Temperatures are dropping as are average utility bills rising to £2,500 from this month.
Families can get a £400 utility bill reimbursement, but with so many other costs skyrocketing, it’s important to cut back wherever possible.
Government energy price guarantees only limit how much you pay for units you actually use, so the less you consume, the better.
Harriet Cooke looks at gadgets and gizmos you can use to save energy and your bank balance.
A single blanket on the highest setting costs about 1.4p per hour. King size and 3p.
By contrast, using a 24kw boiler to heat just one room in a house costs an average of £2.47 an hour, says Energy Helpline.
If you used a king size blanket instead of heating for an hour each night from November to February, this savings would add up to £290.
price: B&M Single £25, Double £30, King £35
Savings: £290 in winter
Placing a reflector or tin foil behind the radiator will prevent heat from escaping to the exterior wall.
No need to worry about internal walls.
Uswitch.com energy expert Ben Gallizzi said:
“With the average household spending over £900 a year on heating, even a 5% efficiency savings could save £45 on gas bills.”
price: B&Q from £14.08
Savings: £45 per year
Uswitch calculates that using the tumble dryer twice a week costs £2.04 or £106.08 per year.
When the heating is on, you can put your clothes on the radiator or on the rack instead, but that can lead to condensation and mildew.
You don’t want to open the windows and waste heat, so try a dehumidifier instead.
These cost about 13p to run for 2 hours, so about 25p for 4 hours a week, or £13 a year.
price: £140 from Wicks
Savings: £93 per year
To dry your laundry faster, try a heated airer.
Uswitch believes they can save £84.86 per year on tumble dryer costs.
price: £39.99 from Aldi (back in stores today but may sell out quickly)
Savings: £84.86 per year
tumble dryer balls
If you use a tumble dryer, put a ball of wool in the laundry to cut drying time by a factor of 4.
They retain heat and prevent laundry from clumping.
According to Uswitch, a single tumble dryer typically costs £1.02.
So if you use dryer balls twice a week for a year, you will save about £26.52.
price: £12.99 for a pack of 6 from Amazon
Savings: £26.52 per year
LED bulbs use up to 80% less energy than halogen bulbs and cost just £5 for a pack of 2 from Tesco.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, homes can save up to £15 per bulb per year by switching from incandescent to light bulbs, and up to £6 from halogen.
So replacing 10 bulbs might cost you £25, but you could save £150 on your bill.
price: £25 for 10 people
Savings: £150 per year
It’s time to track your energy usage in detail.
Samsung’s SmartThings Energy app shows the daily cost of each appliance and sends alerts when the daily budget is reached.
Some users claim to have saved £200 on their bill compared to the previous year.
On Currys’ website, you can see how much your product saves you energy costs compared to the least efficient model.
‘Working from home costs skyrocketing’
Teacher Michelle Pitt, 35, and her husband, graphic designer Charlie, 37, live in a five-bedroom home in Sutton Coldfield, West Mid with their 7-year-old son Luca. I was surprised to find out how much energy it uses.
The family has a smart meter, but after our bill tripled from £150 to £450 a month, we installed Samsung’s SmartThings Energy app which works with any smart meter.
“I was shocked to find out that with my husband working from home, it would cost us around £5-6 per day for multiple computers at once.
“On the other hand, if he goes to work, it’s only about £1.80. So he’s going to the office more.”
“We also noticed a spike in usage between 6pm and 7pm. We were spending about 70p an hour with 3 TVs on in another room.
“When I’m not home, I spend about eight hours an hour.
“Without a smart model, you can’t know how much energy each home appliance is using, but you can see the amount of energy used for each hour, so you can make rough calculations.”
shell bill boost
Thousands of Shell Energy customers will receive an additional £150 to help pay their bills this winter.
The supplier is increasing the standard £150 warm home discount payment for all 157,000 customers it supports.
If you qualify, you can receive twice the normal amount. So in total he can receive £300.
If you are eligible for certain low-income benefits and joined Shell Energy before August 21st of this year, you will receive a discount on your bill.
Unlike previous years, support is paid automatically and no application is required.
We are asking other suppliers if they will pay more and will update our readers when we hear.
To receive the standard discount, you must redeem one or more of the following benefits: , pension credit.
If eligible, you should receive a letter confirming this from the Ministry of Labor and Pensions in October.
Payments will likely begin in December, but this will depend on the supplier.
Bank Bonus £200
In time for Christmas, customers are being offered up to £200 to switch their current account.
The Nationwide Building Society is offering £200, but TSB is paying £180 to encourage customers to move.
To receive the £200, you must switch from a non-Nationwide checking account to FlexDirect, FlexPlus or FlexAccount and have 2 active direct debits set up.
Cash will then be paid out within 10 days.
FlexDirect customers paying £1,000 per month also receive 5% interest for one year on balances up to £1,500.
You may also be eligible for 12 months interest free overdraft.
TSB is offering £180 to switch to a Spend & Save account paid in two tiers.
Receive £125 when you set up 2 or more direct debits.
This must be paid by December 16th, depending on when you opened your account.
Use your debit card 5 times, put £500 into your account and receive the remaining £55.
If these conditions are met, the remaining bonus must be paid out by June 30th
To receive payments, you must switch to Money SuperMarket or MoneySavingExpert.