MILLIONS of households are bracing for higher energy bills later this year.
The energy price cap is predicted to rise to over £3,500 this October, up from previous forecasts.
But households are feeling the squeeze in other areas as well, as inflation hits 10.1% and fuel costs remain high.
The government announced a raft of supportive measures earlier this year to try and help the most vulnerable.
There's also help through the Household Support Fund.
But even with this support, millions will still be worried about how they'll fund their soaring energy bills.
And switching energy supplier is no longer a guaranteed easy route to lowering your bills.
However, there are some simple steps you can take around the house to try and reduce your costs. Here are 33 tips to cut your bills.
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1. Close curtains at night
Close your curtains in the evening when temperatures naturally drop, and then open them in the morning when the sun comes out.
2. Use residual oven heat to cook
Ovens can take a while to cool down, so you can turn them off at least 10 minutes before your food is due out and let the residual heat finish the job for you.
Of course, make sure your food is piping hot all the way through before eating, especially when cooking meat.
3. Don’t open the oven when in use
Opening the oven door will drop the overall temperature inside the cooker – forcing your appliance to work harder to build the heat up, costing you more.
It also adds time on to cooking your meal.
4. Block draughts
Blocking draughts can save £30 a year, according to Energy Saving Trust.
Draught excluders can be cheap – we spotted them on Amazon for £7.99 – but you should always shop around for better offers.
5. Let food cool down
Before putting leftovers in the fridge, make sure your food is cool.
Heat can push up the temperature in the fridge causing your appliance to work harder, as well as spoiling other foods.
6. Insulate your loft
To prevent heat from exiting through your loft, invest in insulation.
It may seem like a pricey outlay, but it could save you £315 a year, according to Which?.
Don’t forget to insulate your loft hatch too, as heat will escape through here even if your loft is insulated.
7. Don’t overfill the kettle
Out of all the household appliances, the kettle is ranked one of the costliest, after the shower, heating and a fan-assisted oven.
Make sure you’re only filling the kettle up with the amount of water required to prevent it from working harder.
8. Don't leave devices on standby
Energy Saving Trust estimates that between 9-16% of electricity used in homes is through appliances in standby mode.
On a bill of £500, this could account for as much as £80. We've rounded up the worst devices to leave on standby.
9. Turn off lights
It's the one your parents always used to moan about. Don’t leave the lights on when you leave a room – even if it's only for a few minutes.
Doing so can cost £2.30 a day, or £828 a year according to Utility Design.
10. Use your washing machine efficiently
If you’re only half-filling the washing machine, you’re wasting water.
Likewise, if you’re putting everything on a 60 degree wash when it could be done at 30 degrees, you’re burning energy unnecessarily.
11. Use an air-dryer instead of a tumble dryer
Tumble dryers take a chunk of energy to run. In the summer, hang your clothes outside.
In the winter, pop them on a dryer in your warmest room of the house.
12. Only run your dishwasher when it is full
As with the washing machine, you’re wasting water and energy if you run a dishwasher half empty.
On average, the cost of running a dishwasher once a day will amount to £1.98 a week, according to USwitch.
But if you're doing two half-full cycles, it will cost £3.96 a week instead.
13. Buy efficient appliances
A modern, efficient dishwasher will typically cost around £7 less a year to run compared to an older model, for example.
14. Monitor consumption levels with a smart meter
Installing a smart meter is free and usually provided by your energy supplier.
They keep a real-time record of your energy consumption so you can keep an eye on what you're using.
15. Cook with a lid on
Covering up when you're cooking can speed up the process, reducing energy consumption – so keep a lid on it.
16. Don’t use appliances where you don’t have to
Swap the hoover for a broom to save pennies when you're cleaning. A 2.2kW hoover costs 49.9p to run an hour, meaning you'd save £22.46 a year with a broom.
And plait your hair the night before busting out the hairdryer, saving yourself £9.44 a year.
17. Keep appliance filters clean
Filters can be found in hoovers, tumble dryers, extractor fans, fridges and other appliances.
Keep these clean or risk reduced efficiency – filters usually just need emptying or putting through the washing machine.
18. Keep your fridge full
Keeping your fridge stocked not only makes dinner time easier, but it means the appliance can run more efficiently.
Experts advise that keeping the fridge around 75% full is the optimum level.
Too empty and it’s a waste of cool air, too full and it can’t perform properly.
19. Switch from baths to showers
On average, baths use more water than regular showers, roughly 45 litres more than a five minute shower according to South Staffs Water.
But this figure changes if you're using a power shower, which only consumes five litres less than a bath for a five minute shower.
20. Wear clothes more than once
Don’t put clothes straight into the washing machine unless they’re dirty – a sniff test will suffice.
This will help avoid overusing your electrical appliances.
21. Don’t run the water when you’re brushing your teeth
It might be easier to leave the tap running when you're cleaning your teeth.
But the mistake could be adding up to £60 per year to your bills.
22. Don’t leave white noise on all night
Try to avoid leaving electrical appliances on all night as a form of white noise.
Ask Alexa to play rain sounds for an hour instead so you've got enough time to fall asleep.
23. Use energy-efficient light bulbs
The Energy Saving Trust estimates a saving of £2 to £3 a year for every traditional halogen bulb you switch to a similarly bright LED bulb.
24. Use reflective foil behind radiators
A common energy saving tip, but it only works when used correctly.
These are only particularly effective when placed on walls adjacent to the outside to prevent heat loss.
25. Bleed your radiators
This is a far quicker process than it sounds, and can take as little as 30 seconds to do.
Be sure to lay down towels in case of spillage, and always turn your heating off first to avoid scolding.
26. Replace your boiler if it’s old
In some cases, your landlord may be responsible for fixing or replacing your boiler.
It's always best to contact them see if they can do this for you.
27. Keep doors shut
To avoid draughts, close doors in your house – especially doors to colder rooms like conservatories.
28. Purchase rugs for hard floors
Rooms with hard flooring would benefit from a rug, which acts as an extra layer of insulation to the floor.
29. Use the microwave instead of the oven
Ovens require pre-heating whereas microwaves don't, therefore saving you time and energy.
And microwaves tend to cook food much faster as well.
30. Bulk cook and freeze food
Prevent using the cooker multiple times a week by bulk cooking in one go where you can.
This is especially helpful if you live on your own and have a lot of the same meals.
31. Defrost food properly
To reduce cooking times, defrost food in the fridge the night before.
This will not only cool the refrigerator temperature but also reduce your cooking time the following day.
32. Use the correct hob
Making sure you match a pan or saucer to the correct size of the hob burner will prevent heat loss and lessen your energy bill.
33. Fix leaky faucets
A broken tap left dripping all day could add hundreds to your water bill over the year, so it's best to call in the experts.
That's not all. A leaky toilet could also add around £300 a year to your water bill if left unfixed, according to WaterSafe.
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