ENERGY bills will fall for millions this winter when the price cap is lowered – but they could still end up paying hundreds more than they should.
Try switching supplier to get a better tariff, as power firms fight to lure in new customers with the best deals. Or go green and save by using less gas and electricity with a few simple tricks.
Save money on your gas and electricity by calculating which suppliers are best for you[/caption]
Switch & save
THERE are 11 million households on default tariffs – the ones you go on if you have not switched supplier recently. Their bills should go down by £75 from October 1.
For families using a typical amount of gas and electricity, bills should be no more than £1,179 after the lowering of the price cap announced this week by the energy regulator Ofgem.
Switch your supplier for a company that can benefit you[/caption]
But the best deals on the market are already around £950 – some £300 less than the current cap of £1,254.
Natalie Hitchins of the consumer association Which? said: “To benefit from the best deals on the market, customers should consider switching providers. You could save more than £300 a year.”
Have a recent bill to hand, as it will include the name of your tariff and your recent spending on energy. If you can’t find one, most services mentioned below will help you guess usage based on house size and occupants.
There are three main ways to get a better deal – including a new one that promises to make sure you NEVER overpay again.
PRICE COMPARISON SITES such as Compare The Market and uSwitch make it easy to check deals and switch supplier in minutes.
Bear in mind they might not automatically show you the very cheapest tariff, as they often show only tariffs from suppliers that pay them, a commission.
Use comparison sites to your advantage and ensure you get the best deal[/caption]
DON’T SWITCH BUT STILL SAVE by asking your current supplier for a better deal.
This is an easy option if you don’t have time to shop around for quotes. But the savings might not be as big.
AUTO-SWITCHING SITES are the new smart option for those who fear they won’t remember to switch or can’t be bothered to do it themselves.
Look After My Bills and Switchcraft – part-owned by The Sun’s parent company News UK – both do it for free.
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Go green & save
TEN easy changes in behaviour can net families almost £300 in energy savings over a year.
Televisions, kitchen appliances and games consoles are the worst sinners for wasting electricity while in standby mode.
Hayden Wood, co-founder of energy supplier Bulb, who helped pull these tips together, said: “There are simple steps we can all take to save energy, while doing your bit to protect the planet.”
Follow these ten easy tips and see pounds fall off your bills (savings based on a family of four in a typical three-bedroom semi).
- Clean clothes at a lower temperature. Setting your washing machine to wash at 30C rather than higher temperatures will save a lot of electricity over the year. SAVE £7
- Turn down the heating. Lowering your central heating thermostat by 1C means you will use a lot less gas. SAVE £80
- Don’t waste water when making a cuppa. Only fill the kettle up with as much water as you need – so you use less electricity to bring it to the boil. SAVE £6
- Line dry your clothes. By drying your clothes outside rather than using a tumble dryer, you use significantly less energy. SAVE £30
- Turn devices off standby mode. Switching appliances off entirely when you’re not using them can help save energy. SAVE £30
SPONSORED CONTENT: How to save £219 a year off your energy bills
BEAT energy price rises year after year with Switchcraft. It’s free and it could save you an average of £219 a year.
- Sign up, easily compare tariffs and switch
- Once you sign up, Switchcraft will automatically find you a cheaper deal when a better tariff comes up, saving you time, hassle and money.
- It takes just 3 minutes. That’s it!
- Get £5 cashback and never worry about switching again
- Click here to get saving!
News UK has a brand partnership with Switchcraft. The £5 will be paid into your bank account within four months of completing the switch. Prepayment meter customer customers will receive a £5 Amazon voucher. Open to those 18 and over. UK residents only. Click here for full T&Cs.
- Turn off the lights. Lights use significant amounts of electricity, so switch them off when you don’t need them. SAVE £13
- Wash up using a bowl. By doing this instead of leaving a hot tap running, you conserve water and save the electricity needed to heat it at the same time. SAVE £25
- Take shorter showers. Showering for one less minute per day can save significant amounts over the year. SAVE £75
- Take fewer baths. By replacing a bath with a five-minute shower once a week, you can save even more electricity. SAVE £20
- Fill up your washing machine. This ensures that you will need to do fewer washes on average, helping you reduce the electricity used by your washing machine. SAVE £5
TOTAL SAVING £291
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