Saving money on your bills can make a major difference to your finances. Here are 6 tips that we think could help you save money and avoid nasty price hikes that affect how much you pay for energy.
It sounds like an obvious first step, but it’s a very easy one to overlook. You may think that because you’re on a fixed rate tariff, there is no need to check your bills on a regular basis, however it’s important to be aware when your contract comes to an end.
At the end of your contract, your supplier automatically switches you to what is known as its Standard Variable Tariff or SVT. These rates are typically your suppliers most expensive tariffs (especially likely if you’re with one of the ‘big six’) and therefore you’re susceptible to experience a steep price hike. Even if you are with one of the lesser known suppliers, it is always in your best interest to check your bills and shop around for a cheaper rate.
Next step: see if you could get a cheaper deal on your energy-.
If you’re paying for your energy every month via direct debit, the premise is that you pay the same amount every month, based on the assumption that you consume the same amount of energy all year round. But what about in summer months, when the heating goes off and the sun cream comes out? Well, you typically spend less, and as a result, you are in an excellent position to speak with your supplier and ask for this money (that has accrued from not using the expected amount of energy) back. Remember though, this is only applicable to those users who have a credit balance on their account.
Sounds pretty obvious, right? Even the smallest of changes could add up to save you a significant sum of money over the course of a year. For example, simply by turning your thermostat down by 2 degrees in cooler months could lead to a saving of up to £200 a year. Think about switching lights off in rooms you’re not in, putting your central heating on a timer, and so on. In this case, tiny changes to how you use your energy can lead to big savings on your household outgoings.
We’ve already mentioned direct debit, but did you know that switching to this form of payment could save you money too? This is due to paperless billing, which would see you check your costs online, and could save you anything between £10-£30 a year. It’s also really easy to do: simply contact your supplier, who will conduct a credit check.
That’s right, for free! What you might not know is that some suppliers, including those that make up the big six, can offer loft and wall insulation that would normally cost up to £500, for free. However, you will need to contact your supplier to see if this is something that you could be eligible for.
By contacting your supplier, they will very easily be able to tell you whether you’re on their cheapest tariff or not. You may not need to switch suppliers at all, and one 10 minute phone call could save you a significant amount. It can sometimes be a bit of a hassle to get in contact with them, but by being clear on what you’re asking, you could save big.
If you're struggling with your payments, you may be able to arrange a payment plan with your provider. They should be sympathetic to your situation, and it's better to agree a new plan than to miss a payment.