THOUSANDS don't realise that you can save hundreds on your energy bill just by turning down the thermostat.
Reducing the temperature it's set to by just one degree can save you over £100 a year, according to experts.
Most households will regularly set their thermostat above 22°C, especially as the colder weather sets in.
But energy experts have revealed the exact temperature to set it at so that you can save cash and keep warm throughout the winter.
The average households' bills have risen to £2,500 a year from £1,971 after the energy price guarantee came into effect.
That impacts millions on dual fuel energy tariffs, although the exact amount you pay will depend on your usage.
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I’ve slashed my energy bill by £500 thanks to little-known draught excluder tool
Why are energy prices going up and how is my bill calculated?
If you're a large family that uses a lot of energy, you're likely to go over £2,500 a year.
Millions will get help through the £400 energy rebate though, but it will only partly cover the cost of rising bills.
There's also the one-off £900 payment announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in his Autumn Statement, but the DWP hasn't revealed when it will be issued yet.
So reducing your gas and electric use is one way to cut down your bill.
When it comes to your thermostat, Energy Saving Trust recommends you should set it to the "lowest comfortable temperature".
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For most of us this is between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius.
It's just the right balance between keeping your home warm, and keeping those energy bills as low as possible.
So that means if you have your thermostat set at a higher temperature you can most likely afford to turn it down and still keep cosy and warm.
Of course, there may be exceptions for anyone who is in ill health, and there is help to cover extra costs.
In fact turning down the temp by just a single degree could save you as much as £100 a year on your bill.
If you cut it by more you will obviously make even bigger savings.
Experts at Uswitch found that the temperature inside a fifth of UK homes is hotter than Lanzarote over winter, and more than a million properties are heated to 25°C or more – hotter than Sydney, Australia.
If you're at the higher end of the perfect 18-21 degree temperature scale, then you could still try reducing it by a degree or even two to find savings.
With the weather getting a little warmer when we head into spring, you might not even notice.
Energy Saving trust also say that you don’t need to turn your thermostat up when it is colder outside, the house will still heat up to the set temperature.
"It may take a little longer on colder days, so you might want to set your heating to come on earlier in the winter," it said.
If you're still on full winter heating mode it might be time to review your settings.
Experts at Utilita have also revealed the exact date you need to turn your heating on as winter approaches.
They said most people start switching their heating on when the temperature drops to 12.5 degrees.
This is usually around October 24 or 25.
Here's more top tips for reducing your energy bill, plus extra help you can get if you're struggling with bills.
What can I do to cut down my heating costs?
You shouldn't just stop at turning down the heating if you're looking to save some mega bucks on your energy bills.
But you can stick with the thermostat itself to start with.
Draught excluders can save you around £30 a year the Energy Saving Trust has previously said.
We've spotted them on sale at Amazon for £7.99 before, but of course you should always shop around for better offers.
And you don't even have to buy one – you can make them for free by filling a large piece of fabric with old clothes or rice.
Switching off so-called "vampire devices", that drain energy when left on standby or used inefficiently, could save you on your bills as well.
Here's 30 ways to cut your energy bill now.
Tips like like closing your curtains in the evening also do wonders.
So when temperatures naturally drop, you should draw them to keep the heat in, and then open them in the morning when the sun comes out.
And always think about how much money you're spending on household appliances – the kettle is ranked one of the costliest, after the shower, heating and a fan-assisted oven.
You can read about how much they cost and how to keep prices down in our guides – like this one here.
Also, 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.
You can also apply for government grants and schemes that help with expensive bills through the winter time.
For example, pensioners will be getting a £300 one-off payment.
The current "Pensioner Cost of Living payment" is being handed out to millions on a low income.
You qualify under the current rules if you normally get the Winter Fuel Payment, but this could change under the new rules.
The £300 cost of living payment is paid on top of the other winter support.
You'll need to be:
- born on or before 25 September 1956
- have lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 in what is known as the "qualifying week"
Struggling families are also eligible for the Warm House Discount to help them tackle the cost of living.
The scheme is where eligible households can get £150 off their electricity bill each winter – but you'll have to wait until the colder months to get the money off.
Households in England and Wales don't need to apply to get the cash and they'll automatically qualify if they are receiving certain benefits.
You can read more about who's eligible here.
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For a look into energy bill grants you could also get this winter, read our round-up here.
Octopus is dishing out free electric blankets as well, which you can learn about here.
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