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Ways to cut your heating costs

Due to COVID-19, many of us are working from home and this year, winter heating bills are likely to be bigger than usual. Extra time at home could result in big bills. Now’s the time to review your heating bills and see if you can cut costs. These tips will ensure you don’t pay more than you need.

1. Use Comparison Sites

Targeting your heating bills at the source is usually the best way to save. Who’s your provider? How much are you paying? Are there cheaper options?

The internet makes answering these questions easy. Fill a few details into a comparison website, such as USwitch and you’ll get a list of quotes to find the best deal by comparing different providers.

Don’t switch straight away: your current provider may negotiate your rates if they hear you’re considering switching. Call them and explain you’ve found a better quote and see if they will offer you the same or better. Doing that, you’ll get the best rate on the market without even switching.

If they won’t give you a better quote, it’s time to switch to a different provider or even let Look after my bills do it for you.


2. Track Your Spending

If you don’t keep track of your spending it’s impossible to know whether you’re overpaying. Money management apps like Emma can help.

Add your bank accounts to the app, and Emma tracks your finances, monitoring recurring payments like bills to ensure they aren’t out of line. If a bill is higher than usual, Emma notifies you so you can check why to prevent higher expenses occurring again.

Emma has a built-in price comparison function. Teamed up with the app informs you when there are cheaper options available. You can even switch providers within the app.

Emma is totally free to download, so there’s really nothing to lose by giving it a go!


3. Fit A Smart Meter

Smart meters measure your gas and electricity usage, providing near-instant updates on your energy usage so you can see straight away when lots of energy is being used on heating, meaning you can turn your thermostat down straight away if the reading is high.

They send automatic updates to your supplier, so you will be billed for your exact use, rather than estimated, potentially saving you money — providing you’ve used less energy than the estimate.


4. Install A Smart Heating System

Smart heating systems are a clever, efficient and modern way to save money and energy. It will adjust energy use based on your routine and the weather, ensuring energy isn’t used when it’s warm outside or if no one’s home.

Tado’s Smart Thermostat will notify you if windows are open or if it detects unusual behaviour from your heating system, meaning you can address potential problems immediately they happen.


5. Install Solar Panels

Solar panels are good for saving energy, the environment and your bank.

There is an initial upfront cost. But, once installed, they pay for themselves possibly saving up to a third on your bills and save even more through the Government’s feed in tariff.


6. Set Your Thermostat Temperature

Turning your thermostat up high uses more energy when the heating hasn’t been on. Much may be unnecessary, causing your home to overheat.

Keeping your thermostat on more consistently, at lower comfortable temperatures is recommended to avoid your boiler over-working and save money.


7. Replace Your Old Boiler

If it is old and inefficient it could be costing you as much as £350 per year!

Some signs your boiler is past it are, your radiators take a long time to heat up, a bad odour, increasing energy bills, leaks and excessive noise. If it’s time, the Heating Hub has valuable information on boilers and costs.


8. Don’t Obstruct Radiators.

Covering radiators with anything — from sofas to washing — can restrict the flow of heat around the room. Radiator heat gets absorbed by obstructing items, making it harder for the rest of the room to warm up. So, your thermostat could be unnecessarily high.


9. Install Insulation

Insulating your loft and walls will keep the heat in.

Cavity wall insulation is relatively simple to install. Insulation can be installed for solid walls too. The upfront cost is higher than for cavity walls, but it will save you big money on heating in the long run.


10. Kill the Drafts

Cold drafts are your heating bills’ enemy! Install draft proof strips around window frames to stop the cold air getting in. Even simply putting a doormat outside your front door can help prevent the outside chill coming in from underneath.

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