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The rising costs of energy are making home bills extremely difficult for people who cannot afford any further expense. The cost of power is often in the news are energy companies seem to continually announce price hikes, in fact, annual household fuel bills have doubled in the last 15 years with many of the UK’s population now having to enter into agreements such as an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) . Unfortunately for most of us, we waste vast amounts of energy thanks to the inefficiencies of our homes.

To save money on your heating bills, here are some of the best ways to lower your bills by changing your energy consumption or simply being energy savvy.

  1. Change Your Energy Supplier

When you choose your energy supplier you often look for the cheapest deal; however energy companies know that people find it much more convenient to stay on the same tariff and will increase the price discreetly. To combat this, make sure you shop around after your minimum contract length is up, to find a better deal and to avoid hefty exit fees.

Remember that dual fuel tariffs will often be cheaper and mean that you only have one bill and one supplier to deal with. If you spot that your current provider has just released a new cheaper deal, give them a call, and they should be able to swap you over to their new deal without paying exit fees.

When changing energy supplier, it is a good idea to shop around and use a switching service. Switching services are paid incentives by the energy providers to get customers to choose their service, and these services will often offer freebies such as cashback or gifts for a bonus thank you, not only for switching, but using the switch service too.

  1. Switch Off, Don’t Standby

Appliances on standby mode waste serious amounts of cash through burning electricity. While many people remember to turn the TV off, it is actually smaller devices that consume the most energy and money. It’s been predicted that leaving a coffee machine on standby could add £10 a month to your electricity bill, so power off at the wall for everything you don’t use frequently and you could save yourself a tidy sum.

A simple way to reduce energy costs is by unplugging your mobile phone when it has finished charging. Many people leave their electronic devices to charge overnight which is wasting a considerable amount of money in energy costs.

  1. Use A Smart Meter

While a smart meter won’t save you money in itself, it will highlight all the energy that your household uses that day and transforms this amount into a cost function for you. By having your smart meter prominent, you can see how much money you spend on energy every single day, and you’ll start to hunt out appliances in your home that are left on needlessly.

Having a smart meter will transform energy saving into a competition, and you’ll be encouraged to be more energy efficient as you can see the results in real-time.

  1. Draught Proof

A lot of energy and warmth sneaks out of your home through draughts and gaps which mean that your central heating has to work overtime. There are many ways to draughtproof your home that you don’t have to spend a fortune for. Draughtproof strips around doors and letterboxes work wonders. Just adding draughtproof seals to your door can save £35 a year on your energy bills and they usually only cost around £5.

You can make cute and quirky draught excluders using your favourite fabrics filled with sand. These draught excluders not only look great and are tailored to your unique style, but they are also cheap to make and can stop those uncomfortable cold draughts from sneaking under doors.

  1. Energy Efficient Doors and Windows

40% of your heating escapes through doors and windows, so these are a good place to start to reduce your energy bills. If new energy efficient glass and doors are too expensive, consider lining the door and windows with heavy curtains and blinds to trap the heat in.

Secondary glazing is a cheaper alternative to replacing your windows with new energy efficient styles. Secondary glazing adds another pane of glass inside the window, without affecting the windows original functionality.

When considering replacing doors and windows, it is wise to consider the investment and how long it will take you to recuperate the initial expense through energy saving. If the energy saving methods will pay for themselves in a short time frame, they make a wise investment. If it takes years to see a return, it may be better to look for alternatives.

For more advice on how families can save money check out this post Top 10 Budgeting Tips for Low Income Families