Winter’s on its way; but waiting until it’s here to cut costs and energy bills is too late.So follow our winter checklist NOW to batten up the hatches
• Save £240 on gas and electricity bills. If you're not on a super-cheap online tariff or haven't switched in the last year, you're likely to be overpaying £240 annually. Comparing and switching using Consumer Focus’s approved price comparison sites such as uSwitch, Energyhelpline, Energylinx and more only takes five minutes.
• Boiler cover from £7 per month. Many people assume you need to get your cover through your energy provider, yet that’s often one of the most costly options. Instead use price comparison sites like uSwitch, Energyhelpline and MoneySupermarket to scour the net to find the cheapest cover. But ensure you check Direct Line too, as it’s not included in any of these comparisons and can be good value.
• FREE £250-£400 Winter Fuel Payment for the over 60s. Any household with someone born before 5 July 1950 is entitled to a tax-free Winter Fuel Payment of £250, or it’s £400 for the over 80s. Why do it now? If you’ve received it before you don’t need to re-register. But if you haven’t, call 0845 9 15 15 15 for a claim form
• FREE energy saving grants worth £1,000s. A raft of companies provide grants to make households more energy efficient, as long as you qualify under their criteria. For example, in England, Warm Front gives up to £3,500 to home owners or those who rent from a private landlord and receive certain benefits. Try the Energy Saving Trust’s handy tool to see a list of available grants, for a wide variety of energy saving methods, in one place. Why do it now? Getting a grant and getting work done takes time so the sooner you apply the sooner you’ll get it.
• Consider an energy monitor. These show you the cost of your electricity usage, as you’re using it. It’s a great way to see if you’ve left lights on or have inefficient appliances and many report huge savings. While many energy companies offer free monitors on certain tariffs, often you’d save more going for an even cheaper tariff and spending £20- £40 on buying your own monitor. Why do it now? Why not!
• Cut energy use. Using draft excluders and not switching the heat to full blast while half dressed, with the window open is a no-brainer. But also opting for thick curtains, snuggly duvets, using an energy monitor to scrutinise your consumption and getting free energy saving gadgets such as an energy saving plug will all cut costs. The Energy Saving Trust also has a tool that’ll give you a bespoke makeover to see where you’re wasting. Why do it now? The days are drawing in so the sooner you change your habits the better.
Check out these websites nowhttp://www.uswitch.com/