’s really easy to read the figures on your meters and you’ll know that you will be paying for the energy you are actually using and not for an estimate that they think you are using (which is normally a lot more!).
You do it…
So go on, go and get a gas and electric bill and do a comparison. Can you save as much as in the table above? If so then it’s time to switch and save.
Let me know how much you save in the comments below.
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Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.