Although energy bills are the top financial concern for households, 63 per cent of people say there is nothing that they feel they can do about them. But you could save hundreds of pounds a year on your fuel bill by simply checking you’re not paying more than you have to for your energy. Follow our three simple steps below and you could reduce your fuel bill without having to cut down on the energy you use.
Check you are getting the best deal from your current supplier
Switching suppliers isn’t the only way to get a better deal. Most suppliers offer up to four tariffs for gas and four for electricity, along with discounts for managing your account online or choosing a ‘dual fuel’ deal.
Once a year your energy supplier will tell you which of their tariffs is cheapest for you. If your circumstances change in the meantime, call your supplier to discuss your options.
You can find the contact for the six largest energy suppliers on our getting help from your energy supplier page.
Use our new price comparison tool to compare prices from different energy suppliers.
Check if there is a better way to pay your bills
The way you pay your bill can also make a difference. For example, most suppliers offer a discount for paying your bill by direct debit. On average it is £100 cheaper per year to pay by monthly direct debit than paying by cash or cheque.
You may also get discounts for receiving bills online, as this cuts down on paper and reduces costs for the supplier, and is good for the environment.
Contact your supplier directly to find out if there is a better way for you to pay, and that might save you money.
Check you are getting all the benefits and help you are entitled to
Making sure you are receiving all help you are entitled to will make paying for fuel bills and other household expenses easier.
Did you know that up to £20 billion in benefits went unclaimed in the UK in 2011? That’s enough money to pay the fuel bills of nearly sixteen million homes!
If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, or simply want to make sure that you are getting all the financial help you are entitled to, your local Citizens Advice can help you to check that you are not missing out on any benefits or tax credits that could boost your income.
If you’ve reached state pension age you may get a Winter Fuel Payment to help with winter heating costs. This will be paid in the same way your benefit or pension is paid. If you’ve not received a Winter Fuel Payment before, phone the Winter Fuel Payments helpline on 0845 915 1515 to apply.
Some people who receive benefits can also get a Cold Weather Payment of £25 if the temperature drops below freezing in their local area for seven days in a row. You don’t need to apply – if you are eligible it will be paid automatically in the same way you receive your benefits.
The Warm Home Discount scheme is a Government scheme, whereby energy suppliers provide rebates to households on certain benefits. The rebate is £140 for 2015/16 and you should contact your electricity supplier directly to see if you qualify.