How to reduce your energy bill or save money, you can make many simple changes. From adjusting the thermostat to using the dishwasher rather than washing clothes by hand, there are several ways to help lower your energy bills.
You can also reduce phantom power, which electricity devices use when plugged in but unused. Unplugging devices, implementing smart power strips and switching to LED bulbs will all help.
How To Reduce Your Energy Bill
Get a Fixed Tariff
Your tariff will set the cost of gas and electricity – the rate you pay for each unit of energy you use. Most people are on standard variable tariffs (SVT) – they tend to be the most expensive tariffs available – but other options can save you money.
You can get a fixed price gas and electricity tariff, which guarantees your standing charge and unit rates won’t increase for the duration of your contract. You can also find a green tax to reduce your environmental impact and help support renewable generation. These tariffs may cost more than a typical SVT but are worth considering if you care about the environment.
When your fixed deal ends, you’ll likely be automatically moved to your supplier’s standard tariff. They may offer you the chance to improve your prices again – this time, it’s a good idea to shop around as the average annual bill is currently limited by an energy price cap that could save you money.
You can also find a prepayment meter tariff, the cheapest way to pay for your energy. This allows you to top up online or at a local store and is ideal if you don’t have the option of paying by Direct Debit. You’ll need a special type of meter that can record consumption at certain times of the day to benefit from cheaper electricity when there is less demand on the National Grid.
Change Your Direct Debit
Many energy suppliers charge lower bills to customers who pay by Direct Debit. This is because they have fewer transaction and administrative costs than those who pay by cash or cheque. Check whether your payments need to be adjusted if you have been paying via direct debit.
Energy companies like BKV Energy often adjust the amount they charge based on estimates of energy usage by households over a year. They may also increase the payment if you have been underpaying or building up credit. Underpayment or debt can happen if you use a prepayment meter or you need to send regular meter readings to your supplier.
Your energy supplier should always give you ten working days’ notice of any change to your Direct Debit before it takes money from your bank account. If you feel they have not done this, it is worth complaining.
If your Direct Debit is increasing and you are on a fixed tariff, this is likely due to the recent price cap increase. However, if your energy supplier has increased your Direct Debit by more than this, you should ask them to justify the rise. You should also consider re-negotiating your debt repayment rate with them if it is unaffordable. Re-negotiate with your energy supplier if you have too much debt for tips on accomplishing this.
Take Regular Meter Readings
You should always submit your meter readings to your supplier. This lets them know how much energy you are using and helps them to calculate your bills accurately. If you don’t, you might get an estimated bill that could be over or under what you used. This could mean you end up with a debit on your account or an overpayment, which can be difficult to catch.
If you have a smart meter, you should be able to see exactly how much energy your appliances use on your home screen. This will help you to cut back and save on your energy usage, which should help you reduce your bills. You can also use a metering app to submit your meter readings if you can’t access your meter.
With a standard electricity or gas meter, you should read it regularly to ensure that you are paying for the energy that you’re using. You should take your meter readings about three days before your payment date – this gives your energy supplier time to update your billing details.
A digital meter will have five numbers on a black or white display and might be followed by red boxes. When giving your meter reading, only include the numbers before the decimal point and ignore any in red. If you have a two-rate or Economy 7 meter, the maximum number will show your cheaper nighttime reading, and the bottom number will be your more expensive daytime usage.
Refund Your Credit
The average household can reduce its electricity bills significantly by taking a few simple steps. These adjustments, from installing energy-efficient equipment to turning off lights while leaving a room, are simple to implement and can reduce your monthly energy bills.
Some consumers discover that their energy provider keeps substantial amounts of credit from their prior months. If you need a smart meter or your energy supplier isn’t getting frequent meter readings, this might occur. This indicates that your direct debit payments may need to be lowered and insufficient to cover your actual user’s cost.
Many consumers have had trouble with this issue, especially as rates have risen. The energy regulator Ofgem says that providers are allowed to keep a certain amount of credit, but they must give you a reason why and be able to justify it.
If your energy company keeps too much of your credit, you can ask them to reduce your direct debit through their website or app. It’s important to note that there is no time restriction on when you may seek a refund, so it’s preferable to do so immediately.