Use less energy

You can save money on your bills by cutting down how much energy you use at home.

There are lots of ways to save energy that come at little or no extra cost, and could save you hundreds of pounds on your gas and electricity bills each year:

Cut electricity costs

You can reduce the amount of electricity you use by making sure you:

  • Switch off at the plug: This could save you around 30 a year, so turn appliances off standby if you are not using them. Unplugging your mobile phone charger when it is not being used also helps reduce your energy usage.

  • Turn off lights: The Energy Saving Trust estimates this could save you around 15 a year. If you have a dimmer switch, turning this down could help your bulbs last longer.

  • Use energy saving light bulbs: Replacing old halogen light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs could save you 35 a year on your electricity bill. They are cheap to buy and the savings could outweigh the cost of the bulbs.

  • Dry washing outside: Avoid using your tumble dryer and dry laundry in your garden, or on a clothes airer instead. If you have to use your tumble dryer, make sure you have a full load of washing so you can limit how many cycles you use.

Read more about cutting your electricity bills on the Energy Saving Trust website.

Save on heating

You can cut the cost of your heating bill and still stay warm by making an effort to:

  • Turn down your thermostat: Dropping the temperature by just one degree could save you 55 on your gas bill each year. Wearing more layers and putting an extra blanket on your bed can also help you stay warmer without turning up your heating.

  • Set your timer: This lets you set your heating to come on when you need it. Keeping a low continuous heat during the day could also save you money, so use your timer to set a minimum temperature in your home.

  • Adjust your radiators: Turn radiators down or off in rooms that are not used regularly, to avoid using more energy than you need to. Avoid putting furniture in front of radiators as it will absorb the heat, and bleed them to get rid of trapped air.

  • Keep out draughts: You can buy a draught excluder from most home stores, to keep cold air from coming under the doors of your home. Draught proofing costs around 200 if you do it yourself, but could save you up to 35 a year on your energy bill.

  • Use a tank jacket: This goes over your hot water cylinder and can cut heat loss by up to 75%. Hot water tank jackets could save you more than 100 on your energy bill each year and only cost around 15.

If you have an old inefficient boiler it could increase your heating bill, so think about getting a new one. Here is how to replace your boiler.

Use less energy cooking

You can be more energy efficient in the kitchen by:

  • Keeping lids on pans: This stops heat escaping, so your pans get hotter quicker and cook your food faster.

  • Avoiding overfilling the kettle: Only use as much water as you need, as this will save energy and also keep your water bill down.

  • Using heat from the oven to keep warm: Opening your oven door after you have turned it off can help you stay warm without turning up your heating.

  • Keeping your fridge full: Fridges and freezers work better when they are full, so try filling containers with water when food is running low.

  • Defrosting your freezer: This helps it run more efficiently, as will putting it out of direct sunlight and away from your oven.

Waste less water

Using less water can also help you save money on your heating bill, because your boiler will not have to work as hard to supply you with hot water, so try to:

  • Only run your dishwasher when full

  • Take a shower instead of a bath

  • Fit an eco shower head

  • Spend less time in the shower

  • Wash full loads at 30 degrees

  • Consider getting a smart meter

You can find out more about saving money on your water bill in our guide.

Make your home more energy efficient

Making your home more energy efficient can cost money, but it could help you save more on your gas and electricity bills in the long run, so think about:

  • Insulation: Some energy companies offer free insulation for lofts and walls. Contact the Energy Saving Trust on 0300 123 1234 to see if you can get free insulation.

  • Carpets: If you fit your home with carpet, it will be easier to keep warm. If you have wooden floors, lay rugs to prevent heat from escaping.

  • Double glazing: If you do not already have them, consider double glazed windows. You can find a local installer by searching the Glass and Glazing Federation website.

  • Smart meter: Asking your supplier to fit your home with a smart meter could help you manage your energy usage and save money on your bills.

You may be able to get help with the cost of making your home more energy efficient, so check the GOV.UK website for information about grants and energy saving schemes.

Check your bill

Keep an eye on your bill to check you are not overpaying for your energy, and use it to regularly shop around for cheaper deals.

You should provide your supplier with regular meter readings, to make sure you are accurately billed for your gas and electricity.

Here is more information on how to read your energy bill.

Change how you pay

Try switching to direct debit payments if you pay quarterly or yearly, as this is the cheapest way to pay for your energy.

If you use a prepayment meter, ask your supplier about switching to a credit meter because this could also help you pay less for your gas and electricity.

You can find out more about prepayment meters in our guide.

Change your tariff

Ask your supplier about switching to a cheaper tariff, like Economy 7 which lets you pay a lower rate for your electricity at night.

You could also think about a dual fuel plan, which provides you with a discount for combining your gas and electricity with the same energy company.

Moving to a green energy tariff could save you money on your bills, and you could even get paid for generating your own renewable energy from your home.

Here is more information about choosing the right energy tariff.

Switch your energy service

Switching energy company could save you 200 a year, but you should check whether you have to pay an exit fee with your current supplier before you cancel.

Use our energy comparison to find the best deals currently available.